January 27, 2022

Crux selects Kanbe’s Markets as annual recipient of $30K pro bono marketing services, creates impact for Shepherd’s Center in 2021

For Immediate Release
January 25, 2021
Contact: Claire Martin
(816) 381-2600 |

Kansas City, Mo. — Local marketing “un-agency” Crux KC (Crux) has selected the nonprofit organization Kanbe’s Markets as its annual recipient for $30,000 worth of marketing services gratis.

The annual initiative, Crux for a Cause, awards one nonprofit with an entire year of marketing services from a full in-house marketing team. This year’s recipient, Kanbe’s Markets (Kanbe’s), 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. Kanbe’s currently serves more than 250,000 residents and counting.

“Last year, we saw tremendous growth through grassroots organization as we focused our efforts in expanding our impact through our preexisting stores,” said Kanbe’s Markets founder and executive director Max Kaniger. “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.”

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 reported a significant increase in donations, an uptick in staffing, programming and website traffic, and a full suite of branded marketing materials for future use.

“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 KCSC executive director Janet Baker. “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 $225K in funding for POAC, which allowed founder & CEO Jamie Grayson 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 DE&I across the city in various industries.

As the Crux team continues to grow exponentially — charting a nearly 70% increase in revenue from 2021 and a doubled staff — the un-agency hopes to expand its pro bono offerings to match.

“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 Crux founder & CEO Melea McRae. “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.”

About Crux KC
Founded in 2016, Crux KC is Kansas City’s “un-agency,” combining the leadership of a fractional CMO with a marketing-department-as-a-service model to provide simple, smart and affordable full-funnel marketing solutions for clients. Because when you’re a business leader looking for growth, you’d rather just get to the point. Crux is your in-house marketing team—outsourced. Everything you need, nothing you don’t. Learn more at


About the author: Crux KC is a Kansas City marketing firm (and the city’s first “un-agency”) that merges executive-level marketing and business strategy to provide a simple, smart and affordable outsourced marketing solution for clients.

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