The students’ organization body at Bedfordshire University has been very vibrant in social matters recently. This year, the student organization committee is planning to give back to society in a very special way. We are planning a competitive marathon to raise funds that shall be used to help a group of children identified with eyesight problems get treatment at our medical centre. Bedfordshire University takes this opportunity to engage the society in making the world a better place to live in, as a way of being a responsible corporate citizen. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a school of thought whereby businesses and individuals at large think beyond committing their time to making profits and caring the welfare of business to assisting its customers and hosts in achieving their goals in life. It entails going out of their way to meet the people, get to know some of the persistent problems, which in one way or another can be controlled and prevented but have been neglected.
Through daily interactions with others we reveal a lot about ourselves. We reveal our fears, dreams and ambitions. Even more importantly we reveal ours deep problems. Our student organizing Secretary Miss Julia Coyle had the pleasure of meeting two boys who were not able to go to school because they lacked one gift we almost take for granted: the power of sight. She was very passionate as she narrated the story to us during the weekly bulletin on April, 24th this year. Everyone on us was deeply touched by the story and we made it our responsibility to right this wrong.
After lengthy consultations and fruitful discussion, we organized a fundraiser to raise funds which will be used to help the two boys and any other needy child within our immediate community medical solution to their problems and live better lives.
This fundraiser will be a sporting activity dubbed the Bedforeshire Marathon. Money will be raised through the sale of T-shirts, caps, wrists bands and direct donation from sponsors of the event. Participants will be required to register for the event in advance. We are targeting to attract at least six hundred athletes to enable us raise £100000 from the event. All funds will go to our charity. The marathon will be grouped in three categories: the ten kilometre run, the five kilometre run and the three kilometer run.
Registration requirements for one to participate in the event are: purchase a T-shirt at a cost of £200 for adults and £100 for children below the age of twelve years. Other available merchandise is: polo caps for £40 and wrist bands for £20. T-shirts can be bought at our stands in the campus and at selected leading supermarkets country wide. The Bedfordshire Marathon takes place on July 4th this year and everyone is invited to register and participate.
Inclusion of all members of the society in the values of a nation is the most valuable heritage a nation can boast of. It is evident that our country promotes the culture of taking care of everyone’s need, not only in the incorporation of national activities but also at a personal level and beyond limits of the state. These words explain why, besides ensuring that we do not infringe each other’s right in the course of our noble project of nation building, we make the necessary steps of ensuring that no one is left behind.
Having learnt from the past failures with regard to proper hosting, we look forward to taking serious measures to increase attendance. To begin with, we have undertaken a serious campaign through our peers in other universities to inform the general public about the importance of this day to our nation and world at large. Through our lecturers, we have been able to meet different people in the corporate world and requested from their assistance in sensitizing people of the prime benefit this day carries to our nation. Fortunately, we managed to reach one of the media stations and requested for their support. They have since agreed to sponsor our event by producing radio adverts.
Since most the participants will be youths, we will publicize the event through the social networking platform. We have a Facebook fan page Run for Sight. Our Twitter hash tag is Seeing is Believing. These social forums are open to all members of the public. Best five performers in each category shall be awarded presents ranging from shopping vouchers, certificates stationery to iPods
With all this support at our disposal, coupled with the zeal manifested by the people we have approached so far, this event will undoubtedly be a great success.
Benefits of the event
Corporate social responsibility has many benefits both to the community and institutions. It gives corporate an opportunity to interact with their customers outside the trading arena, giving them a golden opportunity to strengthen their business ties when the event is over. Every business in the world that eyes success has no option other than laying robust long-term plans of keeping its customers as well as attracts new clients. Turning on the learning institutions, it the dream of every parent, every young boy or girl to go to the highest points in education and as a result any assistance channeled towards assisting those who cannot make it on their own has to be greeted with a lot of joy from this members. It will thus make people feel part of the plan enhancing the learning institutions in the country and be appreciated.
Again corporate social responsibility avails a chance to woe new clients in the university. Given the kind of life the less fortunate members of community go through, it is likely that some people have lost hopes of making it to the university education. Taking an example of those with impaired eyesight and with damaged corneas, going to school at entry level may be a dream since they consider themselves the unfortunate group in society. We aim to do our best to reverse this helpless situation. This will have tremendous results because people who had all along been eliminated from high education participation by natural problems are brought back through reinforcements by well wishers. This is of great benefit to the society since in the long run; additional skills are impacted on people who previously did not make a contribution to the society.
The direct benefit here is that responsibility will be instilled to young people. This will help them pursue their dreams and hence, achieve their best. Talking of robbery as the poor citizens look for something to eat, prostitution as our jobless ladies try to catch up with the soaring cost of living as well as maintain their expensive lifestyles is catered for through “socially accepted ways in the society”. This gives these people a new lifeline.
