It’s been said that “big changes start with small steps”, and while planning an event may seem frivolous in light of the many recent events around the world, we want to challenge each of you to think about your events as potential vessels for positive change. Event planning can make a difference and it’s surprising how little effort it takes to make an impact in your community through your events. With more companies than ever adopting policies to support their surrounding neighbourhoods, it’s time to consider the difference you can make as an individual. Here are some simple ways to make an impact through your supplier selections, donation of leftovers and fundraising initiatives.
Event planning for a cause…here’s 3 super simple ways you can make a difference with your next company function:
Work with vendors who donate event ‘waste’
Let’s face it, events can be wasteful. However, one-time use items like florals and leftover food & beverage items are opportunities for reducing such waste. Use your purchasing power as a planner for good by selecting supplier partners with existing relationships in place to help you donate event leftovers to disadvantaged community members. For example, when selecting your venue and catering suppliers, ask if they’re a part of The Greater Vancouver Food Bank’s Food Runners Program, a program that picks-up excess food items to create meals for people in need. Or choose a floral supplier like Olla Urban Flower Project, who will not only create your lovely arrangements, but will also help re-direct your florals after the event to bring joy to disadvantaged individuals living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Support a social enterprise
Social enterprises are businesses where their primary purpose is the common good, not the bottom line. They employ, train and provide opportunities to people facing barriers to traditional employment, while investing their profits back into their communities. Looking for a catering supplier? What about gifts for your attendees? There are social enterprises out there for almost any type of supplier you may need to work with for your next event. For example, Common Thread is a social enterprise that works with newcomers to Canada to turn street banners into hand-sewn bags, notebooks and anything else you can dream up! They can even brand items making them perfect for swag bags at a conference or to give as gifts at a client appreciation event.
Add a charitable component to your event
Sometimes you just want to go above and beyond to help out a good cause. When selecting a charity make sure that they either support the theme of your event, is industry relevant, aligns with your company’s mission or is dedicated to a cause important to your team.
Here’s some additional ways your event could help benefit a charity:
- Donate a percentage of ticket sales or bar proceeds
- Host a food, clothing, toiletry or toy drive
- In lieu of a gift, donate a nominal amount on behalf of each attendee
- Place a donation jar at registration
- Arrange volunteer time as a group activity
Source: spca.bc.ca – Team Telus donating their time to help clean out a barn that is home to rescued farm animals at the Surrey SPCA
Want your next company function to make a difference? We can help! Whether you’re looking for other ideas to support a great cause, names of suppliers who can facilitate donations or are looking to work with other social enterprises please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.