Posts Tagged Charity

Engaging your Workforce through Corporate Responsibility

corporate giving, charity, causes, CSR, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Written by Staci Simmons | Manager, Marketing Communications and Creative Services

Over the last ten years, corporate responsibility has transformed from a single act of charity, such as sponsorships, volunteerism and community involvement to complete, brand-centric philanthropy. If done well, modern corporate social responsibility practices engrain themselves into the culture of an organization impacting employees, customers, suppliers, and even communities.

Social impact has expanded into every part of the business, by function, unit, and even geography. CSR programs can no longer afford to simply be charitable — social impact needs to be ‘built into’ a company’s strategy showcased across many aspects of operations.

Transform Your Business

  • Consider B-Corp Strategies – B Corporations build their companies around social impact
  • Encourage Influencers – Offer individual incentives for executives and employees who take social responsibility personally and mentor others
  • Create a Portfolio – Outline a portfolio of outreach programs at each level of your organization
  • Think Locally – Choose local or brand-centric activities and interest that align with corporate goals and interests
  • Promote Thoughtfully – Use consideration when sharing your CSR endeavors without diluting your message

Engage Your Workforce

The more aligned your CSR activities are with the company’s culture and values, the more they will resonate with the employees. Attendees who are personally invested will leave your meeting, conference, tradeshow or event with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. For maximum impact, we recommend starting your CSR activity in advance with some friendly competition — it is a great way to raise both awareness and funds early. Be sure to recognize top achievers and high performing teams during your event and continue to support the cause in other ways throughout the year.

Select a CSR Activity

Our clients often ask us what are the most popular CSR programs? It is a hard question to answer as the options are endless and each program is unique and customized for your group based on your objectives, attendees, location, and budget. However, below are some programs that have been a hit with our clients over the years:

  • Arrange a Scavenger Hunt
  • Build a Beehive
  • Host a Game Show
  • Run a Race for a Cure
  • Create a Charity Match
  • Build a Playground for Kids
  • Host Fitness Challenges
  • Clean the Local Ecosystem
  • Adopt a Local or International School
  • Host a Clean Water Challenge
  • Provide Packages for Rescue Animals
  • Build a Home with Habitat for Humanity
  • Pack STEM Education Kits
  • Build a Wheelchair
  • Pack Food/Medicine bags for Project Open Hand
  • Paint Shoes with Soles for Souls
  • Register for Pledge It Forward
  • Build Bikes or Red Wagons for Children

Create a Culture of Giving

As part of our corporate Global Giveback, every year we select a different charity to support and theme our CSR activity. This year we are supporting the fight against hunger. At our annual company event, our employees packed more 26,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. Each month, we designate specific food items which makes it easy for individuals to participate and we track our collective impact. Additionally, our M&IW family is supporting a local pantry through monetary donations, food and hygiene items, and volunteering our time.

Corporations with sound CSR practices have access to many benefits — intrinsic and extrinsic. This incentive drives the implementation of corporate programs at meetings and conferences and events. More so, event marketers see that initiatives are good for business and good for the connectivity of their shareholders.

For more information about best practices in selecting, designing and executing a CSR program for your next event, contact us at marketing@meetings-incentives.com.

 

 

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Project Global Give Back, Ain’t No Stopping Us Now

Written by: Kristie Rogers | Manager, Recruiting & Training

If you asked me what M&IW’s biggest strength is, my answer would be simple – it’s the hearts of our employees. It is not uncommon for the M&IW family go above and beyond for our client, but they go above and beyond for our communities as well!

In the past, we have worked, as a company, for causes such as Make-A-Wish and Relay for Life. Together, we’ve granted two wishes for children in 2016 and have raised thousands of dollars towards cancer research since 2001.

As we celebrated our 50th anniversary, we brainstormed how we could push the envelope and make our 50th year Global Give Back program one to remember. We created the 50 Years/50 Charities initiative. The company was split into 50 teams based on their global location. Each team ranged from four to eight people and were given the opportunity to choose a charity that was close to their hearts. Some chose national charities, such a Big Brothers Big Sisters. Other teams chose local charities, such as the River Bend Nature Center in Racine, WI and the Chestnut Tree House in Sussex, UK. The teams had an entire year to give back to that charity.

