Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of nonprofits do you work with?
EPIC supports Chicago nonprofits with big stories to tell and budgets too small to produce the kind of strategic, creative services they deserve. Specifically, we work with social services nonprofits dedicated to education, children and families. These nonprofits must have an annual operating budget of less than $1 million. We also help chapters of national organizations if that chapter runs its own local budget of less than $1 million a year. In the past, well-funded organizations have asked us to provide probono marketing for a smaller, specific program under that organization’s umbrella. However, we don’t accept applicants of that nature, since the organization could direct its own funds to that program. We put these stipulations in place for one reason: EPIC is committed to helping the nonprofits most in need of probono marketing.

How did EPIC come about?
Erin Huizenga founded EPIC when she identified two intersecting needs in the marketplace. First, nonprofit organizations, which face formidable budgetary constraints, struggle to produce strategic, effective marketing campaigns to promote their causes. Second, creative professionals increasingly want to use their talent for good. EPIC meets both needs. Erin wrote (and rewrote) a business plan, built a board and launched EPIC’s first creative rally in 2008. Today, a passionate board of directors, comprised of leaders from both the creative industry and nonprofit sector, steers the organization. A junior board, sponsors and a community of EPIC fans add still more fuel to the engine.

Why should I get involved with EPIC?

I’m a Chicago-area creative.

What’s in it for me? We’re not knocking condiments. But how many more salad dressing campaigns can you produce without burning out? EPIC gives you the chance to devise solutions for nonprofits that need your talent and skill to make a difference in the world. If you’re a junior creative, this is your chance to rub elbows with senior people and like-minded creatives. If you’re senior professional and would like to lead a team, you’ll mentor the next generation of talent—and reignite in yourself the kind of passion that got you into the business in the first place.

What do you need from me? It’s not as though you’ll have to quit your job, but we do require a contractual agreement to commit eight weeks to producing a creative campaign for your nonprofit client. You’ll attend one weekly, after-work meeting, dedicating additional time throughout the week, as assigned by your creative director, to get the job done. At the end of the eight weeks, your work will be showcased at an end-of-rally party. We would love for you to come to this, too, and bring friends, and their friends.

This sounds like something I’d like to do. How do I apply to be on a team? Creative professional in marketing, advertising and design, apply here. PR specialists and managers, apply here. Currently, we work with professionals in and around Chicago.

I’m a Creative Director or Principal of a design firm.

I’d like to lead a team.

What’s the first step? Thank you for your interest. Start the process by reaching out to us. Your psyche will thank you. Mark Drozd, past team lead and Partner/Creative Director at Simple Truth, puts it this way: “It’s a huge psychic reward.” And as a team lead, you’ll be in good company; past leads have included creative directors from Smbolic, a5, Gravity Tank, Plural, Landor, Thirst, VSA and more. Join our mission and add your agency’s name to that esteemed list. Currently, our team leads work in and around Chicago.

I’m a Chicago-area nonprofit.

What’s in it for me? As an EPIC client, you’ll get world-class marketing strategies and solutions on a probono basis. We provide an all-star team of talented creatives, who prioritize your needs and devise campaigns to promote your organization. You’ll also gain exposure to a community of business and creative leaders whose participation in EPIC indicates a predisposition to care about your cause.

What do you need from me? A contractual agreement, from one designated leader in your organization, to commit the time and energy to steer the creative rally process, make decisions and provide guidance to your EPIC creative team. We also invite you to speak at the end-of-rally party, when we unveil your new campaign to the public.

Sounds great. Can I be added to the pool of applicants? Nonprofits apply here.

I’m a sponsor.

What’s in it for me? Companies that partner with EPIC—providing event spaces, in-kind or monetary donations or services such as printing and consulting—gain exposure to our engaged community of nonprofit and creative industry professionals. By supporting EPIC, you’ll help the creative industry demonstrate that its most talented practitioners are committed to creating sustainable, equitable communities. But an EPIC sponsorship extends beyond the creative industry. You’ll help a vast network of nonprofits most in need of effective communications. Your dollars directly impact the missions of the nonprofits we work with.

What do you need from me? EPIC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on individual donor contributions, grants and corporate sponsorships. To find out more about sponsorship, email founder Erin Huizenga. Individuals can make a donation to support our cause now.

Who else has “rallied” behind EPIC with sponsorship support? EPIC is grateful for the support of some of the industry’s most respected companies, including Creative Circle, Elk Grove Graphics, Getty Images and Simple Truth, among others.

Before I donate to any organization, I like to know: what’s the buzz?
Good point. Find out what people are saying about EPIC, from nonprofits who have benefited to creatives who have served on rally teams.

Hey, what about me?

I’m just someone who wants to help. Then we really want to meet you. Email us to find out about opportunities to be a part of EPIC. More EPIC programming is in the works, so continue to check in on us.