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2012 CreateAThon? applications now available for area nonprofit organizations

Local public relations agency donates more than $85,000 in marketing services

            Maryland nonprofits can begin applying for free marketing support through a national program available regionally through Purple Cat, a mid-shore public relations firm, and Octo Design Group, Philadelphia. The program is open to all 501(c) 3 non-profits from Baltimore through the mid-shore.

            Applications are available by contacting (410) 604-2319, create@purplecatpr.com or can be downloaded at www.purplecatpr.com. The deadline is July 20.

            Since the Maryland program began eight years ago, 27 Maryland non-profits and one New Orleans non-profit have been assisted with projects valued at $85,177.

            Last year Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers of Easton was awarded the Maryland CreateAThon® project, which was a board retreat session focusing on marketing and branding. In 2010 Evergreen Cove Holistic Learning Center of Easton was selected for the program and received a brand evaluation as its project.

Application process closes July 20

            “The CreateAThon® application process is much easier than most grant proposals,” says Carol D’Agostino, owner of Purple Cat. “There are some basic questions about the organization and its mission, and then the organization is asked to describe three wish projects. I encourage groups to look at their strategic plan and see where they have fallen short in the area of communications and marketing,” adds D’Agostino.

            “This is a great opportunity for organizations to get much needed marketing projects or strategies developed when their budgets may have fallen short due to funding cuts or decreases in donations,” adds Wendy Verna, president of Octo Design Group.

            Purple Cat and CreateAThon® partner firm Octo Design Group are two of the more than 75 agencies that have joined the CreateAThon® network by presenting programs in their regions. Since 2002 the national CreateAThon® effort has benefited more than 1,275 non-profit organizations with 3,100 projects valued at more than $15 million.

            Past Maryland CreateAThon® recipients include: Adoptions Together, Baltimore, American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula, Elkton, Anne Arundel County Public Library Foundation, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County SPCA, Annapolis, Arundel Lodge, Edgewater, Baltimore Child Abuse Center, Baltimore, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Baltimore, Buy Fresh/Buy Local Chesapeake Region, Baltimore, Calvert Hospice, Prince Frederick, Caroline Nursing & Rehab Center, Denton, Centro de Ayuda, Annapolis, Children’s Theatre of Annapolis, Foundation for Community Partnerships, Centreville, Four Rivers The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County, Annapolis, Fuel Fund of Maryland, Baltimore, Live Baltimore Home Center, Baltimore,

Mental Health Association of Talbot County, Easton, Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Easton, New Orleans Musical Legends, New Orleans, La., The Nickelby Project, Grasonville, Partners In Care, Pasadena, United Way of Calvert County, Prince Frederick, and West End Citizens Association, Cambridge.

            Founded by Carol D’Agostino of Chester, Md., Purple Cat is a public relations firm specializing in nonprofit, business and health care marketing. In addition to operating Purple Cat, D’Agostino is a member of the Class of 2012 for Shore Leadership and is a board member at Foundation for Community Partnerships, Centreville. Her memberships include the Chesapeake Women’s Network of Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties, the Maryland Association of Nonprofits and the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce.

            Now in its 21st year, Octo Design Group is a strategic graphic design firm that specializes in defining and/or redefining a company's image. Octo helps clients develop a distinct and recognizable identity to serve as the platform for their brand. The firm is driven by the belief that each piece of marketing collateral, both traditional print and digital media, should have a look and feel that is unique to the brand, but recognizable from one medium to another. Both Purple Cat and Octo Design Group are women-owned MBE certified (Minority Business Enterprise).

            CreateAThon® applications can be downloaded at www.purplecatpr.com. For more information contact Carol D’Agostino at Purple Cat at (410) 604-2319 or create@purplecatpr.com. Applications must be submitted no later than Friday, July 20, for consideration.

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