Allison+Partners has chosen Adopt-A-Classroom for its annual pro bono program, donating $150,000 in PR services for 2012 to the nonprofit organization. Adopt-A-Classroom works with community partners to provide teachers with funding for school supplies and other resources. Allison+Partners has already started working with the group; Adopt-A-Classroom launched the “Help Henryville” program with OfficeMax on March 2 to benefit a Henryville, IN school that was destroyed by a tornado.
Allison+Partners chose Adopt-A-Classroom using a proprietary evaluation system, the Cause Marketing Accelerator, which matches a cause program with the values and brand of the agency.
“The program is designed to survey executives and employees’ beliefs on cause-related marketing and discover the assets that a company and/or its employees can share or utilize in building a long-term relationship with a cause,” Scott Pansky, co-founder and senior partner at Allison+Partners told us in an email.
After assessing all the manpower that can be put behind a program, from volunteer time to social media engagement, a program platform is created (a “Corporate Socialanthropy” program, which provided the basis for the Cause Marketing Accelerator) and another survey looking at what similar charities are doing is completed. Then Allison+Partners makes the final nonprofit match.
This is the second year for the Accelerator and there have been some changes.
“This year’s program differs from last year in that the agency is providing additional strategic counsel in partnership marketing and developing a more comprehensive employee engagement program in each region where the company has an office,” Pansky writes. “The employee engagement piece is crucial as it relates to the company’s core values and can help with retention and recruitment.”
When the agency took a closer look at Adopt-A-Classroom, they identified shared entrepreneurial values. Pansky calls Adopt-A-Classroom’s founder James Rosenberg “a true social entrepreneur” who created “a proprietary technology platform to connect donors with local classrooms.”
Moreover, the firm executed a pilot program with the nonprofit and got a positive response from people on both sides. “Not only did [our associates] personally donate money to their classroom projects, but they built tremendous relationships with their teachers and students,” Pansky said. “We found that the students were hungry for knowledge, enjoyed the interaction, and appreciated the chance to be heard and share stories.”