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You're on a mission to save the world. We're on a mission to lend you a hand.

Whether you’re working to help seniors, kids in need, veterans, animals, or other community need, there’s no doubt you have your hands full. Like, really, really full. We’re here to help, one charity at a time.

APPLICATIONS CLOSED FOR 2024

The following sections have been left live for informational purposes, as applications closed December 15, 2023.

Four semifinalists — CCEF, CASA, Blessings, and Jessie’s Place — moved to the People’s Choice round of voting via Citrus County Chronicle from January 8 to January 24, 2024.

Citrus County Education Foundation won with 34% of the 3368 votes cast, but in a generous plot twist brought to you by CCEF and Horsefly, some of the time will be used to bring the four charities together in a strategy to collaborate for the good of Citrus County children!

WHAT'S CREATATHON?

CAT red-on-orange

CreateAthon is a 24-hour creative marathon designed to deliver professional marketing and design services to nonprofit organizations that could otherwise not afford them. Since its inception in 1998, this “all-nighter for charity” has served more than 1,300 nonprofits, providing more than $100 million in pro bono services. CreateAthon is the brainchild of Riggs Partners, an ad agency in Columbia, SC.

Before Horsefly Group rebranded as a virtual WFH co-op, it was Idea Flight ad agency just outside Washington DC. Founder Holly Davis heard about CreateAthon at the annual American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) conference when CreateAthon was just a few years old, and in 2003, Idea Flight became a CreateAthon Partner.

Because Horsefly Group is a WFH virtual co-op with team members spanning 11 time zones, our donation location will vary from year to year. This year, it’s Citrus County, Florida!

We provide pretty much every marketing service you can think of, encompassing both digital and creative (see our home page and scroll down to see the list). But first and foremost, we provide winning strategies. The rest is executing on those strategies in a way that bring them to full success.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Any 501(c)3 in Citrus County FL may apply, however we strongly urge those considering applying to review the criteria for the qualifying first round.

The intent of Horsefly’s participation in CreateAthon is to provide an entire suite of marketing services to a single 501(c)3, including best-practice instructions for carrying on the day-to-day use of the work afterward. This means the charity must be well-established with a certain level of resources to make full use of this work.

The guidelines for CreateAthon first-round qualification include:

  • Strong executive leadership, board and senior management
  • Strategic plan and well-defined vision
  • Organizational stability
  • 3 to 4 full time staff members, minimum
  • 70 to 80% of funding/revenue retained over past 3 years
  • No major turnovers in past 2 years
  • Successful examples of collaborative projects
  • Effective program outcomes
CreateAthon 2003

KEY DATES & PROCESS

2003 CreateAthon Idea Flight p2

Although our strong intent is to choose ONE charity for a full suite of marketing materials, we reserve the right to do a more limited scope for more charities. It really depends on the applications we receive.

Once the winner(s) is/are selected, by early January, we will schedule time for discovery briefings to determine exactly what is most needed, and develop an early action plan for the event.

Application deadline 5 pm December 15, 2023
Winner(s) announced first half January 2024
Discovery calls second half January 2024
CreateAthon happens February 7-8, 2024
Presentation to charity client(s) February 9, 2024

The awarding process has three rounds:

  1. Qualification: a small external committee will determine whether the applicant fully meets the guidelines listed in the section immediately above, and will append notes. However, ALL applications will go forward.
  2. Semifinals: is an internal review by Horsefly Group team members, with the sole exception of Holly Davis, as she is local to Citrus County. (She also knows how painful it is not be able to help all the many deserving causes, so she is wimping out!) The goal in this round is to winnow it down to a manageable number for the finals.
  3. Finals: will be decided by the public! The Citrus County Chronicle will publish the semifinalists and have an online poll to determine the winner(s).

PROVIDING REFERENCES

If you would like to provide references, or additional information (brochures etc) to your application, please prepare a single PDF with everything you wish to include. Email this PDF to [email protected], with a subject line of your non-profit’s name, and “additional information” so we can be sure to capture it for the evaluation process. We will reply to acknowledge receipt when we have moved it into our online system – don’t worry if you don’t hear back right away, please give us 48 hours to acknowledge.

IMPORTANT: please do not email Holly Davis at her BOCC address regarding this program. That is for county business only.

thank you

Horsefly Group 2024 CreateAthon Application

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