createathon logo 2019

About CreateAthon

What is CreateAthon?
Normally, it’s an annual, 24-hour creative blitz that provides free marketing and advertising services to area nonprofits. But, since Covid, we now take on special CreateAthon projects throughout the year and work on them remotely.  

When is CreateAthon?
Because of Covid we are still working remotely; however, we still take on CreateAthon projects throughout the year as time permits, so please send us your details.

Where is CreateAthon?
Normally it’s held at J. Fitzgerald Group, 12 W. Main St., Lockport, NY 14094. However, with remote working, we now do it from a distance.

Nonprofit Services

At JFG, we’ve worked with dozens of nonprofit organizations throughout the years, helping to develop brand awareness, increase visibility, drive increased donations and achieve their goals. Whatever your organization supports, you can trust us to support you. Find out more about our work with charities and not-for-profit groups and see how we can help.

Check out some of the projects we've worked on in past CreateAthons®

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question to reveal the answer. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Drop us a line at

What is CreateAthon®?

For 15 years, J. Fitzgerald Group (JFG) has participated annually in CreateAthon®, a 24-hour blitz of creative energy focused on benefiting local nonprofit organizations by providing them with communications products and services that can help groups raise awareness and funds. It also provides an agency like JFG the opportunity to give back to the community through our high-quality creative services. Since Covid, we have been working remotely, so now we accept applications throughout the year and perform the work as it fits into our schedule.

How does CreateAthon® work?
  1. J. Fitzgerald Group solicits applications from local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations throughout the year.
  2. A panel of judges selects two nonprofit organizations that serve underprivileged children from the applications received.
  3. Selected communication projects will be completed according to our schedule that will be communicated to you.
Who qualifies to apply?

The JFG CreateAthon® is geared toward local, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that serve underprivileged children that are in dire need of creative services. Governmental entities do not qualify.

Can my nonprofit organization apply for CreateAthon® if we received donated services in the past?

No, due to an effort to help as many different organizations as possible.

What types of projects can I request in my CreateAthon® application?

Nonprofit organizations can request a wide range of projects that may include the creation of logos, letterhead packages, brochures, advertisements, direct mail campaigns, posters, outdoor billboards, signage, banners and more.

How do I get an application?

Send us a note at our Contact Us page.

Can I send additional background information with my application?

Yes. This is encouraged to help us learn about your group.

Is there an extension to the application process?

There is no longer a deadline to apply; simply send us a note at our Contact Us page.

How can I send in my application?

Send us a note at our Contact Us page.

Who originally created CreateAthon®?

CreateAthon® was founded in 1998 by Riggs Partners, an advertising agency in Columbia, South Carolina. It received such overwhelming support from nonprofits, vendors and the business and civic community that Riggs expanded the CreateAthon® program to form a National CreateAthon® Network. Since its inception, Riggs has partnered in the coordinated CreateAthon® effort with more than over 100 advertising and marketing firms across the United States and Canada. Each firm has pledged to hold 24-hour creative marathons in their respective markets. Information about the national program is available at

Which nonprofit organizations have received CreateAthon® assistance from JFG?

Since we began participating in the CreateAthon in 2007, we have helped the following groups:

  • Adoption Star
  • Aquarium of Niagara
  • Buffalo GreenFund
  • Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Inc.
  • Compass House
  • Cornerstone CFCU Arena
  • Cultural Alliance of Niagara
  • EquiStar Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center
  • Families of FANA
  • Family & Children Services of Niagara
  • Family Promise of Western New York
  • Gilda’s Club
  • Hope For Two
  • Inkukuleko
  • Institute on Aging
  • International Child Advancement
  • Investigative Post
  • Journey’s End Refugee Services
  • Kenan Center
  • Kevin Guesthouse
  • Kids Escaping Drugs
  • LawNY
  • Leadership Niagara
  • Literacy Volunteers of Niagara County
  • Lockport C.A.R.E.S.
  • Lockport Historic Palace Theatre
  • Lockport Meals On Wheels
  • Lockport Public Arts Council
  • Make-a-Wish WNY
  • Mason’s Mission
  • Market Street Art Center
  • Mental Health Association of Niagara County
  • National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Neighborhood Health Center
  • Oglala Lakota Children’s Justice Center
  • Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara
  • Ovarian Cancer Project
  • Pink the Rink for Susan G. Komen
  • S.E.R.V. Niagara
  • Second Generation Theatre Company
  • St. John The Baptist Church
  • Stella Niagara Education Park
  • The B Team
  • The Buffalo Green Fund, Inc.
  • The Dale Association
  • The Teacher’s Desk 
  • United Way of Greater Niagara
  • VIVE, Inc.
  • Wheels With Wings
  • WNY Challenger Sports League
  • Youth Mentoring Services of Niagara
What makes CreateAthon® attractive to advertising agencies, printers and other media/communications partners?

It’s common in our business to be deluged with requests for pro-bono work during the course of the year. CreateAthon® makes it possible for an agency and its partners to efficiently handle these requests while providing a multitude of benefits. The biggest benefit is the public awareness and funds raised by needy nonprofits through their utilization of the communications products and plans that are produced for them during CreateAthon®.

It also energizes agency staff because they are doing important work that makes a difference for nonprofits in need and the communities they serve.

When are applications due?

There is no longer a deadline for applications; simply send us a note at our Contact Us page.

Is printing part of the deal?

We may be able to secure the donated services from area printers, but selected nonprofits may be required to set aside funding to cover a portion or all of the printing costs associated with its project request. Regardless, it is the responsibility of the selected nonprofit to contact the printer or other vendor assigned (identified in the award letter) to get the piece(s) printed.

Is media placement part of the deal?

We may be able to secure the donated support of print publications, local (Buffalo) broadcast (TV/radio) media, outdoor billboard advertising and digital marketing platforms, but selected nonprofits may be required to set aside funding to cover a portion or all of the placement and production fees (including printing, voice or acting talent) associated with its project request. Regardless, it is the responsibility of the selected nonprofit to contact the assigned media outlet (identified in the award letter) to get the piece(s) placed.

Do the nonprofits own the designs after they are created?

Yes. Electronic versions of the projects and  all related files will be given to the respective nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are free to use the projects for other materials produced outside of CreateAthon®.

Will I be able to use the designs in a desktop program like Microsoft Word?

No. The files will be set up in programs used by professional printers, including InDesign. The file formats and programs used are industry standard for professional design endeavors. Also, printers do not accept Microsoft Word files to print.

Are we obligated to use the materials created?

The selection process is designed to help nonprofit organizations that need it the most. As such, if your group is selected, you are potentially beating out dozens of other nonprofits who apply. For that reason, we require that selected organizations use the materials and collateral created.

Are other pro-bono services available other than CreateAthon®?

No. The effort for CreateAthon® is considerable, and takesa lot of effort to coordinate and execute. Thus, the combination of hours and donated materials for CreateAthon® is the extent of what we can donate to the community each year as a small business.