Milwaukee-based Boelter + Lincoln Marketing and Communications celebrated 40 years in business this past April. The firm celebrated with an internal get-together and team activities, but also decided to commemorate 40 years in business by giving back to the community it has called home.
The firm created the 40-Hour Work Week program, and invited area nonprofit organizations to submit applications to receive 40 hours of pro bono work from the company.
The firm had 26 applications, and Milwaukee-based Pathfinders, an organization dedicated to providing all youth in Milwaukee the opportunity to live a safe, happy and successful life, was selected.
“We chose Pathfinders for a variety of reasons, but we did feel like it was the best fit for the kind of work that we do,” said Andy Larsen, partner at Boelter + Lincoln. “We felt like we could do something for them that would really truly have an impact on their mission.”
The firm created public relations and social media plans for Pathfinders, and also did some consulting work on the process so the plans were easily managed and sustainable internally, Larsen said.
They also created three “Finding the Voice Within” videos for the organization that highlighted its annual fundraising event: Taking it to the Streets.
“The videos were incorporated into the social media plan leading up to the main event, and were also highlighted at the event,” Larsen said.
The annual fundraising event raised $82,000, 13 percent more than the previous year’s event, according to Genise Lindner, director of development and communications at Pathfinders.
“The videos were directly related to the fundraising event, and I think they, without question, helped get people excited about the cause and the mission of Pathfinders,” Larsen said. “By all metrics, it was a successful effort and a win-win for everyone involved.”
The campaign served as an eye-opener for many, including people at the firm, Larsen said.
“Some of the things we learned about our city during this work were somewhat shocking, but it really moved us and made us feel even better about the work we were able to do for Pathfinders,” he said.
In total, the company donated more than 40 hours of work worth between $10,000 and $15,000, Larsen said.
John Lincoln opened Boelter + Lincoln on April 1, 1975 with three employees. Today, the company has 25 employees and six partners, but according to Larsen, giving back to the community has been a longstanding focus of the company.
“It’s a big part of who we are,” he said. “We’ve been here in Milwaukee for 40 years and the vast majority of our clients are local. We feel very connected to Milwaukee.”
There are no current plans for Boelter + Lincoln to formalize the program, but the firm won’t shy away from continuing to give back.
“We’ve been doing pro bono work for the community since the beginning,” Larsen added. “This campaign was more formal, but it’s a nod to the legacy our founders created, and it is just in keeping with the general culture here.”