Meetings Canada


Giving Thanks, Giving Back

Sandy Biback

By Sandy Biback, CMM, CMP

I got my first holiday season invitation today, right after Thanksgiving. Let the games begin!

We all want to say ‘thank you’ to our clients, colleagues, friends and family for being a part of our lives, not just during the holiday season, but all year round.

A long time ago, our company decided to do away with baskets, chocolates, poinsettias or whatever else came along that year. We also encourage our clients to do away with typical speaker gifts. Who needs another portfolio?

For our clients, we suggest a donation to a charity that represents the association’s objectives and mission in the city in which they’re located. We’ve given money to sports charities, women’s shelters, boys and girls clubs, planted trees and so much more – all in consultation with the client.

Each year, our company, on behalf of our clients and business colleagues, determines a charity to make a donation to. For many years, it was Children’s’ Wish Foundation.

We’ve also donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, for all the good work it does in Africa; World Vision and Sick Children’s Hospital. Not sure what we will do this year—time to give it some thought. And we make it personal: a handwritten card is sent to each client and colleague telling them what we’ve done.

With all the talk about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), we believe Imagination+ Meeting Planners Inc. has had a CSR outlook all the years we’ve been in business.

Not because it was the right thing to do—we do it because we are so fortunate and while our contributions are not large, we know they make a difference.

Our family has begun to adopt this model as well.

Last year it was World Vision and we were even able to get our young grandson a certificate that allowed him to go to the website and choose his own gift of giving.

My family has made donations to animal rescue charities because we are all dog lovers. Who needs another trinket?

Is holiday season not a time of giving?

As you begin your holiday strategies, I hope you will consider donations. I hope I receive many notices of donations instead of more candy (which I truly don’t need).

Below are the charities I’ve mentioned that my company has donated to. Only a guideline, I’m sure you have your own!

World Vision

Stephen Lewis Foundation

SickKids Foundation

Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada

Children’s Wish




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