Students Help Nonprofits Raise Profiles during 25-Hour PhilADthropy

More than 100 School of Communication students participated in the event.

Coral Gables (February 19, 2013) — More than 100 University of Miami students recently pulled an all-nighter—with a philanthropic twist.

During the fourth annual PhilADthropy event, held on February 8-9, University of Miami School of Communication students provided free advertising and public relations services to 16 South Florida nonprofit organizations in just 25 hours, creating materials such as vibrant advertising, buzz-worthy viral videos, cool websites, and more. Watch a video of the event here.

PhilADthropy began at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 8 and lasted until noon on Saturday, February 9, when final projects were unveiled to the nonprofits during a reception. This year a record 207 organizations applied for help, up from just 11 when the event was established in 2009. Selected nonprofits included Easter Seals South Florida, the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, and the Mystic Force Foundation, an organization working to find a cure for childhood cancer.

PhilADthropy is organized annually by the school’s advertising program and hosted by AD Group, an advertising club for students.

“We are beyond thrilled. We feel like we went to a New York ad agency with an unlimited budget,” said Susie Hansen, of Abandoned Pet Rescue, one of South Florida’s largest no-kill animal shelters, which, through PhilADthropy, received a glossy new brochure, website makeover advice, and several vibrant posters spotlighting the puppies and kittens the organization saves each day.

The event drew 133 student volunteers who, led by UM faculty and industry professionals, applied the skills they have learned in the classroom.

“I was expecting maybe a flyer or two, but I’m walking out with so much more to make people aware of our organization. The students surpassed anything that I could have ever imagined,” said Bianca Caviglia, president and chief operating officer of Guitars Over Guns, an after-school mentoring program that pairs at-risk youths with professional musicians who use popular music to connect with the adolescents and help them overcome the negative influences in their lives.

UM students created an entire branding campaign for Guitars Over Guns, complete with a new logo, advertisements, social media, business cards, and other promotional materials.

“I’m still recovering from working 25 hours straight,” said Katelyn Murray, 21, an advertising student who has participated in the event since it started. “But when you hand over the work that you’ve spent all night creating and see just how grateful the nonprofits are, it’s worth it, and that’s why I come back every year.”

“The event was a huge success,” added Meryl Blau, a UM advertising professor and founder of the event. “The students put their heart and souls into it, and you could tell that from the work they produced. They did a fantastic job, everyone had a lot of fun, and the nonprofits were so happy with the results.”

PhilADthropy was sponsored by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Pasha’s, Conill, Sergio’s Family Restaurants, Titan Reprographics, URAWk Energy Bars, ZICO Coconut Water, popchips, LIME Fresh Mexican Grill at Dadeland, SapientNitro, Ronin Advertising Group, Distraction Magazine, TCBY, and Lionsden Creative, Inc.

For more information, visit, follow PhilADthropy on Twitter, or like the PhilADthropy page on Facebook.

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