Of course, there was also a bit of friendly competition. Teams were competing to raise the most money for their charity or contribute the most volunteer hours. Some teams raised money for their charity by selling bracelets, raffling off baskets of goodies, holding bake sales, and collecting in-kind donations such as school supplies. Others gave back by volunteering as a team, harvesting vegetables for a food pantry, spending time with underprivileged youth, and walking dogs at their local animal shelter.

When it came time to tally the funds raised and time spent volunteering, I was astonished at the results. Together as a company, M&IW volunteered 1,913 hours and raised $28,630 for charities all over the world! It gave me goosebumps to look at the numbers and think about the difference that our company made in just one year. I am so proud of the passion that M&IW has for giving back! The Fox Cities team, Big Hearts, Little Hands, selected Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region and were awarded the 2018 Community Partner Award. “The Meetings & Incentives Worldwide team has been a tremendous blessing throughout the past year. They have volunteered their time at BBBS events, organized a basic needs supply drive in 2017 and a school supply drive for 2018, helped to paint and organize the BBBS Appleton office, and adopted a family in need last holiday season. They barely finish completing one volunteer project before they ask for another. They are a model of philanthropic giving and we are thankful to have them as one of our key partners,” said Lindsay Felon, Executive Director, BBBS.

Our 50 Years/50 Charities drive may have come to an end, but there is no stopping us now! So how do we top that? This year, our focus is on WORLD HUNGER. More than 815 million people, or roughly 1 in 9, suffer from chronic hunger. Even in the United States, 41 million people struggle with hunger.

Our Community:
The first initiative was close to our Global Headquarters in Wisconsin. Our Co-CEO, Jean Johnson, CMP, is helping to start a food pantry in the heart of Racine, WI. At our M&IW Summit, employees were encouraged to donate hygiene items and non-perishable food which were delivered to the food pantry. The shelves will now be stocked when they open later this year. If you are interested in learning more about this give back initiative or supporting the cause, please email marketing@meetings-incentives.com.

The World:
The second initiative was global. We worked with Rise Against Hunger to pack 25,144 meals for children all over the world. That’s right, we put on some stylish hair nets and got to work! It was a really rewarding experience to work as a team to package these meals for those in need. To see our amazing team in action, check out our RISE AGAINST HUNGER video.

We invite you to join us in ending WORLD HUNGER by donating to your local food pantry, starting a food drive at work, volunteering to pack meal,s or make a donation to Rise Against Hunger at www.riseagainsthunger.org.

 

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Group Air Travel Management, Incentive Travel Programs, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – Knockin’ on Hope’s Front Door

Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Specialist

I would like to introduce you to one of our ROCKING Chicagoland-based 50 Years 50 Charities teams, Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Hope’s Front Door. The team members are Jess Baaske, Camila Guerrero, Jessica Menzer, Shauna McNaughton and Olivier Chevallier.

Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Hope’s Front Door selected an organization that offers hope to members of the community who are living in “crisis mode.” Hope’s Front Door provides an entry point to social services for members of the community who need immediate assistance and help in setting up continuing day-to-day support. Hope’s Front Door often acts as a “first responder” to people facing financial and/or medical crises. When clients walk through the doors they determine their immediate needs, and help with food, medical, dental and/or transportation vouchers. Hope’s Front Door then provides a clear pathway into a network of social agencies that can assist with the long-term restructuring of their lives.

When asked why Hope’s Front Door was chosen, Jessica Menzer replied “Hope’s Front Door is a small organization. They don’t have a lot of resources or donors, so everything we do makes a huge impact. A donation as small as $47.70 provides a week’s worth of healthy meals for one child!”

Last fall, Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Hope’s Front Door coordinated a football pool during a huge rival Bears vs. Packers game. The timing was planned in conjunction with Hope’s Front Door’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser which were both held in November. As anticipated, Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Hope’s Front Door had a lot of support from family, friends and the M&IW family. They raised $1020.10! The team’s donation was truly appreciated. Below is a message the team received from Janell Robinson, Executive Director of Hopes Front Door.

