Martin Ekechukwu starts new initiative to connect influencers with small businesses

Donate 1 Post is a charitable organization asking influencers to provide one free upload in support of small owned and operated businesses.

A new initiative aims to pair social media influencers with small, Black-owned businesses to continue customer engagement and patronage as the coronavirus outbreak continues to reshape the world.

Martin Ekechukwu, the founder of the marketing consulting firm WHTWRKS, launched a new initiative to aid in COVID-19 relief. Ekechukwu is a brand builder himself and saw an opportunity to use his skills to help smaller companies sustain through the pandemic by launching Donate 1 Post.

READ MORE: 50 + Black businesses to support during the coronavirus pandemic

Lead by WHTWRKS and JOY Collective, Donate 1 Post is a charitable organization asking public figures to provide one free upload in support of small owned and operated businesses, promoting their product or service to their millions of followers.

“It just made sense that when everything kind of collapsed, we were sitting there and said, ‘Listen, what can we really do to help out?’ Because ultimately our role is to help brands get closer to their audiences,” Ekechukwu told theGrio.

He continues, “Early one evening, I called a couple of my un-policed friends with like several hundred thousand followers to say, ‘Hey, listen, if I found one small business to match with you, would you give them a post? Would you give them something, some level of love and awareness within social media to be able to help them bring their fans to the business, small website or e-commerce supply?’ They immediately said, ‘OK, sure.”

READ MORE: Roughly 95% of Black-owned businesses shut out of coronavirus relief

Ekechukwu hoped for a big 2020 before society’s abrupt change. His businesses, which looked to potentially break-out after a successful first quarter, were hindered by the economic shutdown this spring.

“We basically went from massive revenue planning, massive profit planning for the year to about 25% of that,” he explains. “Right now we’re literally trying to build back up from where we were from last year. So it’s been really damaging me. Thankfully for us, we have some incredible clients that have been still giving us a lot of business.”

By starting Donate 1 Post, Ekechukwu has contributed to growth in several markets. Through client response, he has been able to measure the success of Donate 1 Post.

“Honestly, the feedback has been really heartwarming,” he says to theGrio. “For example, Dionna Dorsey from District of Clothing. She sent a heartfelt note saying thank you so much for an uptick in her traffic on our Web site. When my really good friends, Ray Warren from the CDC Town Clock, which is a charitable organization, they merely saw an uptick in donations… Everyone that we’ve ultimately helped has seen some level of an uptick. I can’t guarantee a sale. I can guarantee the conversion.”

He hopes to expand the organization beyond COVID-19 support to a functioning platform that connects influencers to Black and brown-owned businesses in a beneficial relationship for all parties involved. Donate 1 Post is still signing up both influencers and brands to take part in the initiative at