Case Studies
04.05.2017 11:31

With an ROI of 300% last year’s winner of Best CSR Event created a win-win for both corporate and charity partners. Brand building, business networking, charity fundraising and a once in a lifetime opportunity for young people all combined to make this winning event. Read on…

Category  Best CSR Event

Winner      BNP Paribas

Changing Worlds
This event could have ended up as your typical fundraising dinner, but instead it reinforced BNP Paribas’ reputation as the world’s largest sponsor of tennis.  Importantly for the charity, BNP Paribas’ contribution repaid itself three times over, raising funds to help renovate a new local community centre.  It also involved the young people the charity serves, ensuring that attendees could see where their money was going.

The judges were overwhelmingly in favour of this comprehensive event bringing together stakeholders, partners, suppliers and contributors to create a final event far greater than the sum of its parts.  Graham Hill, Head of Venues and Events, SquareMeal

The Winning Idea
A corporate tennis tournament was the perfect solution to a fundraising challenge. The team at BNP Paribas leveraged their global sponsorship of The Davis Cup by BNP Paribas to create a team-based competition with corporate entry fees supporting development of a local community centre. The fundraiser was held at a private members club and included the chance to warm up with a former professional player as well as providing business networking opportunities over a three-course dinner. Young people from the charity benefited from a tennis clinic with the pro before volunteering as ball boys and girls for the corporate tournament.

The Brief
BNP Paribas has a strong history of supporting the local community in Marylebone, having moved into an area that borders one of the most deprived wards in the country, Church Street. When a former recipient of the BNP Paribas Philanthropy Prize purchased a disused building in the area to convert into a community centre, he naturally turned to the bank for help. The bank decided to invest in creating a fundraising event to maximise returns for their charity partner. In addition to raising as much money as possible, they also wanted to reinforce BNP Paribas’ brand values with event attendees.

The Event
The community centre intended to offer table tennis facilities so the team decided to leverage the global sponsorship of The Davis Cup by BNP Paribas to create a corporate tennis tournament. As the primary objective was to raise the maximum funds for the charity, the event needed to justify a significant donation per corporate team entry.  This meant a prestigious venue, indoor facilities to accommodate the changeable British weather, ease of access for London executives, a sit-down dinner and a tennis celebrity to offer a ‘money can’t buy’ experience. The event was held at a private members club in London thanks to a charity Board member.

The fundraiser was called the Changing Worlds Tennis Challenge.  This name captured not only the bank’s positioning as the bank for a changing world, but importantly conveyed the positive outcome being delivered by the charity changing the worlds of the young people that they touch.  From the moment that guests arrived they were reminded at every opportunity of the reason they were there.  Ball boys and girls from the charity were on court and said a few words before dinner. To thank them, the tennis pro ran a clinic before the start of the fundraiser.

As guests entered the club they were handed sports bags containing tennis shirts with event branding, balls, towels and literature about the charity.  On court, corporate teams were able to warm up with a former professional player.  The courts were branded with the bank’s Davis Cup branding and banners lined the side of the courts communicating the work done by the community partner. Drinks and canapes were served after play, allowing time for networking before dinner.  That led perfectly into an auction which raised key additional funds. 

The Results
BNP Paribas trebled its investment in terms of the value of donations delivered to the charity. Rather than make a simple, one-off donation, the bank put its money to work creating an even greater financial impact for their community partner. Strategically even more was achieved. BNP Paribas reinforced its commitment to the local community by funding the creation of a facility that will change the lives of young people in and around Church Street Ward for years to come.  The bank also extended its global tennis sponsorship strategy to encompass its community investment and foster social inclusion.

Key Learning
By creating a corporate tennis challenge, the bank created a platform to build its brand and business relationships.  Adopting an approach to charitable giving and community investment that fosters a positive business impact makes it more sustainable.  More and more we see that corporate social responsibility must make business sense as well as delivering a social benefit.  This is a great example of creating that type of synergy.

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