PR News 2016 CSR Awards: CSR on a Shoestring

Winner: Havas PR North America - Huerta Scholarship: The First Hour for the First Americans

As the public relations agency for the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program (IPLP) at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law, one of Havas PR's most resounding success stories has been the First Hour for the First Americans fundraising drive.

That initiative was a donation-matching drive for the Huerta Scholars Program, established in honor of Judge Lawrence Huerta, the first Native American to graduate from the College of Law (Class of '53) and practice in Arizona. Native Americans who want to follow in Huerta's footsteps and attend the law school can apply for scholarships. The overall goal of this initiative for Havas was to raise $100,000.

Native American alumni of UA's College of Law have benefited from university scholarships and have no tradition of philanthropy, so the college wanted to introduce them to giving back through a meaningful, simple and very modest giving plan.

Havas helped connect the IPLP with #GivingTuesday, the global day dedicated to charitable giving (and a client of Havas PR's), to launch the fundraising drive on #GivingTuesday in December 2014. #GivingTuesday was perfect because it's a microphilanthropy initiative based in social media. The First Hour for the First Americans campaign got its name because prospective supporters were being asked to donate the dollar equivalent of the first billable hour of their day on #GivingTuesday to the scholarship fund.

Havas PR successfully spread the word in the media, with placements on CBS 5's morning show; in AZ Attorney, Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic, Indian Country and Navajo Times; and on SDPR Radio, for 2 million total media impressions. All of that helped lead the law school to exceeding its goal as more than 100 donors of all sizes gave more than $175,000.

Honorable Mentions:
• CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC - Delivering Josiah's Dream Day
• CIT Group - Foodortunity Contest
• Experian
• Golden State Foods Foundation - Golden State Foods Gets Rolling Across the Country with Build-A-Bike
• Havas PR North America - Educating Readers About Arizona’s State of Teaching
• Lippe Taylor - Cetaphil Camp Wonder Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary
• Pepco Holdings Inc. - Pepco Edison Place Gallery
• Triomphant Communications - ABPS - physician staffing within VA Hospitals