Fall Causality Brand Grant, Full Grant awarded!

Thank you to all the great organizations that submitted an application for our Causality Brand Grant. We received over 90 applications for Full and Matching Grants. All applicants were very worthy organizations and we wish we could award services grants to each one but unfortunately, we only have the capacity to serve a small number at this time. We encourage past applicants to reapply!

Congratulations to our Fall Causality Brand Grant Full Grant recipient:
iSanctuary (www.isanctuary.org)

We are currently in the process of finalizing our review of the applications to begin awarding the matching grants as soon as possible. Our goal is to not turn down a matching grant applicant if at all possible. We will be announcing the Matching Grant recipients shortly.

We will begin our Winter Causality Brand Grant cycle in January 2011. To be notified as soon as the cycle is open, please sign up at  www.causalitybrandgrant.com.

Behind the scenes on the Boysville shoot

Steve Gaines Creative Director

Hopefully you have had the chance to see our recent Boysville spot. We are proud of it on a number of levels. First, we think it is a strong idea that our client let us run with. Two, we pulled it off on a small budget. Three, it turned my oldest son, Aidan, into a big-headed superstar. And lastly, but certainly not least, was the generous spirit of the talented people who worked on this project and all the great kids (and the parents who waited in the heat) who made this project a reality.

Our small crew included:

Coe Douglas, a true friend of Causality and writer who polished our idea and also acted as best boy/key grip/gaffer and all those titles we see in movies and don’t understand what they are.

Rick Lopez shot and edited the spot and suggested ideas that made the spot better. Without his time and effort we would have had a hard time producing a spot of this quality.

Rudy Ortiz, one of our art directors, who brought his niece and cousin as talent and helped out when we needed an extra pair of hands.

And I was there, to basically be bossy and say, ‘Read this line. Again. Again. Again.’

So in honor to those who made our shoot possible, we share these following photos with you.

crew1

Notice Rick’s homemade yet highly effective dolly system.

script

Here we are reviewing and assigning the speaking parts—using short reads to weave our story. Always remember, if you are going to use volunteer talent, don’t give them the Gettysburg Address to read.

crew2

My son stealing the show—and he hasn’t been the same since.

katie

We had a great location that made for a beautiful backdrop. We did have a few challenges. The day was windy and played havoc with audio and the park is located in the airport’s flight path—even more audio fun. There also tends to be all those inconveniences that come with people using a park—and walking into your shot or speaking, screaming and otherwise having a good time.

Dynamic event branding makes for successful fundraising

JDRF

Steve Gaines Creative Director
We are pleased be able to finally unveil the event branding for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Seattle Guild’s 21st Annual Dream Gala. This year’s gala theme was Denim, Diamonds and Dreams and the event was held March 6th at the Seattle Sheraton.

The event is the largest of several events held annually by the Guild to raise funds in support of it’s mission: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. The evening started with silent and wine auctions followed by dinner and live auction and culminating with an impressive entertainment guest—Lyle Lovett (we love Lyle!).

The Causality team developed the event branding and provided design execution of all of the event collateral including the save the date mailer, the invitation, the event catalog, notepads, name tags, signage, onscreen graphics, bags and even a custom wine bottle design. This event draws a large audience and raises an impressive amount of money—even Terri got into the action and walked away from the event with two nice pieces of jewelry from Seattle area artisans.

Most important is the success and impact of the event. The JDRF Seattle Guild announced that the 21st Annual Dream Gala Denim, Diamond and Dreams raised $3,008,000 for vital diabetes research!

Do good, help others, go home happy!

The Causality Brand Grant is now available!

It is essential non-profits have a strong brand that supports their mission, connects with their audience and enhances fundraising. Many non-profits don’t have the resources to develop and support 
their brands to their full potential. Causality offers both full and matching brand grants to allow non-profits to realize the full potential to develop their brands through strategy, brand development, graphic design, marketing and interactive services.

Register for the Causality Brand Grant application at bit.ly/brandgrant

The Grant Types
Causality grants are designed to fulfill a specified need or needs within the range of marketing, branding, creative and interactive services provided by Causality. These grants are provided to 
non-profit organizations and other qualifying causes.

Causality will award one full grant and a minimum of three matching grants per granting period. Organizations may apply for one, or both types of grants in the same application.

Full grants. A full grant provides creative/marketing services at no cost to the organization for 
the entire scope of services requested.

