In early April, we launched the #OneforTwo giving campaign and challenge with the goal of spreading positivity and hope while supporting the businesses and people that make our communities so special.

The premise of the campaign was simple: organize an activity, event or gift that benefits a small business, nonprofit or individual in your community AND also provides your internal team with a well-earned break from today’s challenges. It’s one action that has twice the impact. And as an added incentive, one lucky company would receive $500 to donate to the charity or small business of their choice.

We’re excited to announce that McCann Partners is the winner of the #OneforTwo challenge! Read on to see which two organizations Megan McCann, CEO & Founder of McCann Partners, is choosing to receive the $500 donation as well as more details about  her organization’s participation in the challenge and how they’re giving back during these uncertain times.

1. Why did you decide to participate in the #OneforTwo challenge and what were the chosen activities?

Our hope with selected #OneforTwo activities was to surprise and delight people – to be a bright spot in their inbox and day. And, to be very honest, we started these activities even before the challenge because we wanted to provide some inspiration to the community we serve and support. Every little bit helps because we are #InThisTogether! A handful of our chosen activities follow:

  • Music is Medicine: We created several playlists thanks to DJ Megan Taylor and shared with clients, consultants, partners, family and more.
  • Movement as Magic: We partnered with Pilates + Coffee to share a series of videos to further encourage movement for clients and consultants.
  • Nourishment for Strength: We surprised some of the team at Guaranteed Rate working on the front lines with Grubhub gift cards to order from local restaurants.
  • Elements of Surprise: We gifted our team and loved ones with treats from small businesses to say “Thank You,” “Happy Birthday” and “Happy Mother’s Day.”
  • Essential Equipment: We purchased face masks via a local company beExxtra, who pivoted from its custom tailor business (Nicholas Joseph) into bringing in masks and other items needed for the pandemic. Purchases benefitted both YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago and other local hospitals in need of equipment for their healthcare providers.
  • Moving Forward: This list continues to evolve…

2. Tell us about your organization and how the #OneforTwo challenge aligned with your culture.

Lifting and supporting others is a core value at McCann Partners. The #OneforTwo challenge speaks to that very ideal. Meaningful connections and lifting others is a perfect recipe for giving back and being of service to those that we support.

3. What was the inspiration around the #OneforTwo activities you chose?

COVID-19 has changed all of us. McCann Partners is no exception. We had to make difficult decisions, which impacted people we love and respect. In thinking through where and how to allocate spending and support businesses, we made a decision to focus on female-founded organizations as much as possible – to help and support them through this unprecedented and uncertain time.

4. How did the activities impact the local businesses you supported?

 Our hope is that by supporting local and female-founded organizations with our activities, we would drive others to do the same. I am proud to say that I have anecdotes to support the fact that our hypothesis is fact vs. fiction. (Yeah, to women supporting women! Case-in-point, participating in the #OneforTwo challenge supports a female-founded organization: ClearEdge Marketing. I would guess, the impact is reverberating!)

5. What do you plan to do with your $500 donation?

We will be donating to two organizations: The Sadie McCann Fund and i.c.stars.

The Sadie McCann Fund is a charitable organization committed to assisting families who are caring for a child with Aicardi Syndrome. The Fund provides direct financial assistance to support families and children living with this challenging diagnosis. The board of directors has been meeting on a regular basis over the last several months to provide $500 microgrants to families impacted by COVID-19. This grant opportunity is outside of the normal grants awarded, and to date 20 families have been supported.

And i.c.stars is a nonprofit that identifies, trains and helps jump-start careers for low-income young adults. I recently had the opportunity to participate in a virtual High Tea with some of the future tech professionals in the program, and it was incredible. I was humbled by the group and their desire to create meaningful change. I was reminded of the importance of the program and its impact on so many – myself included! It also is a way to support the Chicago tech community.

In the spirit of the #OneforTwo challenge, I will match the donation to each organization, so each will receive $500 in total.

6. Why should others continue planning #OneforTwo activities during this time and beyond?

#OneforTwo is a pay-it-forward mentality. It’s like the “Parlay Effect” from Anne Devereux-Mills’ book The Parley Effect: How Female Connection Can Change the World. It is the belief and notion that one small action can result in meaningful change – and that is EVERYTHING!

7. Do you have any plans to continue this giving effort moving forward?

 Absolutely! This initiative will continue to drive us forward!

8. What other ideas do you have for future #OneforTwo events, activities or gifts?

I will continue to look for female-founded organizations to support. For example, sending gift boxes from Vosges Chocolate or hosting health- and nutrition-focused webinars with female entrepreneurs like Dr. Abby Kramer of Be Optimal Holistic Health Center or Sheena Lawrick of Beyond the Box Nutrition.

9. As you reflect on what has transpired around us over the last few months, from a personal and professional perspective, what will you take forward from this experience that will help you thrive in the future?

 I started a list of lessons learned thanks to COVID-19 that I am sharing for the first time here:

  • Community is everything.
  • Uncertainty helps us develop a greater understanding between want and need.
  • It’s important to slow down to speed up.
  • Authenticity in communication is vital.
  • When helping others fulfill their potential, magic happens. (Thank you, Sara Blakely.)
  • Everything I need to succeed is already on my back. (Again, thank you, Sara Blakely.)
  • It’s important to understand the power of – and difference between – positivity and optimism. (Thank you, Simon Sinek.)
  • Human connection comes in many forms.
  • Creativity is a powerful tool.
  • Asking for help and guidance is not a sign of weakness.
  • Rituals are grounding, especially in times of uncertainty.
  • Only we can control our response.
  • Gratitude for life’s abundance is an imperative.
  • When there is darkness, there also always is light.
  • Loss hurts and is unimaginable.
  • Worry can be all-consuming.
  • Inspiration abounds – it is only a matter of focus.
  • Evolution and change bring opportunity.
  • We have the power of choice.
  • Being brave to do what needs to be done can be excruciatingly difficult, however necessary.
  • Opinions inform decisions, not make them.
  • Blessing abound, even during unprecedented hardship.
  • Perspective requires a wide lens, so take a step (or 10) back and away.
  • Together, we will rise.
  • Tears can offer a release to many emotions, joy, sorrow, pain, uncertainty and more.
  • Consistently pause in gratitude for the many who help, both in large and small ways.
  • We are privileged.
  • The beauty of stillness brings enlightenment and an appreciation of what is around us that we take for granted.
  • We can build the muscle that is resiliency.
  • Facing fears brings peace and acceptance.
  • Heroes emerge at the most unexpected and yet important moments.
  • We alone own the path to our future; the light within us can guide the way.
  • Love, compassion and kindness abounds.
  • There is magic everywhere.

 We loved seeing the creativity of #OneforTwo activities throughout April and May, and we challenge organizations to keep the #OneforTwo giving going! Check out our #OneforTwo Giving Campaign and Challenge blog post for more ideas.

We’re #InThisTogether to #EndthisTogether.