People will be more united, as they have confidence in institutions. The less fortunate members of the community gets to know the tremendous help they can get from the corporate world and as a result there exists some perceived union between the propertied and the less fortunate in viewing the corporate citizens (companies and public institutions). The common view is very important in that becomes very easy to enforce a national law as well as changing the current status quo in the society due to the “perceived “union. It is always crucial for the ways of a nation to reflect a common stand with regard to crucial issues as well as mending existing rifts in the society.
Objectives of the event
The slogan of the event remains “seeing is believing” a phrase taken to mean that some members of our community remain at pains due to problems are deprived of some basic but yet important right that is necessary for their empowerment, and the university and the outside world at large can do something to reduce the cases of poor eyesight in the community.
On the events’ day, every participant ought to have arrived at the university grounds at ten o’clock in the morning. A brief introduction is held, primarily to officially invite people as well as updating people on what changed after the last event was held. The main event now commences. The collections made from this sales goes directly to the fund created to assist the community.
Options available to minimize cost.
The event is scheduled to take place on a Sunday, therefore, there be no academic activities going on by the virtue that it will be on a weekend. To minimize the costs of hosting the event we shall use the University’s stadium, dining hall and seats. This will by far help to reduce the costs involved consequently using the money available on the most pressing areas of expenditure. This is the much better decision than to secure venue at a cost outside the school compound for it will necessitate paying more money.
Apart from the guests, trimming costs can be done at the event organizing wing. Instead of hiring a group of independent deejays for music and master of ceremonies from outside the university, a local arrangement can be done whereby a group of students with the passion and skills for public event hosting can do that at a lower fee or for no cost. This will turn out to be a big boost in reducing the event expenditure and make the spending strictly be within the preferred range.
Provision of lunch to the guests shows an of hospitality gesture and very diplomatic, but on an economic perspectives it is costly given the tight budget decisions we have to make with my assistants. We will focus on adjusting the overall time the meeting will take will be very decisive in determining the evasion of this” unnecessary cost”. As a way of example, letting the meeting start at nine o’clock in the morning after ensuring that all the guests invited to deliver a speech are around makes the planning easy. This is a very important move towards proper time management.
In order to enhance good communication and coordination of the event, we need to invest in the best public address media facilities. It makes economic sense to use the available university lecturing materials but on a closer look, this may not reach out all the people targeted. It is a common phenomenon in meeting places for some people to fail to confirm attendance only to surprise the hosts by making last minute arrivals. It is therefore necessary to include them in our plans. We shall hire a public address system and powerful speakers to ensure everyone invited receives information comfortably from the facilitators. There will also be ushers to direct people and answer questions arising during the marathon.
Areas to spend on:
- Provision of drinks to the guests. This is a very important aspect since the guests need refreshments in the course of delivering their speeches and again is a show of appreciation for the sacrifice of their time to share with us the important topic of the day. However, lunch will be for guests only, meaning that those other people will not be catered for in this part.
- Erecting of tents in the open ground to ensure comfort ability of those in attendance and shield from adverse weather conditions. The appropriate location of this is where guests can have a good view of the runners in the field.
- In the event to raise more money for the planned activity, printing more T-shirts to ensure that any person who needs such will not go unserved.This is to ensure that maximum sales are made, and the guiding principle should be that it’s better to have unsold shirts at the end of the event rather than letting some people go without what they were capable of purchasing.
- Due to the risks involved in any sporting activity, it is necessary that we spend on first aid item. This is to cater for any bruises and minor injuries people get in the course of the marathon or any other activity they undertake in the course of the event\
A summarized budget for the day
Purchasing of drinks……………………………………………………… £400
Hiring of an event organizer for tents and sitting arrangements……………. £200
First aid provision kitty…………………………………………………….. £100
Arrangements for ambulance in case of a serious injury…………………… £100
T-shirt printing……………………………………………………………... £700
TOTAL PROJECTED EXPENDITURE………………………………….. £1500
Owing to the limited amount of funds, we have made arrangements with the people who confirmed to attend to deposit a third of the price of a T-shirt with the finance treasurer. The remaining must be paid a day before the big event. It is also worth mentioning that the university management has offered to refund all the expenses incurred in printing T-shirts that will remain unsold at the end of the event, which is an incentive to us to print as many as we can.
To cater for any inconveniency, an arrangement between the university management and the university hospital with regard to catering for any urgent matter that may take happen has been finalized. The university has committed to cater for unexpected hospital bill for any person who sustains injury during the event.
*The above expenditure estimates are subject to approval by the sponsors. The additional funding will be catered for by private sponsors who have already confirmed participation.
Key activities before and during the events day
Most of the preparations ought to be done days before the actual day. This involves field preparations, sitting arrangements as well as the acquisition of first aid materials necessary for taking care of minor injuries that occur on the events day. On the material day, our master of ceremony with his assistants will take care of entertainment needs as well direct different people on where to sit, inviting guests to speak and calling upon any member of the service team to undertake any urgent activity that may arise