NOVI — Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration shows that regardless of the year when they are founded, the majority of start-ups go out of business within five years, and two-thirds are no longer operating 10 years after being formed.
That’s one reason the Novi marketing firm Shazaaam Public Relations is celebrating. The company, founded by entrepreneur Adrienne Lenhoff, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in business by giving back in a major way. The firm will be gifting 10 worthy charities each $100,000 in pro bono services — a total of $1 million.
Philanthropy is nothing new to the agency. Since forming in 2001, Shazaaam has awarded more than $3 million in pro bono services to help deserving organizations elevate their messages, mobilize thousands of supporters and raise millions of dollars. “As a business owner, I have always felt it important to lead by example,” Lenhoff said. “I’ve been blessed to have an amazing team comprised of talented and passionate individuals who work hard and deliver incredible work for our clients. Since day one of forming Shazaaam and taking on my first employee and our first interns, I have felt that it’s important to teach them to be thankful for our clients and business growth and to also give back to those around us. For our 10th anniversary, we could have thrown a big party, invited hundreds of people and have had everyone enjoy some good food and great company. Instead, the Shazaaam, Buzzphoria and Promo Marketing Teams decided that we wanted to celebrate by doing something that will have far more permanence and impact. We decided on the selection of 10 non profits to commemorate 10 years in business with each receiving a gift of $100,000 in pro bono services.”
Shazaaam’s 10 Year Anniversary Million Dollar Challenge is inviting nominations of 501(c)3 nonprofits to be considered for the 10 awards. The nomination period is open until Wednesday, Dec. 28 at www.shazaaam.com. Beginning on Monday, Jan. 2, Shazaaam will post the nominated organizations on its Web site, www.shazaaam.com, and the public and the nominated organizations’ supporters will be invited to vote on their top 10 organizations. Voting will take place from Jan. 2 through Jan. 23. The 10 organizations with the most votes will each be the recipient of $100,000 in pro bono marketing, public relations and social media services. In the event that a winning organization is unable or cannot accept Shazaaam’s gift or does not respond to the agency’s outreach, Shazaaam will then begin to reach out to the next runner up in the voting. Winning organizations will begin being contacted on Tuesday, Jan. 24.