I wanted to follow-up with you about the Giving Tuesday campaign. With the help of M&IW, we were able to raise $4,568.30 to provide 96 weeks of meals to neighborhood children.  For the last four years, Hope’s Front Door has participated in Giving Tuesday and has not come close to raising the amount donated this year…and this increased funding means a lot to our community. Your support was especially vital in the 2017 as Hope’s Front Door strived to meet the increased community need. We saw a 24% rise in number of new clients needing assistance, especially families. In 2017, we assisted 200 more children than the previous year. Again, thank you for taking part in Giving Tuesday and giving area families a chance to access nutritional food. We hope you will continue to partner with us in our upcoming projects.

To learn more about Hope’s Front Door, or to donate, please visit http://www.hopesfrontdoor.com/.

 

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – MiraCLE Team

Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Specialist

M&IW’s very own MiraCLE Team assisted in hosting a Trifecta Kentucky Derby on May 5. They combined their time and talents with their chosen 50 Years 50 Charities organization, Mission4Maureen. The MiraCLE Team is made up of the following members from our Cleveland, Ohio location, Heather Hnottavange (team captain), Denise Farrell, David Sachs, Ginenne Rothlisberger and Carly Rick.

Mission4Maureen is a nonprofit charity that provides financial assistance to brain tumor patients, burdened by the staggering cost of treatment. Through their application process, this organization verifies and reviews patient applications and awards grants based upon individual needs and available funds. They also pay bills on behalf of patients. To date, Mission4Marueen has donated more than one million dollars in 47 States!

When asked why Mission4Maureen, Heather Hnottavange responded “This Foundation is very near and dear to my heart as I have had two cousins (Brittany age 13 and Maureen age 34) who passed away from a glioblastoma brain tumor.” Heather continued to say, “Maureen’s family established the Mission4Maureen in honor of my cousin.”

While science seeks a cure, society demands its due. Mortgages, utilities and basic living expenses need to be met, and many brain cancer patients simply do not have the funding to meet everyday obligations. Mission4Maureen is committed to Maureen’s belief that “everyone can do something.” The assistance Mission4Maureen offers comes in the form of rent or mortgage payments, help with utilities or gift cards to a local supermarkets. And, they accomplish the challenge of one unsuspecting, unprepared brain cancer victim at a time. In Maureen’s name, this foundation accepts and embraces the challenge. “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

The Trifecta Kentucky Derby held on Saturday, May 5 raised more than $20,000. The Trifecta Kentucky Derby was broadcast live on the big screen in a local theater. Attendees were treated to a southern menu, Mint Juleps, and Derby Sideboards. Plus, there was a silent auction. Attendees were encouraged to wear outrageous Derby hats. The MiraCLE Team also raised an additional $5,169 by soliciting donations and sponsors as well as selling Super Bowl squares. This team is like the Energizer bunny, they keep going and going and going!

To learn more about Mission4Marueen or to donate, please visit www.mission4maureen.org.

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Caledonia Girl Granted Wish to go the Grammy’s

Written by Marie Johnson, CMP | Director, Marketing & Strategy

A few years ago, our organization launched Project Global Give Back. As part of the program, employees are given time off to support worthy causes and charities of their choice. Collectively, our team members have volunteered thousands of hours annually. Additionally, last September at our company-wide event, we raised more than $14,000 for Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, decorated 20 gift boxes for children with illnesses, and granted wishes for two very special little girls. And recently, one of those wishes was granted!

We are all smiles for Sarah Stone and her dream to land on the red carpet for Grammy night. Sarah sings through the pain and the battle she has had most of her life with sickle cell anemia. CBS 58 caught up with her and her mom as they set off from Mitchell International Airport for her VIP Grammy Awards experience.

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M&IW Grants Wish and Goes the Distance

Make-A-Wish Lemonade Stand

Written by Anne Zambrano | Manager, Communications and Creative Services

It is with extreme humility and gratitude that we are publishing this article knowing that we just surpassed M&IW’s Make-A-Wish goal of granting a very deserving little girl with a life threatening illness her wish to go to the Grammy’s. It is for this reason that we are beyond honored to have the opportunity to interview Connie Nau, CMP, CRP, Senior Director of Recruiting & Administration, who brought this grand initiative to M&IW for our Annual Campus Week & Client Summit.

