EDEN PRAIRIE, MN—Teneo Hospitality Group has teamed up with the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF) and Society B to give back to the communities where they host events.
“Four years ago, we really felt that the biggest impact was helping children in situations where they were disadvantaged, and if we gave them a bigger advantage, they could be more successful,” said Teneo President Mike Schugt.
To do this, the company created a program designed to enable and encourage Teneo member hotels, resorts, destination management companies, staff and clients to participate in raising money to support KINF’s programs. Teneo’s clients can contribute by purchasing Society B merchandise with 10% of the purchase price going directly to KINF or three additional charities, or through a new fundraising website for KINF created by Teneo. The site also contains information about the seven networking events that Teneo will host throughout the year in major U.S. cities where the program will be introduced and encouraged.
Prior to creating the program, the company would purchase the items for each of the events it held. “We would send all of that material to our events,” he said. “We would have all of our hotels there, and a meeting planner would be given a backpack and be able to stuff all of the various school supplies that the disadvantaged children needed… Then the person from that school would come to pick up the items.”
The new program skips the step of having the items packed by the participants at Teneo’s events. Now, KINF, which has all these supplies on hand, packages and ships needed supplies directly to the local schools that it has determined are most in need. This helps ensure resources go directly to KINF, targeting those schools most in need and greatly reducing Teneo’s carbon footprint in the process, according to Schugt.
“On top of that, when we have an event, we typically invite up to 150 meeting professionals, and every one of them gets a $50 gift card,” he said. “Then they go on the Society B website and whatever they buy, 10% is donated to one of the charities that Society B offers, one of which is KINF. We find that a lot of our planners are supporting us through that as well.”
Since its founding in 1995, KINF has distributed $1 billion in school supplies, directly benefiting more than six million students and nearly 200,000 teachers. Teneo will be contributing $8,000 to launch the program and has invested nearly $40,000 in gift cards of $50 allotments.
The program was launched on April 23, at a networking event at the Boston Park Plaza. The fundraising efforts will continue throughout the year at Teneo’s networking events held in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis and West Orange, NJ.