March 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts March 2003 Current Issue
March 2003
Short Cuts:
Choices for Giving

How to match a worthy cause with an event


Medical research, literacy programs, shelters for battered women, drug rehab clinics... The list of worthy efforts goes on and on, and it can be a difficult task for planners to decide which to support in conjunction with an event. “The best match usually has some sort of tie-in with the host,” says Louise Hall Reider, founder of Bellevue, Wash.-based Louise Hall Reider & Co., who advises clients on ways to select a charitable cause. Among her suggestions:

When meeting in an unfamiliar destination, ask tourism officials, colleagues, hotel salespeople and destination management companies for recommendations. Because they are part of the community, they are more in tune with local needs and concerns.

Once several potential causes have been identified, inform attendees and ask them to weigh in on which they would prefer to support. The greater the interest, the more significant the contributions will be.

Successful fund-raising events support an organization’s vision and its employees’ passions. For example, Fort Mill, S.C.-based Muzak’s Heart and Soul Foundation donates music scholarships and musical instruments to needy kids. Seattle-based Restaurants Unlimited supports hunger-relief efforts with a Dine for America program.

Some helpful Web sites to consult for more information: (the National Charities Information Bureau in tandem with the Council of Better Business Bureaus Foundation) and (a database of thousands of nonprofit groups).


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