Green Fundraising Activities Are Possible!
Espace idées • September 21st, 2018
e all try to do little things for the environment in our day-to-day lives and for our nonprofit organizations. But what about when it comes to fundraising activities? Could we do more?
To help your fundraising activity become an eco-friendly success, Espace idées is sharing tips from the “Aide-mémoire pour l’organisation d’un événement écoresponsable d’envergure” from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, as well as the “Guide de gestion écoresponsable des événements” developed by the city of Sherbrooke.
Environmental actions start directly with the organizing committee. For example, you could suggest that committee members bring their tablet or laptop to meetings to avoid printing necessary documents. If you still need to print, use recycled paper and print in black and white, double-sided.
Event Location or Site
Ideally, the location chosen for your fundraising event will be situated where most participants come from. In addition, all activities should take place on the same site. For example, during a golf tournament, the cocktail or dinner should be at the clubhouse if possible to avoid unnecessarily moving guests to another location.
The site should also offer eco-responsible services such as recycling and composting (installed at strategic locations). Remember to rent decorative items instead of buying them (renting cloth tablecloths to replace plastic tablecloths).
Additionally, you should favour a public transit-friendly location, as well as a site which is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
In order to avoid food waste and to manage the precise number of items required for your event, it is recommended not to offer a "buffet" style menu and to plan in advance what you will do with any leftover food, such as considering which other organizations you could donate to. The two reference documents also suggest limiting the use of disposable dishes and utensils and promoting the use of washable or biodegradable items instead.
It’s easy to remove individual plastic water bottles from your events by providing water in pitchers, in large bottles or by installing water dispensers at the site.
Encourage your participants to use public transit or carpool. A good incentive to encourage people to carpool might be to give them priority parking. You could even provide a shuttle service.
Invitations and Registrations
Again, to avoid printing documents unnecessarily, opt for sending information electronically, including invitations, advertising, registrations, transactions, as well as info about the day of the event. Most of all, encourage participants not to print the documents in question.
Gifts or Promotional Items
Evaluate the need to offer gifts or promotional items to your guests. They will remember the day's experience and memorable moments more than a gift they received. However, if you really want to offer something, favour useful and durable items.
Don’t hesitate to emphasize the ecological side of your event in all your communications to participants and media.
If you want to go even further, there are green certifications you can obtain to demonstrate to your participants, donors and sponsors the efforts you are making to minimize environmental harm. For more information, visit the Planetair website.