Connie shares her story and passion for Make-A-Wish in her thoughts below…

Why Make-A-Wish?
I have seen firsthand the incredible impact a granted wish can do for a child suffering from life threatening illness. We have a family friend that actually had a Wish granted for their child a few years ago. It was an unbelievable gift. Her Wish was to attend a Milwaukee Brewers game with her family – something that a lot of us take for granted – but to them it was so special. Since sadly losing their child, the family actually takes an annual Brewers trip in her honor every year, and her joy and the happiness she found in her granted Wish lives on in a lasting memory for all of them.

Make-A-Wish is an international organization, just like M&IW. Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is based in the Milwaukee area and a very active chapter. I think everyone at M&IW, whether they are parents or not, can empathize and want to help out a family where a child is battling a life threatening illness. There are so many causes, and I think it is wonderful that this year we are focusing on Make-A-Wish.
Getting More Involved

Just this past May, I pursued the opportunity to become a Wish Granter. I had a few business associates in the Appleton area that had become Wish Granters, and after seeing a live presentation of a child that had received a Wish, as well as having personal friends that had gone through receiving a Wish, I thought that maybe this was a way that I could personally give back. It was simple to get started – I reached out to Make-A-Wish to inquire about the volunteer and Wish Granter training schedule – and I signed up. I spent a Saturday in the Milwaukee area training facility. The training was extremely thorough, and I have been impressed through the entire process. There are very specific rules and guidelines to follow, as the ultimate goal is to make this a positive experience for the child. During that training – there were actually two volunteers there that were parents of a child that had their Wish granted. They were there because it was their time to give back. I was in awe of them and their stories and felt so blessed… so grateful for all that I had at that moment.

Granting Wishes Live
In February this year, I was at a function where we raised enough money to grant THREE Wishes. I’m not sure how to explain the level of emotion in that room when they announced what that group of about 400 people had done in just a few hours. During that function a Wish Child and her mother actually came up on stage to talk about her illness, and to talk about the Wish that they received. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place – big burly men included! To hear how this Wish can bring a happy focus to a sometimes long and difficult situation was so impactful to me. I knew at that very moment that I would get involved, and I reached out to that business colleague that same week to get the information on how they got involved and to start the process.

Taking a Global Effort Local
Make-A-Wish Wisconsin was able to locate a child for M&IW’s initiative from the Racine area – which is so close to M&IW’s headquarters! So she and her family are our “neighbors” in some respect. Our Wish Child is “Sarah”, a 12-year old who is living with a life-threatening blood disorder. Sarah enjoys reading, watching TV, going to sleepovers and singing – just like any other 12-year-old girl! She also loves listening to all kind of music. Sarah wishes to go to the Grammy’s. Our company goal was to raise enough funds through our Campus Week initiative to grant her Wish! With Campus Week still one week away, we have reached our goal! We are now setting our bar even higher to see if we can raise enough funds to grant another child’s Wish!

Everyone Can Get Involved
Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is attempting to grant 365 wishes in 2016 – one a day! If you don’t have time to be a Wish Granter, you can also just volunteer for specific short term projects or events. For people at M&IW or in the meetings industry – this is an easy one. There are many gala events, golf tournaments, and wine tasting that need assistance. So you can sign up and volunteer for a single event.

Any of our clients, vendor partners and employees can get involved in the fundraising initiative to grant this Wish. You can go out to our main page at http://site.wish.org/goto/miww and Donate to the cause, and even Join the cause. If you want to have your own fundraising page, there is a button there to Join the fundraiser. When you do that, you can build your own page within our main site, and then you can share your Make-A-Wish page on your own social media pages. All funds raised from those sites will tally into our main fundraiser. It is that simple! Read more about M&IW’s team efforts: http://racinecountyeye.com/local-company-helping-grant-middle-schoolers-wish/

Final Thoughts
“It is such a great opportunity to do something very special for a child. If anyone is interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities or how to start a Make-A-Wish giving campaign at your organization, I would be happy to share my insight and get you connected to the right people!” Connie Nau, CMP, CRP

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