Throughout the last couple weeks, my kids have been making cute turkeys. We made them in my daughter’s Daisy troop with pinecones and feathers. Then she made one at school and wrote for what and for whom she was thankful on each feather. Also at school, my boys wrote thank you poems and sang Thanksgiving songs.
It touches me to hear how thankful they are for simple things like pouring their cereal, or as my daughter wrote, “my brothers and drinks, like pop.”
Granted, as adults, our blessings may not be so black and white. But just think what a difference the words “thank you,” and the simple gestures that go with that phrase, could make in the lives of your customers.
O.K. So you’re not going to make pinecone turkeys or sing songs, but saying “thank you” can be as simple as a coupon, a Christmas card or, on a larger scale, a food drive.
“Destination Michigan believes that giving back to the communities in which we hold our events is an integral part of the meeting experience,” said Kim Corcoran, general manager. “If you’ve been in this business long enough, you’ve seen ups and downs in the economy. You realize that meetings are dependent on the economy surviving, innovating and saving. So to be able to give back to those in need is a great way to showcase the ways that meeting professionals contribute and persist in today’s world.”
At its showcase on Nov. 6, Destination Michigan collected 425 pounds of food, which it donated to the Greater Lansing Food Bank. It asked each vendor to bring an item to donate as part of Destination Michigan’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.
According to Wikipedia, CSR is “a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders.”
In other words, it’s striving for social good. Making a difference. Giving back. Saying “thank you.”
Last week, I wrote about #GivingTuesday, which will occur on Dec. 3. And food drives are some of the most common ways in which companies will participate.
From food drives to volunteer opportunities to sponsorships, CSR is becoming an increasingly important factor when customers decide with whom to spend their money. Not to mention, it’s an incredibly effective way to advertise. One of the most popular places CSR shows up: Relay for Life events.
Each year, more than 4 million people in more than 20 countries participate in Relay for Life events, which has proven to be an incredibly powerful fundraising mechanism for the American Cancer Society. The opportunities for corporate sponsorships are endless: T-shirts, signs, giveaways, food.
What better way for your association or nonprofit to emphasize its commitment to CSR?
On June 7, Event Garde will be participating in the East Lansing Relay for Life event. Our team, Event Garde-ians, is looking for sponsors. Sponsorship amounts run from $100 to $15,000. For $1,000, Relay for Life will place a sign with your company logo on the track and on its corporate sponsorship banner.
As your organization budgets for community engagement and explores corporate sponsorship opportunities, I hope you’ll consider contributing to Event Garde-ians’ efforts to fight cancer. As a bonus, I’ll be writing about the companies, organizations and/or nonprofits that sponsor us, so we can help you say “thank you” to those who matter most.
In the meantime, Event Garde would like to thank you as we approach our two-year anniversary. As Thanksgiving approaches, we give thanks for all of you.
From Event Garde to you, Happy Thanksgiving!