We are in the midst of our local United Way campaign here. There's no easier and better place to give a bit back to the local community.
We are a company of mostly 20-somethings—a group some seem to think would define "charity" as buying friends a round of drinks. Wrong. This is a generation that not only believes but acts. Did I say they like to have fun? And did you know that according to the recent DonorTrends Survey, gen X-ers and Y's give MORE than baby boomers? Truth.
To kick off the campaign, we decided to have a pumpkin-carving contest. We bought carving patterns, scoops, and carving kits for everyone and bought about 100 pumpkins.
We announced the campaign and held the pumpkin carving event yesterday afternoon at the end of the day. You have not experienced fun until you see young folks carve pumpkins en masse. What a hoot, er, mess. Lesson: Use plastic to protect your floor. I may never eat pumpkin pie again.
Then this morning we delivered the pumpkins to Opportunity Partners, an organization that provides employment, housing, and education services to individuals with special needs. We felt as if we were delivering gold bricks instead of carved pumpkins—what a hit.
The point is that one doesn't have to have big organized events or sales contests to help you nurture a giving, buzz-generating culture. Have some fun, get a bit messy, and let it all happen.
- Total event cost: less than $200.
- Impact on Opportunity Partners: priceless.
You can see pictures at my blog, What Would Dad Say.
G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.