Walk the talk of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by creating, celebrating, promoting, team building, and communicating events that intertwine outreach support to community, charities and causes.
Here are a few resources and ideas to help inspire and deliver goodwill through events:
Venues That Give Back
There are several city event venues with community-support rental structures, Artscape being one of the most prominent and proactive. The not-for-profit transforms under-utilized city buildings into affordable workspace for communities and artists. Dollars from venue rentals funnel back into cultural programming development. Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park is one recently completed project. The colourful 60,000 sq.-ft.-multi-purpose facility includes the Ada Slaight Hall theatre with retractable seating for 400 people plus lounge and lobby reception area.
Put The Little Grape That Could wines to work with 100% of profits from every bottle purchased going to a charity of your choice. Gift the wine or feature it on your event menu. Inputting a code on the back of each purchased bottle helps recoup a portion of your event’s wine purchase by directing the donations back to your fundraising organization. Added bonus: The opportunity to toast someone special by nominating him or her to be featured on the back of 100-bottle limited runs. Available in the LCBO.
Roll Up Your Sleeves
A formal or informal employee volunteer program is one way to engage staff (and clients), improve corporate culture, and, most importantly, create a positive, pay-it-forward partnership with charitable or community causes. Volunteer Toronto, the city’s clearinghouse for non-profit agencies, civic, and charitable events in need of manpower, will match a company’s or group’s goals of contributing volunteer hours to specific opportunities. The organization also offers resources and expertise to help organizations develop meaningful, ongoing employee volunteer programs.
Save The Earth
If eco-friendly themes and greening endeavours rev your organization’s CSR engine, Evergreen is one of several charitable go-tos. Inspire city greening by event fundraising for purchases from Evergreen’s Gifts of Nature catalogue. Ideas include good-for-the-environment items and programs from planting a sapling to equipping underprivileged cyclists with bikes. Evergreen is also a wealth of employee volunteerism opportunities, and, of course, venue rentals at Evergreen Brick Works put dollars back into save-the-earth coffers.
Attend A Charity Event
Whether you’re hosting a fundraiser or charity event, looking to get your team involved in one, or considering good sponsorship matches, Charity Village and Toronto Charity Events are excellent resources. Both online connections are networking hubs within the philanthropic industry. List events for free in the upcoming event calendars or browse the postings for ways to group participate, such as signing up for bike-a-thon. It’s also a great place to start searching for potential event causes that reflect your CSR goals.
Design your next corporate teambuilding session around social responsibility principles by engaging participants in hands-on activities and challenges that incorporate good civic mindness and community outreach. Get creative with Canadian Outback Adventures’ Art of Giving that sees competing teams build monuments and structures using non-perishable food items that are later donated to food banks. Summit Training Group’s new Step Up program brings groups together for a series of challenges that earn points and parts to assemble a prosthetic device for donation to a children’s hospital in Kenya.
Gift A Gift
In looking for corporate gifts or speaker thank yous, shop for items that help others. Toronto microbusiness incubator Inspirations Studio, a social enterprise project of the women’s charity organization Sistering, offers handcrafted pottery made by women impacted by poverty, homelessness and mental issues. Custom-orders are welcome. Me to We’s store specializes in environmentally friendly wares such as the Water Rafiki Friend Chain which buys one year of clean water for one person with every purchase. Products are made by artisans in third-world regions such as Africa with proceeds supporting sister organization Free the Children.