The Giving Good portal at www.givinggood.com is an online resource for event planners to find a blueprint for a community impact project at their meeting destination.
The impetus for the portal came when Professional Convention Management Association and other industry organizations decided it was time to stop reinventing the social responsibility wheel at each destination and encourage meeting planners to share information on successful projects. A beta project was launched in 2016 using an Innovation Grant from the American Society of Association Executives, and since then the list of destinations has tripled, each city having at least one and sometimes five or six projects to choose from.
To make things easy for meeting planners the projects are searchable by destination or category. Categories include: food pantry, building/construction, kids/teens, senior citizens, special needs individuals, animals, and community kit preparation. Each blueprint details the number of people who can participate, the duration of the project, cost per person (many are free), whether the project is indoors or outdoors, and the service opportunity. The local point person and contact information is listed for each.
The opportunities for service range from the relatively low commitment for your attendees, for example, community kit preparation, to the more ambitious, such as building houses with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans. If you are holding an event in Maryland with dog-loving attendees, there is even an opportunity to clean out the kennels at Baltimore’s SPCA.
If you are headed to a participating destination without listed projects, e.g., Dallas, the phone number and email for the person who can help you get a project off the ground is listed. Then share the details from your project on the portal for your colleagues in the industry—now you’ve given back twice!
Meeting Professionals International, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Destination Marketing Association International, and ASAE collaborated with PCMA on the creation of GivingGood.com, and members of these organizations and others are encouraged to send in information on their successful projects.
Deborah Sexton, FASAE, president and CEO at PCMA, called the project a “win-win” because of the obvious benefits to the aid recipients, meeting planners, and local venues, and hospitality groups can now track the CSR projects undertaken by visitors as well as the dollars they leave behind.