If you’ve received holiday cards over the past few years from the Salvation Army, Greater Cleveland Literacy Coalition, Cleveland Sight Center or the Alzheimer’s Association, you’ve probably seen Marcus Advertising’s work.
That’s because each year, the Beachwood-based advertising agency leverages its expertise to design cards which assist nonprofit organizations, solicit donations and round up volunteers.
“It helps bring professionalism to not-for-profit organizations which are competing in a very competitive environment for money, attention and volunteers,” says President Harvey Scholnick. “If you can help them have a more professional and exciting look, it suddenly becomes an organization that more people pay attention to, both for donations and volunteerism.”
Marcus Advertising accompanies those cards with a financial donation. Last year, it donated more than $40,000 in pro bono services to 25 organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Jewish Community Federation, Menorah Park and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. It served as the volunteer agency for the Junior League of Cleveland, and designed a new letterhead and identity system for the group.
Marcus Advertising also created a radio campaign and new logo for Cleveland Reads, a United Way agency.
But the agency’s longest continuing commitment has been to the Cleveland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Since 1986, it has helped create and produce public service commercials and ads; designed brochures, logos and posters; and created a variety of invitations and announcements for fund-raising events. In 1998, its television commercial “Words,” was a Telly award finalist, and this year, it created and produced the materials to support the Awareness Week Campaign.
The company’s annual tradition of designing holiday cards is only one way the group gives back to the community, says Scholnick. This past summer, Marcus Advertising collaborated with the Cleveland Ad Association and participated in Colin Powell’s “Work America” program by providing a summer job to a minority high school student. It also established the Donald H. Marcus Scholarship Fund at Cleveland State University, which awards tuition money to deserving students studying communications.
The agency and its employees raise money each year for the United Way and Harvest for Hunger, and a number of the staff members serve on a special task force for United Way’s Small Business Campaign. Employees are actively involved in Junior Achievement, the YMCA, March of Dimes, Boy Scouts of America, Meals on Wheels, the Jewish Community Center, St. John’s Westshore’s Mental Health Program and PASS (People Actively Supporting Schools).
Don Marcus, company chairman, is a member of the development board for Cleveland State University and a board member of the American Cancer Society. Scholnick is chairman of the Cleveland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association Advisory Committee, a trustee and chairman of the PR and marketing committee of Menorah Park, and is on the Executive Committee of the Community Service Planning Committee for the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland.
“We lend counsel in other areas, such as volunteering our time on a consulting basis to organizations where we feel we can be of the most help,” says Scholnick, “But if we can also help through the creation of materials organizations can use to solicit donations and volunteersthemselves, we do.”
How to reach: Marcus Advertising Inc., (216) 292-4700
Dustin Klein (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of SBN magazine.