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Bead A-Wearness: Raising Awareness and Funds for Non-Profit Causes

PROVIDENCE, RI and Portland, Maine (March 30, 2011) – Some might say maintaining a portfolio of over 50 percent non-profit organizations is crazy. But others would say it has paid off for Im-aj …

PROVIDENCE, RI and Portland, Maine (March 30, 2011) – Some might say maintaining a portfolio of over 50 percent non-profit organizations is crazy. But others would say it has paid off for Im-aj Communications & Design, Inc., an integrated marketing communications and design firm based in RI and Maine. Unlike most competitors in the industry, Im-aj has managed to focus half its business on supporting non-profits since its launch in 1986. The other half is a wide array of companies, from retail, banking and technology to hospitality, transportation and real estate, and just about everything in between.

“Supporting clients who are creating positive change means a lot to us,” says Jami Ouellette, president and brand manager of Im-aj. “We feel good that we can offer them a level of strategy and creativity that many non-profits often cannot afford. And every one of our non-profit clients is made up of amazingly committed groups of individuals doing amazing things.”

Im-aj offers their non-profit clients the same support they offer the for-profit world, whether it’s branding, integrated marketing communications strategies, collaterals, web, social media, or crisis communications. But they also offer fundraising support, which can take many forms – such as planning, videos, events, websites, and more.

“Needless to say, fundraising and building awareness are two of the most important tasks for non-profits,” says Ouellette. “Without both, they can’t accomplish their goals, especially these days when state and federal funding is scarcer than ever.”

It was while working with a non-profit client, discussing ways to raise awareness about women who are homeless, when an idea came to life – why not leverage one of the biggest trends around and give people the opportunity to wear their causes proudly on their bracelets? As of that moment, Im-aj started designing custom beads for customers – beads that can be worn on leather bracelets with sterling clasps or worn on existing bracelets, even those by famous brands, such as Pandora™.

“It was the perfect match of our talents,” adds Ouellette. “We are always looking for ways to build awareness and visibility for our clients. To create an item that accomplishes visibility and fundraising in such a big way is a huge win-win. And I designed jewelry for many years so I have the experience, the contacts and the industry know how.”

Since the launch of this product less than one month ago, Im-aj has received calls from a dozen non-profits, in three states, and is already in the process of designing three beads. And, according to Ouellette, it’s just the beginning. “We envision donors wearing ‘Cause Bracelets’ with a bead for each cause they support, which will also inspire others to get behind their charitable work as they ask about the bead and its significance.”

As an extension to the concept, Ouellette also has interest from corporations who will use the beads for employee recognition.

Ouellette appears monthly on Patricia Raskin’s Positive Business show on WPRV 790 and 790business.com. She will discuss the beads on her next appearance on April 1 at 4:30 p.m. She will also appear on Raskin’s Positive Living show on Sunday April 3 at 1:00 p.m., on WPRO 630AM, www.630PRO.com and 97.7FM. That show will be focused on her experience in serving the non-profit world as well as her new book, In Innocence of Beauty.

To learn more, contact Ouellette at 401-654-6663 or jouellette@imajcommunications.com.

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Since its founding in 1986, Im-aj has specialized in branding, integrated marketing communications planning, public and media relations, collaterals, advertising and multi-media campaigns, crisis communications, public affairs/government-relations support, education, awareness, fundraising, and community engagement; 
and, for the past 12 years, web development, online marketing, and emerging technology/social/viral marketing.

Im-aj is a certified Minority-owned/Woman-owned Business (MBE/DBE) with offices in West Kingston and Providence, Rhode Island and Portland, Maine.

www.imajcommunications.com

www.facebook.com/imajcomm

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