When the National Property Management Association (NPMA) started planning for its in-person seminar, held in Reno, NV, in July 2021, we wanted to develop a new way to bring together their chapters, split into three regions. In the past, the regions had competed in a competition known as the Property Challenge. This event always brought the members together to win the champion title (and bragging rights) for their respective regions. As NPMA had just celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020, the planning committee was eager to try something fresh for the challenge.
The committee honed in on a charitable event to give back to the host city. During a brainstorming session, they considered several ideas. Ultimately, it was decided that the season of the event lent itself to a school supply drive for a local school. To strengthen relationships among its membership, the group determined they would invite members to stuff the backpacks with the purchased school supplies.
Working with our contacts at Visit RenoTahoe, the local CVB, we connected with a recipient school district. NPMA arranged for them to get the supplies picked up from the hotel and have a representative from the school district present to the attendees where the supplies would go and how this project would impact students in the area.
As the seminar neared, charitable event information was shared with the attendees and encouraged them to show up and prepare backpacks for the students. To promote the idea to the regions and chapters, NPMA had custom t-shirts produced donning a new event slogan: Regions Unite – NPMA Gives Back. This approach helped to link the event to the charitable opportunity. By coming together rather than competing against one another, our members could make a difference.
When backpack stuffing day arrived, we were ready with an assembly-line setup in place. A few simple guidelines were shared with the members in attendance, and then, the room was abuzz. Some members stuffed bags with supplies while others handwrote notes of encouragement to the students. Excitement could be heard throughout the room – with some members even challenging themselves to pack multiple bags at once.
After the project finished, a representative from the local school district and Visit RenoTahoe went on stage to thank everyone for participating. The attendees learned that the district had more than 2,000 homeless students, and the supplies packed up that day would be distributed to those who didn’t have the means to get supplies on their own.
The membership raved about the event and suggested that it become an ongoing happening at NPMA’s annual seminar. Many said they felt so good about having a profound impact on the students, and quite a few shed some tears upon hearing about the students benefiting from the event.
As events begin to return to in-person, Meeting Expectations can craft an opportunity for your members to give back. Not only will your members feel good about coming together to help others, but they can make a lasting impact on your host city. When people unite, we can do amazing things!