Jake Marrazzo is a seventeen-year-old high school senior who is wildly creative, has a smile that lights up the room and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Jake was diagnosed when he was 8 and has been confined to a wheelchair since he was 12. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most aggressive form of muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness due to the alterations of a protein called dystrophin that helps keep muscle cells intact. The prevalence of DMD is mostly in boys and affects approximately 6 people per 100,000. There is currently no cure for Duchenne but there are many promising developments.
Jake has never let Duchenne slow him down. He is very active in his high school drama club and has worked as a host for a local restaurant. Jake is now a published author as he has just written a children’s book, One Wants to be a Letter, which has sold over 1,000 copies. Next week, we are very excited that Jake will be interviewed by celebrated author Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Book series).
Inspired by his resilience, Jake’s parents, John and Sheryl Marrazzo founded the 4 Jake’s Sake Charitable Foundation to bring awareness about Duchenne and to help other families manage the tremendous costs of a Duchenne diagnosis. We started working with 4 Jake’s Sake in 2015 as they were our first pro-bono client. We have helped the foundation with marketing strategy, content marketing, event marketing, public relations, social media marketing, search engine optimization and website design. Over the past five years, we have learned a great deal from the organization and benefitted in ways we did not expect. In this season of giving, we wanted to share seven benefits for companies who work with a charity.
We are inspired every day by Jake and the Marrazzo family. Their passion to spread awareness about Duchenne and to help others has no bounds. Working with them is like drinking from the firehose, we can not help but take just a little bit of this passion to our other clients.
Stay Sharp on Event Marketing
Many charities use events for fundraising and building their community; walkathons, 5K running races, triathlons, etc. We organize many events for our clients but event marketing is not like riding a bike. Event marketing success takes ongoing practice and we welcome the opportunity to work with the 4 Jake’s Sake to keep our event marketing expertise sharp. 4 Jake’s Sake has sponsored a Millennium 5K Run and Walk for the past few years to raise money and is always a great day for everyone in the community to get together.
Improve Your Creativity
Charities typically have smaller marketing budgets, forcing our agency to think outside the box to drive awareness and interest for marketing campaigns. We have met our marketing goals for the foundation by leveraging social media and coordinating with local influencers.
Working with a charity can give your company an opportunity to an up and coming individual in charge of an event or a marketing campaign. This is a great opportunity for employees to develop communication, leadership and project planning skills. Most importantly, this opportunity gives this individual confidence.
Major Media Exposure
The foundation has worked hard to raise awareness about Duchenne as they have coordinated with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Cure Duchenne. Meanwhile, Jake Marrazzo and the foundation have been featured on the Dr. Phil Show, WBZ-TV Channel 4 Boston, WCVB-TV Channel 5 Boston, the Boston Globe and the Metrowest Daily News. These high-profile media mentions demonstrate how hard the foundation has worked to raise awareness and we have appreciated the opportunity to work with them on these mentions.
Team Building Opportunities
Working on charity initiatives together helps employees build new and stronger relationships with their fellow colleagues. It’s a fantastic way to bring people from different groups and departments together to work on new projects outside their typical scope.
We work hard to develop a culture that is supportive and positive. We want to have a workplace where people want to work. Working with a charity provides opportunities for employees to bring their families to connect with their work families. My family has enjoyed being event volunteers and running at many Millennium 5K events.
All of us at Elbow Grease Marketing love working with 4 Jake’s Sake Charitable Foundation because of the tremendous passion of Jake, Sheryl and John have for helping others, working for a cure, and spreading awareness about the disease. We encourage other marketing agencies and companies to work with a charity. I promise that you will receive much much more than you will give.
Please share your thoughts about this post and your experiences working with a charity, we would love to hear them.
For more information about the 4 Jake’s Sake Foundation, please visit their website and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. For more information about budding author Jake Marrazzo, you can follow him on Twitter and his Facebook Author Page.
Click here to register for the upcoming event with Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series and Jake Marrazzo, author of One Wants to be a Letter on Monday, December 14, 2020, at 7:00 pm.