Hosting an event can be an overwhelming yet fulfilling responsibility. It’s all worth it when you see your guests smile as they celebrate the party you’ve created. What if you could make even more people smile? Creating a socially conscious event will stretch that happiness from your party guests to the people of your community. We’re sharing 10 generous ideas to incorporate philanthropy into your next celebration.

Our 10 Generous Ideas:

Ditch the Paper Invite

According to The World Counts, paper makes up 25 percent of landfill waste. Go green by going digital. Rather than send invitations in the mail, consider an online e-vites for your party guests. If you’re detail-oriented, you can even customize your own website to include details like dress code, directions, and more. Sustainability Bonus: think of how much you’ll save on postage!

Admission from the Heart

No matter what type of festivity you’re throwing, event admission can have huge influence. If you’re hosting a gala or fundraiser, making your ticket price a donation to the beneficiary of your choice is an effective way to raise funds.

Contrary to popular belief, big-time galas and corporate events are not the only parties that can make an impact. For baby and bridal showers as well as weddings, couples can select an organization that’s important to them and host their own collection drive.

Deck Yourself Out in Socially-Conscious Brands

Want to be the belle of the ball? Your clothes can impact the world, so use your discerning style to ignite change by donning an ethical clothing brand. Encourage your guests to do the same by updating your dress code or providing them with a fun style guide and ways to “go green”. For inspiration on fair trade and ethically-sourced brands, check out this guide from The Good Trade.

Hire Vendors Who Share Your Mission

When interviewing vendors for your upcoming event, don’t be afraid to learn more about their company mission. Ask your vendors if they have any social responsibility initiatives they take part in. Maybe your musicians teach children in the community or your caterer donates meals to those in need. Your vendors might have a story to tell that falls in line with the causes that are most important to you. Aligning with conscientious and genuine companies will help to make every detail of your event meaningful.

Incorporate Party Favors That Give Back

If you dig deep, you’ll find party favors that give back to the community. Truffles for a Cause is just one example of a sweet treat to make your guests feel grateful. Each chocolate truffle is wrapped for the occasion with a note specifying that a donation has been made to a supported charity. Send guests home with a token of appreciation that raises awareness for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and many more. 

Eco-friendly take on the traditional gifts

For an eco-friendly take on the traditional gift, there are a multitude of exciting, sustainable gifts to consider. Gift your guests a DIY-garden with potted plants, herbs or seeds or a jar of local preserves. Uncommon Bees, a Houston-based company, creates ethically harvested honey and beeswax products that make wonderful gifts.

Custom notebook gift

If you’re hosting a corporate event like a company conference, make sure to give a favor your guests can use. Scout Books, a custom notebook brand, is a certified B Corporation touting 100% recycled materials. Customize the cover and colors of your book to match your brand and event theme. Sustainable, green, and memorable; a perfect match for your next socially conscious event.

Choose Drinks That Make You Feel Good, and Look Good  

Choose Drinks That Make You Feel Good, and Look Good

Uplift small businesses in your community by finding a local brewery or wine purveyor. For a charitable touch, consider serving ONEHOPE Wine at the bar. To date, the wine company has donated more than $3 million to charities that have global health care, found shelters for animals in need, fed millions of meals to hungry children, and so much more. Cheers to changing the world! 

Choose a Lucky Winner

Fact: people LOVE to win. Add a little competition to your event by selling raffle tickets for a cause or hosting a silent auction with remarkable prizes. Whether they win or not, your guests will feel grateful for the opportunity to donate to a great cause.  

Donate your Flowers

You might be done with your centerpieces for the night, but think about how much joy they can bring to someone else. There are organizations across the country that are willing to deliver your bouquets to those in need. If you live in Texas, donate your wedding flowers to Floranthropy, an organization that will deliver your blooms to assisted living homes, hospitals and nonprofit organizations throughout Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

Reduce Waste

This one is a no-brainer. Cut down on waste at your event by ditching plastic utensils, paper plates and straws. Your crew might have some dishes to clean, but your conscious will be clean as well.

Don’t Let Food Go to Waste

Don’t Let Food Go to Waste

Receptions and galas are known for expansive buffets and lavish four-course meals. While it’s always better to have more food than less at your event, what happens to the food once the guests are full?

In a time when 1 in 6 Americans face hunger, don’t toss your leftovers the trash.

Organizations like Second Servings can help pick up and distribute your remaining food to families in need. The Houston-based charity retrieves unsold and unserved food from regulated food businesses, such as hotels, and delivers it safely to approved charitable meal sites.