It all began with an idea—a challenge that needed solving.
In Jennifer Henderson's work as president and founder of an advertising agency—spoiler alert! It's J.O.—she noticed a trend. In a veritable hub of charitable and nonprofit organizations, many needed assistance (whether marketing, public relations, branding, campaign strategy or otherwise), yet either lacked the internal staff or couldn't afford agency services. Nonprofits needed help promoting their incredible work and worthy causes but lacked the means.
Jennifer saw the need for someone with her skills and experience, so she decided to act. In 2012, Jennifer flew to a conference at the White House in Washington D.C. to pitch her idea to create a nonprofit agency to assist other nonprofits to an elite group of entrepreneurs. She asked, "Is there a need for this?" When the response was a resounding "yes" Jennifer knew what she had to do. So, in 2013, with the support of her fellow entrepreneurs and her community, Jennifer launched The Cause Agency (TCA) with a business structure designed to offer discounted services to nonprofits.
The first of its kind in Texas, TCA is now, just five years after its launch, the premier nonprofit creative agency dedicated to providing services for nonprofit organizations. How did TCA get to where it is now? TCA did, and continues to do, these five things well.
In the fall of 2017, The Cause Agency hosted its first cause-wear contest and fundraiser called Common Thread. It was far from your ordinary, run-of-the-mill fundraiser (especially since the fundraiser involved local artists and a priceless marketing package). The Cause Agency selected six different cause categories, ranging from homelessness to literacy, then invited local, non-profit organizations to participate within their respective cause category. TCA recruited local artists to design something special for each of the cause categories—cause-specific shirts sold to raise money for the organizations and to determine the contest-winning nonprofit (by total number of t-shirts sold). Each local nonprofit then had the opportunity to promote the sales of its cause's t-shirt and compete for the winning prize.
In the end, Mental Health America sold the most shirts and was awarded a pro-bono marketing project from The Cause Agency. So, while Common Thread was a fantastic start, the best is yet to come!
According to the 2018 State of the Sector Report from Dallas's Center for Nonprofit Management, DFW is home to over 23,000 nonprofit organizations, making it the 7th most charitable region in the nation. These numbers are based on the number of charitable organizations in the area and the volume of funds donated to philanthropic causes. That means there are numerous nonprofit organizations trying to bring their messages to the masses, making the need to stand out among the rest increasingly necessary for success.
That's where TCA comes in. TCA's branding and marketing expertise serves to take local and national nonprofit clients to the next level as TCA works alongside clients to appeal to their target audiences and, as a result, increase support for clients' missions. Some of TCA's major success stories include:
•Drastically increasing funds for Don't Forget To Feed Me's 2016 and 2017 North Texas Giving Day social media campaigns—which each raised nearly $40,000 to ensure there are drastically fewer hungry pets in North Texas.
•Recruiting stellar humans with impactful stories to tell for Project Wisdom
•Spicing up admission recruitment materials and creating a marketing plan for The Oakridge School
•Using More Than Budget's own budget wisely to successfully increase its number of volunteer educators and partnerships by giving it a brand.
With its own magnificent beginning and captivating storyline, The Cause Agency knows how to tell a story that jumps off the page and into the hearts of nonprofit advocates.
Recently, TCA paired with Community Link, a food kitchen in Saginaw, Texas whose mission is to fight hunger in Northwest Tarrant County. The nonprofit has already provided over 10,000 families with resources and donated more than 1.3 million pounds of food to the community, but there is still much to be done. With the help of TCA, Community Link is hoping to appeal to corporate donors as they refresh their brand to maintain consistency and professionalism across social channels, and make an even greater impact in the community. Since part of TCA's mission is to take the life-changing stories its clients are already telling and focus those stories into a consistent brand message, Community Link is the perfect client. Through power points, simplified fact sheets, infographics and a newly refreshed logo, TCA believes that Community Link's clear brand will add more characters to Community Link's story—a more specific audience with whom to share its story.
When it comes to The Cause Agency, company culture is as important as the work it does. So, each board member, volunteer and client is carefully selected to fit TCA's mission and vision. This includes TCA's notable board of directors, difference-makers from all corners of the community. Investment bankers, communications specialists, advocates for other nonprofits, business owners and professors fill the roster and lend their expertise and devotion to The Cause Agency and the community. Other employees include "Cause Agents" hired freelancers for particular projects. Many are chosen because they offer services to nonprofits at a discounted rate—a selfless sacrifice that parallels the purpose of The Cause Agency.
TCA doesn't just talk the talk—TCA walks the walk. Because it's a nonprofit itself, TCA is in a unique position to offer specialized help. Your cause is TCA's mission. Literally. What better way to deliver clients' needs than to share their goals? The Cause Agency's unique ability to connect with nonprofits is also encouraged by its business model. Instead of attempting to help nonprofits from a for-profit perspective, TCA remains intentional about being a nonprofit organization themselves. In other words, TCA operates just like its clients do. Talk about solidarity.
The Cause Agency continues to work locally, nationally and even internationally, leaving each community a little bit better off than it was before. TCA's five years of experience and dedication to its cause have helped to raise the bar for other nonprofit organizations and creative agencies. And, this is just the beginning. There's more good work to be done.
To find out more about The Cause Agency, or even donate, visit thecauseagency.org .