Chicago Cause winner: Inspiration Corporation - #GivingTuesday - Social Media Explorer
Chicago Cause winner: Inspiration Corporation – #GivingTuesday
Chicago Cause winner: Inspiration Corporation – #GivingTuesday

My friend Andy Crestodina recently told me about a great way some businesses in Chicago are helping nonprofits in their city. About four years ago, Orbit Media, Lightspan Digital, and Flanigan Communications created a philanthropic partnership called “Chicago Cause.” Through Chicago Cause they wanted to strengthen and serve the Chicago nonprofits that do great things in the city they love.

These firms run a contest at and give a winning nonprofit a huge upgrade in web, video, and media.. The dust is still settling for the 2012 contest but the winner for 2011 was Inspiration Corporation.

Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, housing, employment training and placement through their Employment program, and food service training through their Inspiration Kitchens program.

Each year, Inspiration Corporation works with more than 3,000 Chicagoans who are characterized by chronic homelessness, unemployment or underemployment, mental illness or substance abuse, and social isolation. These individuals all share the strength to move forward out of their current situation and toward self-sufficiency.

As winners of the Chicago Cause contest, they received:

  • New website from Orbit valued at $20K
  • Marketing video from Orbit (we offered video production as a service at the time) valued at $5K
  • Social Media (training + tools) from Lightspan Digital valued at $1K
  • PR Consulting from Flanigan Communications valued at $5K
    TOTAL: $31K

Make a donation today

Here are three ways you can make a donation today:

  1. Give to Inspiration Corporation

    The Chicago Cause gifts clearly helped Inspiration Corporation but the needs of fighting homelessness goes on to this day. You can learn more about Inspiration Corporation on their website. They are pretty incredible. You can donate to them at their donation page.

  2. Support Chicago Cause

    Chicago Cause has had such an overwhelming response from both the for-profit and the nonprofit community that they were able to add new partners and increase their donations. If you’re in the Chicago area, they’ll be kicking off 2013 in July so there may still be time to get involved. You can learn more with this video About Chicago Cause.

  3. Create a “Chicago Cause” for your city

    One of the best ways for small businesses to give back to nonprofits is giving of their expertise. Nonprofits in every community need help clarifying their story, improving their web and social media presence, and effectively interacting with media. What would it look like if you partnered with a couple of overlapping businesses and created a type of “Chicago Cause” for your city? Think of the lives that could be transformed!

Whatever you do, please take action!

You can learn more about Chicago Cause with the video below:


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About the Author

Marc A. Pitman
Marc A. Pitman is the author of Ask Without Fear! and Google+ for Nonprofits. As a public speaker, his expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences around the world and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera and Fox News. He’s also a homebrewer, coffee snob, and loves singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family. Sign up for his free fundraising tips at

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