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September 22, 2014
Philanthropy

5th Annual Kenway Consulting Charity Golf Outing: Planning to Make a Difference

I’m not a golfer, but I’m a planner. I even drafted a project plan (no lie) when I started hosting Thanksgiving for my family. I joined Kenway Consulting five years ago, and one of my initial internal projects was to help plan our first charity event. After looking into several options, we decided to host a golf outing benefiting Inspiration Corporation. What did I know about planning a golf outing? Nothing. But with a team of golfers and planners, we pulled it off. I remember cringing a little bit when the golf outing was given an official title of the “First Annual Kenway Consulting Charity Golf Outing.” Annual? Really? However, there was clearly no doubt in our CEO’s mind that the event would be successful.

And now, four years later, Kenway Consulting just hosted its 5th annual charity golf outing.  Not bad for a small consulting company that recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Each year, a dedicated team does what Kenway Consultants do best – plan, execute, and deliver. In addition, we constantly strive to improve the outing, fine tuning what works and taking calculated risks to exceed our own expectations from previous years.

Planning

Planning for this year’s outing began with a brainstorming session at our kick-off meeting, where we generated lots of good, tangible ideas. We set our goals, and we employed a technique that should be in every consultant’s toolbox: Stop. Start. Continue.

Stop: What are the things that we have done in the past that we should no longer be doing? These can be things that no longer support our goals or are no longer effective in providing a desired outcome.

Start: Here’s where all the great ideas that were generated during our brainstorming session came into play! During the “Start” phase, we evaluate things that we believe we should introduce into our project and processes. In addition to the ideas themselves, it is also important to determine how benefits will be measured.

Continue: These are the processes and activities that have proved successful in the past, so there is no reason to abandon them, but rather consciously reinforce them going forward.

I love this technique because it forces you to take a step back and take stock in what you’re doing right and how you can do better, because, let’s face it, there’s always room for improvement. Not only is this exercise beneficial at the start of the project, but it is also worth leveraging at the end of a project. Now that our 5th golf outing is behind us, we plan to reconvene as a team to review the outcome as part of our project closure efforts. Among some of the questions we will ask ourselves are:

  • Did we deliver all we said we would?
  • Did we realize the benefits to which we committed?
  • Were we able to manage against and stay within our budget?

Executing

There are a lot of moving parts on the day of the event, and everyone has a specific role and responsibility to ensure the success of the day. Some aspects that attribute to the success of the event are:

  • The effort of the Kenway Employees: We could not have made the day a success without every employee helping to raise donations, sell raffle tickets, and spread the word about the outing.
  • The Event Volunteers: We could not have accommodated 120 golfers without our volunteers on the day of the event.
  • The Event Sponsors: We could not have provided such great food (thank you Inspiration Corporation for catering the dessert!) and great golf facilities without our sponsors: CDW, Mary & Michael Goodkind, Brad Feinsmith of d’Aprile Properties, Michael Haberer, Emil Mokhtarian (Wells Fargo Advisors), Alpha Graphics, Lundstrom Insurance, Hirewell, The Kueker Family, Aimee Daniels (Vistage International), and Wally Weisenburger.

Delivering

This year’s golf outing proved to be a success!  I am proud to share that we raised $21,500 for Inspiration Corporation, raising our total donation to $78,000 over the past five years thanks to the support and generosity of all of our participants, donors, and sponsors.

However, delivering is measured by more than just a dollar amount.  Delivering is making a difference.  That’s why this year we were especially proud when a man named Caesarei Marsh spoke at this year’s event.  Not too long ago, Caesarei was a heroin addict with nowhere to live, no friends or family to help him, and not a dollar to his name.  By his own admission, he would probably be dead today if he hadn’t found Inspiration Corporation. Inspiration Corporation provided him with meals and, more importantly, with employment preparation and vocational training – truly ‘serving as a catalyst for self-reliance.’  And what a catalyst they were!  Today, Caesarei is drug free and works as a Case Manager for Inspiration Corporation while also working towards completing his bachelor’s degree.

Improving

At Kenway, it is not enough to simply plan, execute, and deliver.  We vow (as evidenced by our Guiding Principles) to never rest on our laurels and to always look for ways to improve.  Ways to make a difference.  Ways to inspire others to make a difference.

It’s those guiding principles that led us to create a $10,000 cash raffle for the first time in our outing’s history.  And it’s those same guiding principles that will continue to inspire and motivate us to find new and innovative ways to support our community.

Again, thank you everyone for making this year’s event a success!

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