Chapter Best Practices
Instituto de Empresa´s Global Village was chosen by Net Impact (www.netimpact.org) as one of the Best Practice Profiles to be shared among more than 120 chapters. Many of these topics were based on in-depth interviews and survey results. Congratulations to event organizers, company partners, and IE´s Net Impact chapter.
Instituto de Empresa’s Global Village
Insituto de Empresa this year (2006) had students from 49 different countries. The idea was to organize an event in which every student would prepare something (food or drink) from his/her own country. Global Village was a party in a diverse environment where cultures from all over the world were represented. Each entrant/participant bought a ticket and the money collected supported the treatments of children with West Syndrome. It was a combination of a social event that fostered cultural awareness/understanding and a fundraising event for the “Fundacion de West”.
The success of the event was dependent on the students’ involvement (prepare things) and participation (come and buy tickets). There was ongoing communication based on teasers as well as a customized approach (e.g. special approach to the Chinese community, the Greek community etc.) so that they feel the ownership of the event. Teasers and reminders were different every time in order not to bore them (e.g. every e-mail or poster included new information such as having pools filled with ice to have the drinks fresh, having music, or things that a country will have in its stand). At the same time, in order not to limit ourselves to students, faculty and staff were also invited. Ticket sales begun 1-2 weeks before the event and the team organizing Global Village went to different classes (for students) and offices (for faculty and staff). Tickets were sold also at a centralized place (International Student office) and at the entrance of the event. There was in-kind sponsorship for drinks and snacks (a suggestion is to have this in case participants are many and there is not enough food prepared). There are many things that can enrich the event such as a contest for the best stand, national dances, information about the countries and the problems they are facing etc. Small details such as the place, the time and date of the event can be crucial. Next year we will approach companies for money sponsorship rather than just in-kind donations.
The team consisted of 6 people. 3 were actively involved from the beginning and the rest helped 1-2 days before and during the day of the event when the tasks were more. Their roles involved: communication with the NGO, logistics, promotion to students and IE Personnel, ticket sales and operational things during the event.
Administration support was very easy to gain since at IE; students’ initiatives are truly supported. In this case, there was also a good cause behind it, so IE was more than helpful. It was a great initiative to have fun while doing good.
The tools were simple. Since our target was easy to reach, word of mouth was crucial. We depended on e-mail, posters, presentations in classes and 1-1 approaches.
A lot of people joined the event. There was representation from many countries (some had national costumes, others got in-kind sponsorship from restaurants, photo exhibitions, local products sold and the revenues were donated to children with West etc) and everyone had a very good time. The money raised is sufficient for monthly physiotherapies for 40 children with West.
Involving people is crucial in such an initiative. They need to feel ownership and create excitement about the event. Location is important (spacious, proper infrastructure, possibility for inside and outside due to weather changes) as well as date/time (students have a heavy schedule…a Friday is usually better in order not only to prepare things but also be able to join). Communication should start some weeks before the event.
You can see this information online at the Net Impact site