Nonprofit Budgets Benefit from Greener Events

Lori Halley 24 March 2009 4 comments

Isn’t it great when “doing the right thing” can show off your organization in its best light, ease the workload for staff and volunteers, and save you some money as well?

Recently I’ve had a small role in helping to organize the annual conference for a not-for-profit professional association. In the current economy, obviously, every nonprofit organization has a pressing need to trim expenses and our group is no exception. And by bringing down the costs of putting on the event, registration fees can be kept at a level that's affordable for the participants.

Going over the event budget, line by line, one item stood out as an easy opportunity to realize significant savings: the hefty cost of printing and mailing registration forms, confirmation letters, handouts, and other conference materials.

Going green can save you green.  By utilizing technology for all communications, an event with 250 attendees can save you approximately $1,100 by using on-line registration, email evaluations and speaker handouts at the conclusion of the program.
~ Association for Green Meetings & Events

Our planning committee decided to set up an online registration system for the conference, and to organize as much as possible by email and telephone. Participants will be encouraged to download handouts as PDF files from the association’s website, although printed versions will still be available by request. These few measures are expected to cut the printing and mailing costs for the event by 65% or more.

And that’s just the beginning.

For future conferences, the association will be taking advantage of many other opportunities to “go green,” conserve energy, reduce waste, and save money, too — from the selection of venue, accomodations and suppliers, to organizing transportation and after-meeting entertainments, to greening our choices in food and beverage service, and more.

Could greener meetings pay off for your organization?

When events are organized and conducted to take environmental considerations into account — “green” or “carbon-neutral” events — a cash-strapped nonprofit can reduce expenses and staff time, increase efficiency, and demonstrate to members and supporters that the organization is socially and environmentally responsible. That’s quite a pay-off for doing the right thing.

Here are some useful resources for planning greener events:

What’s your experience? 

As organizations of all kinds become more aware of environmental issues, and of the potential for cost savings through various kinds of conservation measures, are you starting to see changes in how the events you're attending are organized and conducted?

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Tuesday, 24 March 2009 at 4:00 PM

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Comments

  • Wild Apricot Blog : Nonprofit Budgets Benefit from Greener Events | GREEN-2009 BLOG said:

    Tuesday, 24 March 2009 at 11:11 AM
  • Brent MacKinnon said:

    Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 6:09 AM

    Hi Rebecka,

    I meant to comment on your blog many times but always had pressing priorities etc...I've worked in the non profit sector for over 20 years and have recently decided to break out of the N-P cubicle and offer consulting services to groups seeking help using social media tools in their organization.

    Your blog is so rich in great links and resources, plus your own posts and comments are bang on for the small to large non profit organizations. We all know what a struggle it is for non profits to survive year to year, let alone do an effective job in connecting with and communicating with their stakeholders and constituents. Your blog's focus on using technology to do a better job of communicating is very timely and important.

    On a side note, Wild Apricot's web site services are also a great. My small community tennis club is just about ready to go live with our Wild Apricot site and our members are very excited by the features and benefits offered.

    Thanks for keeping the spotlight on non profits Rebecka,

    Brent

  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 6:13 AM

    Brent, thanks for your kind words, really appreciated!

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Friday, 24 April 2009 at 6:45 AM

    Brent, let me echo Chief Apricot's thanks for those kind words - and remind you that we always welcome your questions and suggestions for topics to cover on Wild Apricot Blog. :-)

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