As a community organization or purpose-driven business, your passion for community development, education, and giving back are your driving forces. But are you maximizing your opportunities to engage with your community?

It’s no secret we’re a big fan of events – and in recent months, we’ve been reinvigorated with the ways that events can amplify a community organizations’ work. We’re not just talking about a conference or gala dinner. Events can come in all shapes and sizes to help you create a big impact, even on a small budget.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed developing new ways to raise funding, grow reach and keep the team inspired, an event is a great way to hit all of these goals in a meaningful and exciting way.

So, here are my favorite ways you can support your community, gain exposure and feel good about the work you’re doing with your next event:

Celebrate Your Values

Think about how your business operates in line with your core pillars. Hosting an event is the ideal opportunity to remind your community of your values and to show them how you’re working towards future goals.

The event could be an immersive experience that delves into the stories of the people you work with. That’s the sort of event we co-created for International Rescue Committee (pictured in our header) that invited guests to interact with an exhibition that featured stories of refugees who came to the USA. Or it could be a marketplace that highlights businesses supported by your organization like we hosted with the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center.

Whatever the event is, the finer details can help elevate your values and these are the pillars BB Events incorporate into every event we produce:

  • Cultural and identity diversity — Hiring a diverse internal team, volunteers and guest speakers from a range of cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Inclusion — Ensuring there are lifts and ramps to access all event levels, choosing venues with gender-neutral bathrooms, and having quiet zones for those sensitive to sensory stimulation.
  • Sustainable, green practices — Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose and all the other ‘R’s you can name. We encourage our vendors to do the same.
  • Supporting local and small businesses and entrepreneurs — Hosting marketplaces for local sellers, hiring local food and drink vendors and suggesting gift cards to local businesses in place of swag.

Give Back

While many organization’s events will be focused on raising the funds for your own work, there are ways to incorporate altruism into the event program itself. When attendees can get hands-on with the cause, they can feel more connected with the work that you do.

Do you have flowers or surplus food from your event? You can find another local organization that will benefit from the donation.

Don’t want to create more waste in swag or goodie bags that never get used again? Incorporate socially-conscious gifting by organizing a raffle where funds go towards a charity. Or allow a percentage of ticket sales to go towards your charity of choice.

Have extra time in your event program? Offer the opportunity to do a local clean-up or volunteer with a local charity. Particularly for attendees who may be visiting from out of town, it’s a great way to get out amongst the community and leave your event feeling good about the impact they were personally responsible for.

I know this one personally For me, there’s little that is more rewarding than our Annual Week of Giving with ILEA-NCC where I’ve spent the past couple years working at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. It’s not only an opportunity to get hands-on in work that directly serves our local community, but it is also a powerful reminder about food waste and the ways we want to reduce this in our daily work in events.

(Re)Engage with Your Community

How well do you know your donors, partners, and even your team?! You don’t need to discuss your deepest-darkest secrets with Jane from Accounts, but meaningful connections rarely come from email exchanges. In a digital age, it’s even more tempting to stay behind a screen (PJs and slippers included), but that’s unlikely to lead to new networking leads.

An event doesn’t need to be a sit-down dinner. I’ve seen huge benefits from regular, intimate gatherings. Each new venue, location, and set-up interests different people, bringing new opportunities to connect and grow your audience.

Incorporating a fun activity like crafts, games or conversation cards can also facilitate more engaging interactions. It also helps to bring more introverted guests into the experience and form deeper connections to each other and to your community organization.

Maximise Your Impact with Events

Business meet-ups, volunteering days, and masterclasses are a few ways BB Events can help your social enterprise make a big impact. If you’re looking to celebrate the work of your organization, bring your community together and take your impact further, we can co-create an experience that can take hold of this opportunity for your organization.

Ready to plan an impactful event for your community organization? Contact BB Events today to gain me as a thought partner in your event planning journey.