Giving Back: How Pro Bono Copywriting Helps Students Succeed

As we dive into the season of giving after a busy year, it’s natural for our thoughts to turn to giving back. Donations are a great way to contribute. But a helping hand can go an even longer way, especially for an educational startup. Knowing this, the team at MarketSmiths was pleased to bestow our Pro Bono Copywriting Scholarship for 2017 to an inspiring Brooklyn-based non-profit called V-ELMS.

V-ELMS, or Virtual Education Life Skills Mentoring Services, gathers a network of volunteers to mentor under-privileged kids in Brooklyn who need an extra push to get excited about school. Founder Brett Truitt infected us with her passion and excitement from the get-go, and we could clearly see that her project—a new website, with fresh copy—deserved special attention.

Hitting the Ground Running

Kicking off the project, Brett’s passion and dedication—and that of her team—were palpable. They talked about how their mentorship truly changed kids’ lives. 99% of their students went on to graduate from middle school—no small feat. They bring their A game to help guide and inspire kids, and they asked us to bring our A game as well.

Our first instinct was to bring focus to the copy—eliminating long-winded explanations, and making the value of the non-profit clear, crisp, and sparkling (sort of like snowflakes). So, in our discovery call, we wanted to hone in on that value—understand the organization’s mission and vision, hear about a few success stories, get the details of their mentoring style, and the like.

Inspired Work Leads to Inspired Copywriting

Working with V-ELMS was simultaneously inspiring and humbling. Brett and her team donate not only their time, but also substantial personal investment, to help these kids shine. Their selflessness really encouraged us to not only exceed expectations with their copy, but to continue to seek out opportunities for giving back to our own communities.

Specifically, investing time and resources in young talent helps build a better community and a more inspired workforce. And while it’s the V-ELMS board and team of mentors doing the hard work, we can go to bed peacefully knowing that we did a little bit to help out.

To conclude our project, Brett expressed her “sincere gratitude for your vision, wisdom, and altruistic act toward the underserved.” At this point, we’re now just waiting for V-ELMS to update their website so we can see the fresh copy on an intriguing new site.

The next step for us? Finding a worthy organization to support in 2018 with our writing expertise—and help bring them the funds and attention they deserve.

If you’d like to apply, send an email with “2018 Scholarship” in your subject line, and send it to describing your organization, your mission, your target audience, your key values, and why you need MarketSmiths copy. We look forward to hearing from you!

Caroline Harrington

Caroline Harrington

Caroline likes to say that all roads led to MarketSmiths. With a resume full of
communications experiences that include PR, journalism, and publishing, she feels the
common thread for her has always been a desire to write. If you ask her grandmother, she’ll say that
Caroline was born to write.

In her free time, Caroline likes to troll Pinterest for DIY projects, explore art museums, and eat her way through NYC—all while quoting Lord of the Rings.

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