How does a branding agency with nearly 70 creative employees give back to the community? By getting crafty.
At Ologie, proceeds from the sale of Crafts With A Cause −a collection of items handmade by employees− go to various charities four times a year.
Based in downtown Columbus, Ologie strives to create brand messages that are clear, compelling, and consistent so their clients become better known, understood, and unique.
“Our inspiration [for Crafts With A Cause] came from an internal fundraiser for Movember in November 2012,” says Annete Drapac, web designer for Ologie. “Kyle Kastranec, one of our designers, spearheaded a silent auction using items crafted by Ologie employees. The auction raised over $700.”
After witnessing the success of the Movember auction, the Ologie volunteer committee wanted to keep the excitement and interest going. They reviewed the auction, discussing what worked and what needed to be changed.
Then the committee set goals and came up with a plan for an online shop where employees would sell handcrafted goods. An internal communication plan, identity for the program, and a website were created, which was all easy enough seeing as Ologie does that kind of work daily.
“The biggest change we made was selling the items online,” Drapac says. “One of our main goals was to extend our efforts outside of Ologie and into the local and online communities.”
Another change was that all items would be sold at a fixed price instead of at auction. Research of online auction platforms and capabilities showed the company that it would not be able to emulate the fun competition it had created for the Movember auction.
The Ologie online store will go live April 15 featuring 20 different crafts. Items will be available until they sell out or up to one month after launch. Available crafts include potted plant arrangements, thank you cards, and a puppet. Some crafts will be available in multiples, while others will be individual and unique.
“The theme will be inspired by the charity we donate to each quarter,” says Hannah Magid, brand strategist for Ologie. “For example, this quarter we are donating to the Half the Sky Movement, so our theme is women and girls. This leaves a lot of room for creative interpretation, so crafts might be inspired by someone’s mom, sister, or even a favorite female superhero.”
Charities are chosen according to Ologie employee preferences. Half the Sky Movement was selected because many of them had read the book or seen the documentary, and became passionate about it. The charity is also the focus of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio’s Keyholder event, so it was the perfect opportunity to support a client.
For businesses looking to step up their philanthropic efforts and get more involved in the community, Magid recommends connecting with employees and having them participate in the process.
“Talk to your employees and find out what they’re passionate about,” Magid says. “Having a volunteer committee helped us to make it a priority, and that’s a pretty easy first step. It’s amazing what you can do when a small group of people start sharing ideas.”
Photos by Erika Lhotsky. Logo design by Andrew Clark.