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Friday, Feb 3, 2023
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Brandit for a Cause Boosts the Area’s Nonprofits

Small-business owners eager to improve their marketing plans while simultaneously helping nonprofit agencies boost their fund-raising efforts have a new option.

The Brandit for a Cause program, formerly known as Marketing Dollars for Scholars, encourages small-business owners to develop a marketing campaign that promises to donate 5 percent of all sales made throughout the campaign to a specified nonprofit agency. In exchange, the business owner can receive the tax advantages of a business expense and a charitable donation.

“Our focus is on helping the smaller guys so they can compete with the big guys,” said Tina Indalecio, the chief executive officer of Runaway Brandit, Inc., the East Village-based marketing company offering the program.

Runaway Brandit initially publicized the Marketing Dollars for Scholars program late last month, promising to raise money for Adventure Scholars, a Normal Heights-based group that helps students who do community service obtain money for college.

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Now about 60 percent of Runaway Brandit’s client base is interested in the program. Indalecio said that the response to the Marketing Dollars for Scholars program was so great that she recently decided to expand the program so more nonprofits could be helped.

As a small-business owner herself, Indalecio said she understands the need to keep costs low; that’s why she’s chosen to target them with the program.

“Most of us small-business owners don’t have a lot of money and we’d like to contribute to the community, but you have to pay your own bills first,” she said. “I hope through this program we can help people do both.”

Indalecio is seeking five to six nonprofit agencies to partner with during the program’s inaugural year. Her intent is to find smaller, lesser-known local nonprofits as opposed to national charities that already receive significant funding and press attention. She said although other nonprofits are about to enter the picture, Adventure Scholars will continue to be part of the program.

With the Marketing Dollars for Scholars program, Indalecio had hoped to raise a minimum of $250,000, but now that the program is more inclusive, she said she’d like to raise $1 million during the next few years.

Indalecio’s company was founded in 1998 under the name Vim Group and renamed Runaway Brandit, Inc. in 2004.

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To Charge Or Not To Charge:

Small-business owners confused about just how credit works are being encouraged to attend a credit repair clinic at Southwestern College.

The Small Business Development and International Trade Center at Southwestern will host the clinic from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, March 8, at the center’s main office in building No. 1600 at 900 Otay Lakes Road in Chula Vista.

Cost is $20 per person. Small-business owners can register by calling (619) 482-6391.

Among the topics that will be covered during the clinic are understanding a credit report, improving a credit rating, the implications of too much credit, who is authorized to view someone else’s credit report, and what banks look for when reviewing someone’s credit report.


Send small-business news to Jessica Long at jlong@sdbj.com. She can also be reached at (858) 277-6359, Ext. 3114.

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