Best event SWAG of 2019: Making a Difference to Local Charities


Marketing Manager
News and Events | 30th December 2019

Reducing our Carbon Footprint & Donating to Local Charities

During 2019, we’ve made a conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint at the events we sponsor worldwide whilst giving back to under-served communities in which the events take place.  Big conferences generate a lot of wasted materials – much-unwanted print materials and unused SWAG items.  So, instead of producing and giving away typical throwaway promotional items, we have begun the practice of running charity raffles instead.  Not only are we minimising the environmental impact of waste but we are raising much-needed funds for local charities that need our support.  And the event attendees love the fact that they are part of the giving-back too!

So how do we support local charities?

Instead of putting an item of SWAG in the delegate’s conference bag, they are invited to enter a raffle for a number prizes – anything from a much-coveted tech gadget to a signed book from one of our NearForm experts to a locally-made hamper.  Every delegate has a chance to enter, its free to enter and we donate an amount on their behalf to a pre-chosen local charity.  In 2019, we donated some much-needed funds to the following charities: TechMums in London, The Code Cooperative in New York, Kids Open Lab in Dornbirn Austria, Handicap International Belgium, Citywise Education in Dublin Ireland, Give Something Back to Berlin and Kids Code Jeunesse in Montreal. 

We are looking forward to continuing our efforts in 2020 and are keen for others to join us in adopting our model, helping to combat the rise of climate-related issues and giving back to the communities that need help.   It’s been great to see the responses on Twitter from event attendees every time we’ve run a charity raffle.  And of course, it’s fantastic to know that we’re making a difference to some of the communities who need it everywhere we go.  Here’s a glimpse of some of the charities we’ve helped:

 

Kids OpenLab

We are a team of parents and enthusiastic, heartfelt people who like to discover new things together with children. We all work as volunteers in our free time. Our work with Kids OpenLab depends on supporters. Every cent we receive, we spend on materials and devices – like DC motors, propellers, arduino – the things we use regularly and that the kids can take home.  Donations from generous supporters such as NearForm help to make our programmes affordable for every interested family. To support us means to become part of our community that celebrates an open culture of creativity, innovation and experimentation.

Melinda Molnar | Kids OpenLab Projektleiterin |  Kids OpenLab  |  https://kidsopenlab.com

 

Techmums

At #techmums our passion and drive is to ignite passion in mums, their families, and communities through technology. NearForm’s donation is invaluable in helping us achieve this and it reaffirms their commitment to “putting the ‘human’ at the heart of everything” they do. We rely on the generosity of amazing and pioneering organisations like NearForm who recognize and support our mission. This donation will support our work addressing the digital skills gap, isolation, and digital exclusion and we can’t thank NearForm enough for their leadership in organising this for us.

Lauren Allison | CEO   |  #techmums   |  https://techmums.com

 

The Code Cooperative

The Code Cooperative is a community of people who learn, use, and build technology to create life-changing possibilities for individuals and communities impacted by incarceration. An entirely volunteer-led community, we do so by offering free technology education, donating resources, and developing liberatory technology. We aim to provide spaces to heal, open up economic opportunities, and build collective power for those who have been affected by the criminal justice system.  Without donations like the one we received from NearForm, we would not be able to run our programs. Donations like these go towards supporting our fundamental operational needs: transportation costs for our students, food and beverages for class, hardware, software, and more. All the money that is donated to the Code Cooperative goes a long way towards supporting our students’ learning. 

Alex Qin | Founder  |  The Code Cooperative |  https://codecooperative.org 

 

Citywise Education

Citywise Education operates in an area of designated educational disadvantage. One of the key beliefs that we abide by is every person has great potential and Education is the key to unlocking that. For this reasoning, each Citywise programme of activity has that element of learning involved. We also promote positive character education with each activity we do. We want to thank NearForm for supporting us in our mission and for their kind donation as part of the recent JSDayIE conference, and we will use this donation to engage with even more young people, aged 8-16, into developing their STEM skills and learning new knowledge that will benefit them in their future careers and employability.  Thank you!

Christopher Smith | STEM Manager |  Citywise Education  |  https://www.citywise.ie/about

 

Give Something Back to Berlin

Thanks to a generous donation from NearForm, GSBTB is delighted to be able to put this towards the funding of our activities that promote the art of sustainable living among the various migrant communities of Berlin. This contribution goes towards the running of its many weekly projects: including a Music School providing free lessons for newcomers, an Open Art Space functioning as a means of therapeutic self-expression, and an Open Kitchen which promotes community-building by cooking and eating together. Thanks for your invaluable support!! And we hope to see you in the future in our community!

Lucy Alice Thomas  |  Executive Director |  GSBTB   |   https://gsbtb.org/

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If you’d like to know more about how we run our charity raffles at tech events, feel free to contact our events team at events@nearform.com.  We’d be delighted to help!

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