The Small Meeting Booster You Haven’t Thought Of
Feb 15, 2017
2 min read
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) service projects are common — even expected — at large meetings and conferences, but there’s a place for these at small meetings, too. In fact, if the project is chosen well, it can be even more impactful on this small scale. A CSR project can unify a small group quickly and lend a sense of good intention for a positive outcome of the meeting.
However, the nature of the small meeting means the project must be turnkey and light on logistics. It also most likely will need to be conducted in the meeting venue or close by. That adds up to a sourcing challenge.
Here are four tips for an easy-to-manage but impactful CSR event at a small meeting:
Budget for it. Even a small CSR project will have an impact on the bottom line, so it’s important to plan for this. You’ll need to do a cost/benefit analysis and select a project that allows you to stay on budget for the meeting. Remember to think outside your department: Sometimes organizations have separate charitable giving funds that can be applied to CSR.
Assemble! The easiest projects for a small meeting involve assembly. Putting items in a bag or making a product is easy to do in a small space, with quick set-up and short time-frame — all without leaving the meeting venue. For example, with Clean the World projects, participants assemble hygiene kits with amenities donated by hotels. Other items that can be assembled in charity projects include bikes, rocking horses, wheelchairs and school supplies in backpacks.
Think local. The best projects, especially when your group travels to a meeting place, leave the destination city with a positive impact. Many CVBs and DMCs are knowledgeable resources for finding local CSR projects. Even easier: A meetings industry CSR project portal just launched in January. At givinggood.com you can search for projects by location (currently 34 cities and growing) and you can even book projects online. For example, in Minneapolis, choose from projects like assembling school backpacks, hand-packing meals to send to malnourished children around the world, and serving meals at a shelter.
Outsource. The easiest solution, if you have the budget, is to loop in a company that specializes in CSR service project management. They can match you with just the right project and manage it from top to bottom. This also means that even for a small meeting you could do a more complex project, such as a teambuilding game that results in donation of canned goods. Check out companies like Meet Green, which partners with GV2GT, and Impact4Good, all of which offer a menu of choices.
At a time when many people report feeling a sense of uncertainty in the world and at work, a CSR service project at a small meeting can put those around the table in the positive frame of mind to have a meeting that really moves the needle.
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