Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Incorporating Effectual CSR Moments

By Beth Buehler

We Don't Waste
We Don’t Waste ensures uneaten event foods go to people in need. || Courtesy of We Don’t Waste

When organizations rally the troops for annual meetings, conferences, retreats, and other events, many planners find creative ways to weave in elements that give back to the host community. At all stages of the event process, from planning to cleanup, there are opportunities to do good for the destination through corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Here are four suggestions from We Don’t Waste, a Denver-based nonprofit, regarding how to help—even after the event is over. 

Donate excess food: Work with Denver’s We Don’t Waste or similar organizations as your local food-recovery partner to ensure uneaten breakfast pastries, boxed lunches, and afternoon snacks feed people in need instead of ending up in landfills. We Don’t Waste will pick up unused food from event venues and catering companies and redistribute it to local nonprofits such as food pantries, schools, and more.

Volunteer locally: Build into your conference programming a half-day volunteering opportunity that supports an area nonprofit aligned with corporate-giving goals. Whether it’s organizing food at a local pantry, working in gardens, planting trees, or walking shelter animals, a day spent in the community brings the team together for a positive project.

Incorporate a giveback: For events with paid registrations, choose a nonprofit in the host city and donate a percentage of the conference fees. During the event, be sure to share with attendees how much money they raised for a local cause by simply showing up.

Incentives for participation: During speaker and panel sessions that include opportunities for questions, galvanize attendees by pledging donations for participation. For example, for each question asked aloud or sent via text, through the conference app, or over social media could result in anywhere from $1 to $100 donated to a local nonprofit organization. 

Providing opportunities for attendees to plug into a company’s CSR goals helps build strong teams and instill powerful feelings of a greater purpose.