Today’s post is not about labor and employee relations. It’s about something else much more important. It’s about volunteerism and paying it forward. It’s about giving.
AT CUE conferences, the vast majority of our speakers are unpaid volunteer presenters who share content as a way to share their expertise and give back to the profession. It’s important to recognize people for doing this.
The question is what do you do to recognize people for doing good work as volunteers or as professionals?
I’m a speaker. I presented at six events throughout 2015 – some paid, some on my own dime. For my efforts, I received everything from hearty handshake to a Starbucks card. They were all much appreciated, but in our “on the next thing” world, those thanks are also quickly forgotten. I found one of the Starbucks gift cards in an old carry-on bag I was throwing away this past weekend. I used it for a Venti Holiday Spice Flat White at Starbucks. I don’t want to sound unappreciative for thank you gifts, but I think there is a better and more meaningful way to accomplish the task, and do some good at that same time.
We have a different practice for our speaker gifts at CUE Inc., and I like to think it’s a kind of best practice. If not, it’s still a helluva good idea.
Instead of providing trinkets or gift cards to our speakers, we select a charity for each of our conference events and make a donation to that charity on behalf of CUE Inc and our volunteer speakers. At the conclusion of every speaker session, we hand deliver a thank you note to each speaker, and announce to the crowd that a donation has been made on behalf of the speakers in recognition of their work and contributions to CUE.
For our Spring 2015 event, we made a donation to No Kid Hungry.
The No Kid Hungry campaign has taken major steps to end child hunger in America, including state and city-based campaigns in all 50 states. And yet, 1 out of every 5 kids in America struggles with hunger and aren’t getting the resources they need. Childhood hunger is a major problem in our country – but it is solvable. Donate to feed hungry kids and help us end child hunger in America.
For our Fall 2015 event, we donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s single, urgent goal is to eliminate Parkinson’s disease. Honor someone in your life who has been touched by PD, and help research find a cure. Your donation funds an aggressive agenda aimed at developing improved therapies and a cure for those living with Parkinson’s disease.
This is what we give to our speakers, along with our sincere appreciation.
Organizations like No Kid Hungry and the Michael J. Fox Foundation take the money we donate on behalf of our speakers, and put it to work in the community, thereby continuing to pay forward the work of our speakers in a different way. On Giving Tuesday, if you make a donation, that donation will be matched.
At No Kid Hungry, our support helped launch school breakfast programs, recruit summer meals sites, and empower families to shop for and prepare healthy meals. It also provides grants to the most effective hunger-fighting organizations across the country to help them end child hunger in their communities. We’re seeing incredible results from these investments. In many places, just $1 can provide a child with up 10 meals.
There’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday, now it’s #GivingTuesday! Help me make #NoKidHungry a reality this holiday season by donating to @NoKidHungry & all gifts will be matched by @HickoryFarms and @KettleBrandChips up to $100K! Double your impact today: nokidhungry.org/givingtuesday
Full disclosure: I’m a Social Media Board Member for No Kid Hungry and will be fundraising on my personal social media accounts today.
At the Michael J. Fox Foundation, our donation helps to fund an aggressive agenda aimed at developing improved therapies and a cure for those living with Parkinson’s disease. If you donate today, you gift will be worth more.
Thank you so much for using your super powers to help any charity you might deem worthy on this this Giving Tuesday!