Planning a CSR Activity within Your Event?

According to the 2015 SITE Index Benchmark Study, seven out of 10 incentive programs include at least one Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity. If you’re planning one for one of your events, the MAUDE Framework can help you to get started on planning one that will deliver value to the community, your participants, and your organization.

The framework looks at five criteria:

  • Meaningful – Is the project meaningful in the long term?
  • Aligned – Does it align with your organization's mission, vision, and values?
  • Unique Skills – Does it leverage your unique skills or resources?
  • Destination Specific – Does it address a local need?
  • Engaging – Is it engaging for participants?

Tips for Using the MAUDE Framework

If you’re interested in applying the MAUDE Framework, I have a few recommendations:

  1. Start with U: Begin by listing all the things that your organization does exceptionally well. By leveraging these skills or resources, you’re able to amplify the impact of your project. Consider the effect of a marketing company designing a campaign for a food bank – this effort could potentially far exceed the impact that they could have by doing a canned food drive in their office.
  2. Think Long-Term: Check if there is on-going support needed for your project to have long-term significance for the community. For example, if you are involved in building a well, how will it be maintained? Who will provide services, training or equipment for this?
  3. Work with Local Contacts: Community service groups and even destination management companies are great resources for event professionals to rely on in developing community projects. As an example, they can coordinate multiple organizations to provide continued support for a project. They likely also have valuable experience that can streamline the planning process.
  4. Avoid Photo-Op CSR: Using the framework can be a good step to avoid developing community service projects that are more about public relations than they are about having a positive impact. That said, I am in favour of promoting an organization’s good work in the community provided that it has had a genuine positive impact. If it hasn’t, the organization runs the risk that the public relations campaign will backfire on them.
  5. Be Prepared: I can’t leave my risk management hat off for too long, so a quick reminder to use common sense, use good health and safety practices and talk to your insurance provider about your plans.

Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA
Director, Industry Advancement, Events Industry Council

The MAUDE Framework was developed for Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Meetings and Events Industry by Elizabeth Henderson and Mariela McIlwraith. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
© Events Industry Council, 2018