Why A Charitable Component Makes Your Meeting Great
Event audiences come together for the single purpose of evolving an organization’s goals, but nowadays events need to stand for more than just improving the company’s fiscal state. In an age where budgets are more eagle-eyed than ever before, companies, employees and attendees alike are demanding their events include ways to make cultural, environmental, charitable, or other significant impacts. This here-to-stay trend is born out of the emphasis on corporate social responsibility, or CSR, (a term popularized in the 1960’s) which has exploded in importance.
Meeting Professionals International describes CSR as “the responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society, the environment and its own prosperity, known as the ‘triple bottom line’ of people, planet, and profit.”
In addition to giving back to those in need and building a healthy, giving- corporate culture, integrating CSR program experiences into your events:
- Unquestionably demonstrates your company’s commitment to the cause(s).
- Changes the perception of your company to one of selflessness.
- Increases camaraderie and personal connections amongst attendees.
- Can bridge the differences between attendees in challenging times because everyone is working towards a common purpose.
- Adds a deeper understanding and dimension to the overall event.
- May only take a day but has the potential to give back for a lifetime.
So now that you know the trend toward meaningful meetings is a trend unlikely to wane, what are some ways you can make sure your next event takes action, gives back, and makes an impact?
For destination meetings – provide attendees with the option to give back to the community. This could include cleaning up a local park, painting a public school, or taking on a shift at the nearby homeless shelter. In addition, you can bring in a dedicated cultural ambassador to the meeting, so attendees can learn more about the local landscape and its people.
Or you can create “give back” stations at the meeting venue. For instance, attendees could build bikes for local orphanages or put together care packages for people in the military.
Partner with a charity
Partner with a local or nationwide charitable organization to create a team building experience that inspires team unity, compassion, and awareness. Even better, partner with one that is relevant to your company’s mission statement. For example, a business whose products or services cater primarily to women may choose to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to support the fight against breast cancer. While a business that manufacturers children’s toys may opt to participate in or host a toy drive.
Some businesses have found that taking a collection during the meeting for a local cause can be as effective and morale boosting as volunteering.
Take steps to make the meeting green. For example, choose e-invites and meeting apps over paper. Print materials on recycled paper and donate leftover foods and snacks to the local homeless shelter.
So how’s about you make your next event a good one?! Run for charity. Build a home. Collect and donate food. The list goes on. Events that have a charitable component are the ones where everyone wins!