A company that builds playground equipment that produces electricity for children in Ghana is the recipient of a year of free marketing from Cohn Marketing.
Empower Playgrounds makes a merry-go-round that children push and play on, and it in turn charges LED lamps for their classroom. The company, founded by Ben Markham, was one of three winners in Cohn Marketing's online contest that was part of the company's philanthropic 10-year anniversary initiative called The Power of 10. Cohn Marketing will do one year of advertising and planning work for the local non-profit.
"Empower Playgrounds, Inc., located in Provo, enhances education in rural Ghanaian schools by providing electricity-generating playground equipment, portable LED lanterns, and hands-on science kits and curriculum," a written statement from Cohn Advertising reads. "Cohn Marketing will assist Empower Playgrounds with its messaging platform to promote its future fundraising and awareness efforts."
"Cohn Marketing's 'Power of 10' gives us an opportunity to define some of our key messages for donors, stakeholders and the rest of our audiences," Markham said. "Empower Playgrounds is doing some pretty amazing things in Ghana to support education and energy efforts for rural parts of the country. With Cohn's help, we hope to be able to tell our story more effectively."
Markham says with Cohn's expertise in brand imaging, Empower Playgrounds will receive help in finding corporate donors and establishing partnerships with national entities. "The great thing is we get outside help with a strategic plan. We need to get more to Ghana," said Chris Owen, director of development for Empower Playgrounds.
An existing partnership with Playworld Systems resulted in the entire Empower system packaged in one crate -- merry-go-round, LED lanterns and everything needed to set up the system. The playground generators can be shipped more easily, saving money for the nonprofit.
Empower Playgrounds is supported by donations and volunteers. "Most donors are families and individuals," Owen said. "We want to use their donations efficiently and think Cohn Marketing can give us guidance with that," he added.
Markham's inspiration for the power-generating play equipment came from his memories of playing on the merry-go-round at the Thurber School in Spanish Fork. He says working with Empower Playgrounds is "overwhelmingly satisfying." Empower Playground has made progress in the last three years with the help of many volunteers, "solid work by solid people," he said.