The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

How Boston agency built Marathon 'The One Fund' in just SEVEN hours


By Noel Young, Correspondent

April 21, 2013 | 3 min read

A relief fund for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing was set up just over 24 hours after the attack - complete with logo and website - with Boston agency Hill Holliday at the centre of the action.

The 20-minute logo!

The drive started within hours of last Monday's attack, with city mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick brainstorming ways to help victims, AdAge reported.

They conferred with Jim Gallagher, VP of long-standing event sponsor insurance giant John Hancock. On Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., he took part in a conference call with Hill Holliday CEO Mike Sheehan and president Karen Kaplan.

Within seven hours, Hill Holliday had created One Fund Boston.

"Communicating mostly by texts, about a dozen key players at Hill Holliday, Hancock and the Mayor's Office managed to create the foundation from scratch," said AdAge.

By Friday the fund had raised an estimated $10 million from corporate contributors and individual donors.

Among them: Hancock; Bain Capital; AT&T; Adidas;Bank of America; Partners HealthCare; JetBlue and Boston ad agency Mullen. Also in there: baseball giant Boston Red Sox; basketball's Boston Celtics; and ice hockey team Boston Bruins.

"Boston is a big city, but it's a small town," Sheehan told Adage. "When Mayor Menino wants something done, there's instant cooperation and not an ounce of bureaucracy."

During the 10 a.m. conference call Tuesday, John Hancock said they would get the new fund rolling with a $1 million donation. The Mayor's office wanted to announce the fund at 5 p.m. press conference Tuesday night - so Hill Holliday didn't have much time.

Sheehan coined the name "One Fund" as a way to centralise fund-raising. In New York after 9/11 there was lot of splintering of effort .The idea was to avoid that.

Agency designer James Adame created the new logo seen here from scratch within 20 minutes.

The logo went to the Mayor's office and Gallagher for approval. It was approved by 11 a.m. Next came the website., with agency technologist, John Running, registering multiple "One Fund" domains on his personal credit card.

Hill Holliday used PayPal to set up the mechanism for donations. Law firm Goodwin Procter (which works with both Hill Holliday and Hancock), volunteered to register the fund and handle legal paperwork.

By 5 p.m. Tuesday night, the new One Fund Boston was in business and accepting donations at The number of individual donors ran to the thousands by Friday.

Congratulations to one and all!


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +