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Doing Good for Good Reasons

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Our agency has committed to donating our services to nonprofits since the beginning. In fact, our co-founder Susan’s first Missoula client, back in the Ash Marketing days, was pro bono work for Camp Mak-A-Dream. Since then we’ve helped Watson Children’s Shelter, the Missoula Family YMCA, Missoula Art Museum, Five Valleys Land Trust and on and on. (And we still work with the Camp.) Even today in a shaky economy, we continue to provide more than $200,000 in professional services each year.

Why is that? We need to make money as much as any other business. Networking? There are cheaper ways. Is it our way of finding clients who give us the freedom to do especially creative work? Not really.

The reason is is that it’s the right thing to do. Our Montana nonprofits usually are facing a daunting mission without many resources. They are vital causes that can have a difficult time speaking for themselves in a complex market. If we can lend them our expertise, insight and experience it’s likely to be far more valuable than simple cash donations. And doing good feels good.

But we know pro bono clients are just as demanding as paying clients, and we believe they are entitled to the same level of quality work. We need to apply the same strategic thinking, and the same levels of insight and creativity. That makes timing and capacity an essential understanding before we make the decision to join a cause. And chemistry is very important. We have to feel it. And feel it we do, the whole staff. Morale always seems high when we are involved with a good cause. Creativity is flowing. We know we’re making a difference.

Pro bono partnering with nonprofits is our way of saying ‘I’ve had a good life and I live in a good place, now I’m giving back.’ Doing our thing for reasons that have nothing to do with money, just trying to make this place a better place.

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