In its fourth year, Darby Communications' Stand Up Initiative isn't slowing down. The small PR agency is expanding the pro-bono service by joining forces with another Asheville-based agency, Status Forward.

Instead of one lucky nonprofit per quarter, the team will select two environmental organizations, and instead of 25 hours of services for three months, each recipient will get 100 hours for six months to execute a marketing campaign. 

“We are extremely proud of the important work we’ve achieved in the fight to protect our wild and natural spaces with the Stand Up Initiative,” states Angie Robinson, Vice President of Darby Communications. 

Darby Communications started the program in November 2016 as a response to "changing tides for environmental non-profits as a result of the 2016 election." Since then, the boutique agency has provided 300 hours of services to past recipients, including the following:

  • The Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan Partnership
  • Friends of the Smokies
  • American Alpine Club
  • Grand Staircase Escalante Partners
  • Bee City USA
  • Friends of the Woodfin Greenway & Blueway

Robinson said organizations with specific projects in mind will stand out and must have an environmental focus, such as climate change, deforestation mitigation, upholding the boundaries of public lands, clean air, and clean water. 

While Darby Communications brings public relations and media outreach talents, Status Forward specializes in organic search engine optimization, graphic and digital design, and website development.

"Preserving and protecting healthy outdoor spaces is really a core part of our mission," Status Forward Founder and Managing Director Laurel Scherer said. "We look forward to contributing our expertise in digital strategy, design, and technology as we work together to foster a world where people are connected with a healthy outdoors and are empowered to help preserve our natural world.”

The application process opens to both regional and national environmental nonprofits on Nov. 1 and closes on Dec. 15. Selections will be announced in January 2020. Apply here.

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