Hospitality Action’s tasty fundraising initiative

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Hospitality Action’s tasty fundraising initiative

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Giuliana Vittiglio explains how Hospitality Action’s ‘Lunch Box Day’ offered employees a simple, flexible and relevant fundraising activity


At Hospitality Action, a charity that helps people in serious need in the hospitality industry, we wanted to create a fundraising event that would be easy for everyone to take part in. Something simple that would bring employees together, generate awareness and create a little fun for staff on a Friday afternoon.


While awareness of our services is strong among hospitality employees, we are always thinking of new and innovative ways to raise funds. Lunch Box Day, which was championed by our fundraising and marketing committee, seemed a good way to tackle this problem, and at the same time raise funds.


As the charity for those who work in the hospitality industry, obviously Lunch Box Day was a good fit. Another big advantage was its simplicity - we weren’t asking anyone to do anything wildly different, or that required a lot of effort or time. We all eat lunch every day, and it’s a meal we look forward to. Such a simple idea for raising money for a good cause makes it easy for any business to get involved with.


Flexible approach


Participating companies were free to interpret the event however they liked; some companies laid on a buffet, others ordered employees’ favourite takeaway or made up packed lunch bags, with staff making a donation in return. Some companies matched the funds employees donated, while others simply made a straightforward donation. One team of agency staff clubbed together to create a group meal, each bringing in their own ingredients. This level of flexibility made it easy for everyone to take part and encouraged more companies to get involved.

As this was our first Lunch Box Day, the main problem was how to raise awareness of the initiative and to encourage participation. During the lead-up to the event, we worked closely with our fundraising and marketing committee to approach our corporate contacts as well as new supporters. We issued two press releases in the lead-up to the event, and tweeted about it regularly, linking to our event flyer and using the hashtag #LunchBoxDay.


Easy ask


We also created posters for the companies that came on board, which explained the idea in a simple flow chart and which could be printed out and displayed in the workplace to ensure the concept was really clear to everyone taking part. It created a talking point for employees, and encouraged them to make more of their lunch break and eat together that day, instead of at their desks. We asked everyone to take a #SandwichSelfie, and post it on social media to raise further awareness. Everyone got into the spirit of things - it was great for staff morale!


Being a simple CSR and staff engagement initiative, Lunch Box Day proved very popular with our corporate contacts. Several luxury hotels came on board, including The Hoxton, the Hilton Bankside and Milsom Hotels & Restaurants, and other participating companies included Sauce Communications, Mercieca, COREcruitment and ACT Clean, among others. In total 20 companies and countless staff members took part on the day. Overall we raised £2500, and donations are still pouring in. The money raised will go towards helping those in serious need across the hospitality industry.

Creating an event that is easy and fun to take part in is a great way to get supporters excited and engaged while raising the profile of your charity - and the more flexible you can be, the better for encouraging wider participation. Lunch Box Day was a great opportunity to introduce new supporters to our work so in turn they could learn about other ways to fundraise for us, and also to know we are there for them in times of crisis.


Giuliana Vittiglio is senior fundraising and marketing executive at Hospitality Action

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