How to Weave Philanthropy into Your Corporate Event

Whether you’re planning an in-house event or an industry event, including a philanthropic element can be an effective way to boost engagement and enjoyment. Corporate events and philanthropy are a great match. There are lots of ways to weave the two together to create something that’s satisfying for attendees, while aiding a good cause.

Corporate Events and Philanthropy Are Natural Partners

No company operates in complete isolation. They provide jobs, products, or services, and create ties to the communities in which they operate. Those ties are one reason why 70% of Americans believe companies have an obligation to improve social, non-business-related issues. Philanthropy is one way of doing that.

Many people want to give back to their communities, but they don’t know where to start. And some feel helpless because they believe their individual contribution is too small to make a difference. Corporate event philanthropy can be an effective solution because it lets people contribute in small ways. Then it combines those individual contributions into something much larger.

These two issues mean that corporate events and philanthropy are natural partners. Organizing a corporate event with a philanthropic cause can be hugely effective. It’s a way to get lots of people involved, engaged, and enthusiastic. A large corporate event can combine many individual contributions into a large donation that makes a meaningful difference. Being part of that is an wonderful morale-booster for employees, increasing their job satisfaction. It also bumps up engagement, something for which event organizers are always striving.

Of course, there are benefits for companies too. Nearly 90% of American consumers say that they’d purchase a product from a company that supports an issue they care about. When companies support philanthropic causes, it has a positive impact on their reputations and on consumer loyalty.

How to Work Philanthropy into a Corporate Event

While it’s usually the goal to work corporate event philanthropy into the event in a way that feels seamless to participants, don’t worry if it doesn’t work out that way. The benefit to your chosen charity makes it a win regardless.

Consider Company Values and Culture

When choosing philanthropic causes for your corporate event, it’s always best to consider options that mesh with the company’s values and culture. With this strategy, you’re more likely to choose something employees are enthusiastic about. If it’s an event where members of the public are involved, considering your values and culture is particularly important. Choosing a cause that doesn’t align with your business’s public reputation will likely be seen as inauthentic.

For instance, if your company sells products made from recycled plastic, environmental or conservation causes are a perfect match. You could hold a fundraiser or donate time to a local conservation group.

Add Focused Activities

For all-day team-building, conferences, or even networking days, including some philanthropic activities in the mix can bring people together. Working towards a common goal is an effective way to turn a group of strangers into a team. And making a charitable cause part of the goal can give it an even greater impact.

One popular option is a charitable 5K run or walk, where participants pay a registration fee to enter. The money collected is donated, and, in some cases, the host company or organization matches donations or adds an amount to the total collected.

Evening events such as charity auctions and gaming nights are also popular. A good cause—and a night of fun—can work as a standalone fundraising event or a social event to cap off a longer event such as a conference.

Invite Charity Reps to the Event

People enjoy giving more—and give more—when they can connect with the cause on a personal level. One way to do this is to invite representatives from the charity to attend your event in some capacity.

This could mean inviting someone to speak at the event to talk about the charity’s cause and impact and how charitable giving can make a difference. For a conference or trade show type of event, it could mean providing the charity with booth space free of charge. Attendees can then visit as they have time during the show.


Make Your Event VIPs Feel Like Just That

Make Philanthropy the Main Event

For in-house events, making philanthropy itself the core of the event can be a fun option. Instead of fundraising, for instance, put together a team of people who want to donate their time. Some options could include:

  • Building a garden for a local school, shelter, or nursing home, perhaps by partnering with a local building supply store for materials at cost
  • Donating labor for a local Habitat for Humanity chapter
  • A mentorship program involving local young people

Look for Ways to Make a Long-Term Difference

Rather than folding philanthropy into corporate events, some companies choose to make philanthropy part of everyday company culture. Of course, this doesn’t have to be an either/or situation! Some ways to continue with corporate giving over the long term include:

  • Donating services or products on a regular basis – For instance, if your company provides accounting services, find one or two local charities and offer your services, free of charge.
  • Offer internships or apprenticeships to people who live locally.
  • Create a scholarship or grant program, or sponsor a local school.
  • Hold regular “team” days, where each team or department chooses a charity and spends a day working on a project for that charity.

Give Back: Do Good, Feel Good

Finding ways to give back to the local community benefits the company and its employees, as well as charities and the people they serve. It’s a great way to make an event feel special, while boosting engagement and employee or attendee satisfaction. Adding an element of philanthropy to your next corporate event is a gift for everyone involved.

Jack Connolly

Executive Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.


Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.


In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jerome Nadel

Chief Marketing Officer

Jerome Nadel is Internationally experienced design-led marketing executive (CMO and GM) with a track record of improved market position, revenue growth, and M&A. He is an advance degreed psychologist and user experience product/service design expert, board member and advisor.


Prior to joining ProGlobalEvents |ProExhibits |XtendLive, he has had a variety of chief marketing officer and chief user experience officer roles at companies including Rambus, BrainChip, Human Factors International, SLP InfoWare, Gemplus, and Sagem. He started his career in the IBM Human Factors Labs.


He is also an avid cyclist with National and multiple California State Champion titles.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler


Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.