Empowering  Christmas party budgets


Last year at Prism (www.prism.uk.com) had a brainwave and decided to do a whole lot more with its Christmas party budget than simply put on drinks and a spread for the staff. Instead of doing the standard fayre, Prism totally transformed its end of year staff ‘do’ into a Christmas party fund raiser for its PETT scheme (Prism Empowering Through Technology)
 
PETT (www.pett.uk.com) is the cornerstone of Prism’s entire CSR strategy, providing assistance to third sector organisations through donations, strategic working and training. It’s at the heart of Prism. Gary David Smith, Co-Founder explains more “We decided to create a magical Winter Wonderland charity event for PETT.  We ensured we visually branded it with plenty of Winter Wonderland Christmas decorations.”
 
Prism’s first event in 2016 was attended by over 150 people and raised over £10,000k to help PETT selected charities, and its expects this year’s event to be even bigger and better.  As well as having a concept, pushing out the boat in terms of the setting or environment is also well worth it.
 
“This year we are dressing up a unique venue that absolutely oozes with potential. Rather than taking the easy option of choosing a bar or restaurant for our Christmas function, we have chosen a place people would least expect,” says Smith.  “We are indeed very privileged to be permitted by the National Trust team at Quarry Bank to hire their truly amazing space.” As a National Trust property, traditionally known for its rich industrial heritage, gardens and estate as well as the memorable weddings it hosts, it’s the first time such a large corporate event will be held at the property.
 
Thinking outside the box, Prism is using a northern landmark with social credentials. “Moving to Quarry Bank was a sensible decision to maximise the fundraising opportunity, add character to the event and offer an alternative,” says Smith.  “Try wherever possible to think outside the box.  Rather than playing it safe, push out and venture into pastures unknown.” In terms of organising this year’s Christmas charity fundraiser, Prism created total engagement with every Prism team with staff on every level of the organisation. 
 
“There’s no activity better for team building than having an impact on good causes. Its what Christmas should be all about,” says Smith.  “Each year, the evening involves all our staff and also raise some serious money for a good cause. All of our staff relish knowing they are giving something back at Christmas.” Giving the contributions to third sector organisations like Macclesfield-based charity SPACE4Autism in the form of fully refurbished PC’s or for funding other areas of their technology makes the entire activity make sense and light up staff member’s smiles like a Christmas tree. We also make sure everyone knows what the money is specifically used for with case studies around the give.  To date, 199 refurbished devices have been donated to good causes through PETT (www.pett.uk.com) and three causes received specific funding from the event.  We want to help as many charities connect with their members, volunteers and potential funders. Shouting about who has received what allows the annual activity to gain its own momentum.  People can see how they are making a difference,” says Gary David Smith.
 
Critically, the whole point of the activity is for everyone at Prism – and I mean everyone – to share the load in making the magical Christmas Wonderland experience a reality. It really is a truly great for team building, retention of staff and also to show good will and genuine care for the wider community.