Earlier this year, when Pencils of Promise was looking for a marketing partner to help spread the word about its annual Justin Bieber-supported Schools 4 All fund-raising campaign, the international education organization turned to the nonprofit Pvblic Foundation, which specializes in donating millions of dollars’ worth of unused advertising spots to charities. The results were impressive.
Pvblic made a media grant of $100,000 to Pencils of Promise that included donated banner ads from websites targeting 14- to 18-year-olds. As a result, Pencils of Promise raised $400,000 to help build new schools in struggling countries, according to Pvblic co-founder Anjula Acharia-Bath, who is also CEO of entertainment/-lifestyle website Desi Hits.
“They were able to help drive eyeballs and participation from a very specific demographic, which we wouldn’t necessarily have been able to attract on our own,” Pencils of Promise COO Melanie Stevenson says.
“Through the campaign we raised enough funds to build 15 schools. It was a tremendous success, and Pvblic was a huge part of that equation.”
Acharia-Bath says Pvblic gives away about $1 million worth of media each week to nonprofits, ranging from billboards and bus shelters to magazine pages and online banners. Co-founders Antonio Ruiz-Gimenez and Sergio Fernandez de Cordova fund the organization.
Although some have been skeptical about the concept of receiving free ad space, Acharia-Bath assures there aren’t any fees attached to partnering with Pvblic. “Our whole mission is to give and recycle unused media assets that are sitting around doing nothing,” she says, noting that the nonprofit is currently working with Alicia Keys and Ne-Yo. “We actually have more media than we know what to do with.”
Nonprofits interested in receiving donated media can fill out a grant application at Pvblic.org. “Essentially, you tell us what your needs are and then we work with you as a team to figure out the best way to execute your campaign,” Acharia-Bath says. “Then we make the calls.”