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Taking a lead in business opportunities to give back.

While many companies give back through a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) is taking a different approach to ensure that it’s leading by example.

CINZ, New Zealand’s business events industry association, holds its annual conference in a different part of the country each year.

Looking for a way to give back to these communities, CINZ decided to set up a fund under Auckland Foundation - the CINZ Community Fund - so that a donation could be made as part of its annual conference to a local charity or project.

For this year’s conference in Auckland, the CINZ Community Fund chose to support Eat My Lunch.

Using the social enterprise's 'Buy one, give one' model, CINZ provided lunch for its 200 conference delegates and at the same time donated 200 lunches to school children in Auckland.

CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says corporate social responsibility was high on this conference’s agenda.

"At CINZ we want to ensure all incentive and conference groups coming to New Zealand have an opportunity to weave CSR into their programmes."

"We're creating a new industry resource so organisers have the key information they need to add a give-back component to their events, and worthy CSR opportunities will be listed on our website for event planners looking for advice and ideas."

"We also give back to local communities at every annual conference we run."

"This year we delivered an inspirational and powerful social message with a pre-lunch talk by Eat My Lunch founder, Lisa King. All our delegates loved their lunchbox and even more, they loved knowing another lunch was being given to a hungry school student at the same time."

"Having a fund with Auckland Foundation makes it easy for us to make a grant and support the local charities and projects that we believe are doing great community service."

Since the CINZ Community Fund was established with Auckland Foundation in 2010, CINZ has supported a number of local causes, including backpacks full of educational items for a Roturua school; cricket equipment and a lunchtime coaching opportunity with Sir Richard Hadlee at Hagley Oval for Christchurch students; and tree planting along the Otago Peninsula.

Photo supplied by CINZ.