The Nonprofit Hub has partnered with Jacht Ad Lab this semester to help bring nonprofits to Nebraska’s student-led advertising agency. The partnership has been a long time in the making.
Randy Hawthorne, executive director of Nonprofit Hub, planted the seed with Amy Struthers three years ago. Struthers is the founder of Jacht Ad Lab and a professor at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
“I’ve always enjoyed creating partnerships with students,” Hawthorne said. “Jacht is a great program and vision to be a part of. I’m impressed with the level of innovation I see at Jacht because that is something we are interested in at the Nonprofit Hub. I reached out to Amy about a potential partnership because she is a strong advocate for the community and her students.”
Struthers is trying to meet the needs of her students through the partnership with the Nonprofit Hub.
“Our curriculum is constantly moving forward, racing forward to keep pace with the changes in our industries,” Struthers said. “Each semester, I look for a new addition to the Jacht experience, based on what I hear students asking for. The need for education in nonprofit marketing was a gap I could fill with this Jacht/Hub partnership.”
The Nonprofit Hub was started as an online resource for nonprofits. It focuses on changing the “nonprofit mentality” that organizations should focus on diverse ways to fund and promote their mission.
“The main difference between a business and a nonprofit is a 501(c)(3) status,” Hawthorne said. “You still have overhead and still have to pay your bills. We try to make sure social good organizations value themselves and their products or services.”
The Nonprofit Hub moved into its building at 211 N. 14th St. in 2014, which was donated by Firespring. Firespring provides print, creative, website and IT solutions for nonprofits and businesses. As a Certified B Corporation, Firespring’s purpose is to leverage its people, products and profit as a force for good. The Nonprofit Hub provides communal workspace and education resources to socially minded organizations and people. The Nonprofit Hub is currently working with about 90 socially minded individuals, Hawthorne said.
The partnership will allow College of Journalism and Mass Communications students to gain experience working with organizations in the nonprofit sector. Individuals and organizations that are working with Nonprofit Hub will have the opportunity to use the Jacht Ad Lab services. This will allow nonprofit organizations to receive advertising and public relation services at a reduced rate, and students will get the opportunity to work with nonprofits and learn how they run.
“More and more of our students have expressed an interest in working in nonprofits,” Struthers said. “We want to provide them with the skills and the concepts and theories that underlie those skills, to make them successful in the workplace.”
Hawthrone is also hoping students will be able to use what they are learning through the partnership as they move forward in their careers. In the future, Hawthorne would like to start a program that allows students of all disciplines to work with nonprofits at the Nonprofit Hub.