Kanbe’s Markets is expected to harvest boosted visibility and functionality thanks to a newly announced donation of $30,000 in pro bono marketing services from one of Kansas City’s fastest-growing agencies.
Crux KC selected the nonprofit for its annual “Crux for a Cause” initiative, which is expected to provide an entire year of services from a full in-house marketing team, according to the firm.
“At our core, our purpose is to help our clients’ businesses grow by providing exceptional value through the work we do. Our team’s talent helps to elevate nonprofit brands so they receive more exposure and can expand their organizations,” said Melea McRae, founder and CEO of Crux. “It creates a domino effect: By providing Crux’s services to nonprofits, these organizations can then, in turn, grow their resources to reach and service more people in the community.”
Currently serving more than 250,000 residents and growing its distribution footprint, Kanbe’s Markets, provides access to fresh, affordable and healthy foods to people experiencing food insecurity by working to grow and deliver fresh produce in Kansas City’s food deserts.
“Last year, we saw tremendous growth through grassroots organization as we focused our efforts in expanding our impact through our preexisting stores,” said Max Kaniger, founder and executive director of Kanbe’s Markets. “This engagement with Crux couldn’t come with better timing as we elevate our awareness in the community over the next year. Crux’s services allow us to continue accelerating toward our ultimate goal, which is to make Kansas City the first major city in the country without a food desert.”
Click here to read more about Kaniger’s efforts, which earned him recognition in 2021 as one of Startland News’ inaugural Community Builders to Watch.
Last year’s Crux for a Cause recipient was KC Shepherd’s Center (KCSC), a nonprofit that provides food and vaccine delivery, companionship, educational programming and other services for older adults.
Since engaging Crux’s marketing services in January 2021, KC Shepherd’s Center has grown significantly in programming and staffing to meet the unprecedented demands and impact of COVID on Kansas City’s older adults, according to the firm. Crux developed a full suite of branded marketing materials and guided KCSC in social media and outreach, which contributed to an increase in website traffic and ultimately donations.
“Small nonprofits like ours notoriously don’t have budgets for the very marketing, branding and outreach that would allow us to reach our audiences and raise more money to serve more people,” said Janet Baker, executive director of KC Shepherd’s Center. “The gift of a whole team of experts for an entire year has raised the bar for us. We’re now able to professionally present the important work KC Shepherd’s Center does to support and celebrate Kansas City’s older adults, as well as foster independence and connection to ensure every person is seen, heard and respected.”
Crux for a Cause was established in 2019 to give back to the community in a meaningful way through marketing services.
For its first recipient, Crux partnered with People of All Colors Succeed (POAC), a nonprofit that provides education in diversity, equity and inclusion training for school and corporate settings.
The success from the pilot partnership led to $225,000 in funding for POAC, which allowed Jamie Grayson, founder and CEO, to transition into nonprofit work full time. After the initial engagement, POAC returned as a full-time client and has since partnered with Crux in ongoing efforts, resulting in conversations and panels about DEI across the city in various industries.
Click here to read more about POAC’s efforts to expand DEI education.
As the Crux team continues to grow exponentially — charting a nearly 70-percent increase in revenue from 2021 and a doubled staff — the agency hopes to expand its pro bono offerings to match, McRae said.
Crux was named a finalist for the 2021 Mr. K Award from the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.