Meeting Planners’ Guide to Savannah’s CSR Programs

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Visit Savannah's corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs inspire meeting planners and their attendees to get involved in the community, give back, and make a difference while meeting in Savannah, Georgia—known for its authentic hospitality and grace and consistently named one the “world's friendliest cities" by Condé Nast Traveler readers.

The importance of CSR Programs

Attendees are increasingly looking for opportunities to make a difference during their personal and professional travels. By offering CSR activities as part of meeting programs, attendees have a chance to give back to the local community and make a positive impact on the destination. 

Examples of how CSR Programs can be incorporated into a meeting experience:

  • Partner with local charities and nonprofits to organize volunteer activities for attendees. See below for Savannah-focused activities!
  • Offset the carbon footprint of your meeting by donating to carbon offset programs or planting trees.
  • Use sustainable and ethical suppliers when planning your meeting. The Savannah Convention Center is a Gold-LEED certified center for their sustainability efforts. 
  • Encourage attendees to bring reusable items to the meeting, such as water bottles and coffee mugs. 

By incorporating corporate responsibility programs into your meeting experience, attendees can feel that they are making a positive impact. Visit Savannah is here to help assist in planning productive and impactful CSR activities. 

"When Meetings Today chooses a destination for its hosted buyer events, we work very closely with the DMO in that destination. Our style is to showcase a destination and provide planners with as many new and unique ways to use that destination. We have incorporated CSR and learning into our agenda consistently and try to find unique attributes to showcase a city.

“In Savannah, headquarters of the Girl Scouts of America, we had a great opportunity to teach our attendees about the history. In going through the various parts of the house that served as the birthplace of the Girl Scouts, attendees became very engaged and curious. We took the opportunity to make plans to purchase cookies for the troops overseas in yet another element of this CSR experience.

“In truth, the event surveys when we left Savannah showcased just how special and important items like this are in an event!”

-Kirk Lewis | Director of Business Development, Meetings Today

Get Involved With Girl Scouts

Savannah is the birthplace of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordan Low, who founded the city's first Girl Scout troop in 1912. Girl Scouts give back to their communities and work to make the world a better place, and your group can join them in this mission. 

Groups meeting in Savannah have collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia to write letters and ship them with Girl Scout cookie boxes for soldiers overseas. 

During ESTO 2023 in Savannah, attendees joined the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia in pursuing volunteer activities on-site at the Savannah Convention Center. Along their path to achievement, Girl Scouts earned patches, so ESTO attendees assisted in this process by forming assembly lines that put together 4,000 bags containing materials for the Girl Scouts to complete different badge work.

Contact: Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia Community Engagement Manager Elizabeth Brown [email protected]

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“I think that hosting a CSR event as part of one’s annual gathering is an important way to not only give back, but to thank the host community… and a way to make an impact that is not just economic, but speaks to the community itself. For our ESTO cares project this year, it was an easy choice to select the “Girl Scouts of America – Historic Georgia Savannah Region” as the Girl Scouts are part of the city’s heritage and have a reach that is community-wide. Visit Savannah was an essential partner in the planning as they made it easy with a list of non-profit organizations that they already knew could help facilitate a “turnkey” style program for us (we are a volunteer event, so turnkey is essential). Once ready, they facilitated the contact with the right people in the organization to get things moving quickly. 

Our events are usually onsite at the convention center, and I must give credit to the team at the Savannah Convention Center made it super easy for both us and the Girls Scouts to pull it all together. They handled each request quickly and efficiently, and were very thorough in advance, so we were 99.9% good to go before the event even started!  Their support staff onsite were terrific!  Bottom Line: Visit Savannah and the Savannah Convention Center helped ensure that this was our best, most successful, and well-attended ESTO Cares event yet!”

 Amir Eylon | President & CEO, Longwoods International

More CSR Programs to Engage In

Visit Savannah connects planners with area organizations to help connect their attendees with volunteer activities that benefit the local community and environment. Our destination also provides customization and flexible options to help seamlessly incorporate CSR programs into your meeting. Here are some of the groups you can partner with.

America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia

  • Sort food and stock shelves
  • Pack bags of food for seniors
  • Group opportunities to pack boxes of goods that are then delivered to seniors

American Diabetes Association

  • Media research
  • Media relations
  • Diabetes awareness and education activities
  • Special event support 

Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity

  • Construction
  • ReStore
  • Various fundraisers

West Broad Street YMCA

  • Volunteer with early learning center, before-/after- school and summer programs, adult education, hardening, meal preparation and service, and community events  

The Salvation Army - Savannah, Georgia

  • Volunteer opportunities include creative and performing arts programs, sports and recreation, after-school tutorial programs, warehouse/thrift stores, and various general needs

United Way of the Coastal Empire

  • Work with companies and groups and coordinate with a specific impact area that the group is most interested in volunteering with, such as youth, people who are homeless, seniors, animals and the environment

Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens

  • Volunteer opportunities to work in the on-site gardens, as well as educational sessions and children's activities
  • Assist in setting up and working various seasonal events hosted by the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

Savannah Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

  • Host a drive to collect and donate school supplies for Pre-K through 12th grade children.
  • Host a clothing drive and donate gently worn clothes, school uniforms, and toiletries for children. 
  • Sponsor a child during the holiday season by making a donation, covering the expenses of their wish list, or adopt a family by becoming a Secret Santa
  • Serve as a CASA volunteer

Union Mission

  • Help residents and staff in the effort to end homelessness in Savannah 
  • Assist by planting trees, tutoring children, providing meals, fixing a fence or other projects, painting facilities, arts and crafts for families and children, and more

Rape Crisis Center

  • Volunteer in various ways, including as Crisis Line Volunteers, Hospital Advocates, clerical support, fundraising or staff booths at area events.

Senior Citizens

  • Volunteer activities with flexible time commitments, various activities and safe opportunities.

Savannah Speech and Hearing Center

  • Provide support as a volunteer for the “Speak Easy” Support Group, community heating screenings, administrative duties, fundraising and the Sound Start early intervention auditory/verbal program.
Support the Environment

The expansion of the Savannah Convention Center builds upon the city’s efforts to go green, with the premier riverfront facility adopting numerous noteworthy initiatives for planning sustainable events.

The Convention Center—one of the first in the state to earn LEED Gold Certification—features energy-efficient and eco-friendly convention spaces and services. The state-of-the-art venue offers a recycling program and fresh, sustainable catering options.

Among the Convention Center’s modern features are water bubbler stations, so attendees can fill up their water bottles and limit the use of plastic, as well as biodegradable disposables.

 The Convention Center also has the flexibility to accommodate specific green initiative requests from groups.

Learn More

Incorporate CSR Into Your Savannah Meeting

Reach out to Visit Savannah Destination Services Manager Stephanie Muehlher at [email protected] or 912.644.6426 to start incorporating CSR into your meeting, convention or event in our destination.

Plan Your Visit