Welcome to the Loyola University Newsroom

Print this page

Student-Run Communications Agency Celebrates 20 Years of Sweet Success

Loyola press release - March 23, 2017

The Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications has provided free PR, advertising and design services to more than 300 area businesses, while training young professionals.

Loyola University New Orleans student-run and full-service communication agency, The Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications, celebrates 20 years of helping New Orleans-based nonprofits achieve success.

Having served more than 300 clients since its inception, ranging from the Tipitina’s Foundation to Second Harvest Food Bank, the Donnelley Center provides completely free hands-on public relations, advertising and design services giving students from any major real-world experience in the communication field.

Working with 19 different nonprofits this year alone, the Donnelley Center helps clients devise creative communication solutions with services including social media, event planning, media relations, graphic design, branding, videography, photography, strategic planning and content editing.

In 2016, the Donnelley Center surveyed clients and found that 100 percent of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the benefits of their collaboration outweighed any potential costs for the client and that the deliverables created by the center were valuable. The survey also found that 80 percent of the respondents agreed that the staff met or exceeded expectations in the quality of students’ work and the quality of deliverables.

“Every day, Loyola students go to work in the Donnelley Center, bringing fresh perspectives and Gen-Z insight to marketing and publicity efforts for local nonprofits that are hoping to expand their reach,” said Wren Overesch, senior design major and student director of the center. “Armed with social media, branding and public relations skills gleaned in Loyola’s award-winning School of Mass Communication, Loyola students help new and local nonprofits to cultivate their consumer audiences and catapult the strength of their brand and name recognition.”

On Monday, March 13, The Donnelley Center toasted their 20th Anniversary with Loyola alumna Shawn Donnelley, the Loyola University community, and faculty who have supervised students since the center’s opening in 1996. The event was planned entirely by the Donnelley staff.

Founder of the center, Shawn Donnelley is the president of Strategic Giving, a Chicago-based firm providing consultation on philanthropy. Her commitment to Chicago’s nonprofit community was recognized by Today’s Chicago Woman magazine, which named Donnelley one of “100 Women Making a Difference in Chicago,” and by Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network.

“Because of Shawn’s vision and support, the Donnelley Center has evolved into a world-class agency that services local nonprofits and benefits all of the New Orleans community,” said Dr. Sonya Duhé, director of the award winning School of Mass Communication. “Working in the Donnelley Center, Loyola students serve as practicing professionals, benefiting the community as they grow their skills, their networks, and their resumés.”