Matching grants. A matching grant provides half of the value of creative/marketing services for 
the entire scope of services requested at no cost to the organization. These are grants awarded to 
an organization that is able to contribute or raise a sum equal to the value provided by Causality 
for the total of the entire scope of services requested.

Outside expenses such as the cost of placing and/or running advertisements , stock/custom 
photography, web hosting, printing and other hard costs are the responsibility of the organization.

Completed applications must be received no later than June 1, 2010. 
Late applications will not be accepted.

Grants will be announced July 1, 2010, and grant projects must be 
completed by December 15, 2010.

Sayles into the sunset

Steve Gaines Creative Director
With the ramp up of Causality I admit I have been out of the loop on news, so I was a little slow on the draw learning today that Sayles Graphic Design of Des Moines, Iowa closed up shop in September. While you may not be familiar with them, their work inspired, and to some extent, influenced me as a designer. I had the privilege of meeting John Sayles and Sheree Clark when they were speakers at a CASSA (Communications Arts Society of San Antonio) event many years ago. As an officer on the CASSA board I met some great design professionals but being able to talk with John was a profound moment for a (much younger) creative professional getting a business off the ground. I found we had a lot in common and saw a design idol as someone who dealt with the same issues that I did.

The economy didn’t sink them. They were still on the top of their game. It appears that John and Sheree had just reached a point where they were looking for something different, something to take them to a next phase in their lives. As someone who has recently wrestled with issues of a greater sense of purpose, I have to salute them for their decision.

However, the designer in me laments their moving on. Good luck John and Sheree.

Sustainability contradictions

Steve Gaines Creative Director
Last week I was at a trade show where we launched the Causality brand. The theme of the show was sustainability and the audiences were government agencies. Sustainability is something that I am passionate about so when I got the opportunity I strolled through the convention hall to see what the exhibitors were offering. The exhibitors were all over the spectrum, from completely organic cleaning products (I can still recite their sales pitch as if they were right next to us) to a company that produced custom police cruisers that are 40% more fuel-efficient and drive longer without maintenance.

But the thing that I found odd, amusing and sad all at the same time were the small things that seemed to contradict the show’s theme. I lost count of all the booths that just had piles of useless premiums—cheap foam stress balls and other plastic trinkets that were destined for the landfill in the not too distant future. Don’t get me wrong, I think any awareness we can bring to the issue of sustainability is a good thing, but the whole experience showed that in some circles the thought process has not yet come full circle. Even those who had ‘sustainable’ premiums seemed to have them by the truckload. Where was “reduce, reuse, recycle”?

Remember that sustainability goes beyond what recycled paper you may be using or what certifications your materials have. There are a myriad of ways you can maximize your project, thus maximizing your sustainability efforts. A good start would be develop audience profiles, telling a compelling story and building strong brand elements that communicate meaningfully with your audience and increase their commitment to you. These are all things we will expand on in future blog articles.

But enough about that—let me tell you about a great, food grade spray that will get out any odor and you could use as a breath spray in a bind. Really.

So what’s this all about?

Steve Gaines Creative Director
Hello and welcome to the Causality blog —our ongoing conversation about good work for good people. We started Causality with the belief that our creative and marketing talents are best used helping those who are doing good in the world. We’ve always felt this way—a large portion of our work has always been dedicated to non-profit, educational and governmental clients—but we now realize that it’s the cause-based work that really motivates us.

The signs have always been there to make this leap, but as my wife will point out, I don’t always recognize the obvious signs even if they are flashing in tacky neon in front of me. Many things have contributed to this moment but two things in particular have brought me to this point.

First, my wife Terri (president of Causality) and I adopted two boys from Kazakhstan. The whole process and experience showed me what a difference is needed in the world and that even my small efforts can make a big difference. Our two sons are constant reminders of how we can affect change in a big way and how much more needs to be done. When I look at my boys it always hardens my resolve to help make the world a better place.

Second, is the experience I have gained with age as well as now having a platform from which to affect change. It was difficult to capitalize on the idealism of my youth—what with trying to establish a career, make money, convincing my wife I was funny, not peculiar—all the things that consumes my younger years. Now, after quite some time in the business, I have the confidence to tackle the hard things in life. While always wanting to make a difference, I now feel I have all the tools available to promote change and help others more effectively than I could have a decade ago.

It is not enough to just work and exist. Causality exists to help others and to an extent is therapy for me. It’s just like the line at the bottom of our website says—Do good. Help others. Go home happy.

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