It seems like every day we hear about the impact the recession has had on business. Nonprofits, in particular, feel the pressure and continue to be squeezed by falling donations and state funding cutbacks, while grants are running out.  And, all of this at the exact moment that the needs of those they serve are skyrocketing.Charities are vital in our communities, especially those that provide direct service. They’re critical to our overall quality of life. While many companies that once generously supported charities have been forced to cut budgets and preserve jobs, we’ve found a way to keep giving to them.
In case you haven’t heard, 2011 marks The Marcus Group’s 40th year in business – and we wanted to do something special to commemorate it.  After all, how many companies last 40 years under the same leadership?
We decided to help a deserving charity by doing what we do best … advertising, crisis management, public relations and social media.
We set out to find a nonprofit to receive our services free for one year – valued well over $100,000.  To our surprise, we became inundated with submissions vying for our help.  More than 130 nonprofits applied in less than two months!  In fact, we even extended the project deadline to accommodate requests from groups that needed more time.  And yes… judging was VERY difficult.

After weeks of thorough review and consideration, we realized many nonprofits could benefit from targeted project work.  So, in addition to choosing one winner to receive one free year of service, we selected six additional nonprofits to receive help with specific marketing projects…  all while balancing the marketing needs of our current clients.

We were excited to announce that the winner of our free year of service was Little Kids Rock, an organization that provides free music instruction and instruments for students in underfunded public schools nationwide.  We recognized a growing need for this service in the community as a growing number of music programs in schools are being eliminated due to budget cuts (you can read about them and our other project winners in The Record).

While this undertaking is certainly unique, especially given the economic pressures small businesses like ours face, donating services and leadership isn’t uncommon at The Marcus Group.  Most recently, we helped Gilda’s Club NNJ when it fell on hard financial times – and we’ll continue to help them as well.

Charities work tirelessly to give their services to those who need them the most.  We said, “Why not do the same?”  After all, giving is good for everyone… for goodness sake!