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Making A Real Difference

Making A Real Difference

Our World | On 08, May 2013

At some point you may have heard of MIMN – Meetings Industry Meeting Needs. It’s a charity raising funds from the meetings industry for projects nominated by people in the industry. It’s not grand or high profile, but perhaps it should be.

I know we are all inundated by people asking for sponsorship for everything from bike rides to sitting in baths of baked beans and you support them because you know the person involved and because you can. The same can be said to apply to MIMN in that you know the organisers, you know the trustees, you can recommend the projects and you get to know precisely what happens to your money. I have recently been recruited to chair the new Fund-Raising Committee which is why I’m hoping you’ll take an interest in what our industry can do to help others.

Who benefits?

MIMN are focused on funding self help and sustainability projects, overseas and in the UK, to make a lasting impact. Our aim is to work with small charities and project led initiatives, which don’t have government funding and where we can make the biggest impact. A recent example is the Building Forest Enterprise project to which MIMN gave £4,000 to buy and plant more than 11,000 trees to generate sustainable income for 10 communities in Mali.

The trees provide fruit and nuts that can be processed into syrups, butter and soap for sale in local markets. The trees were planted in partnership with registered charity, Tree Aid and managed and used by 516 beneficiaries, of which 453 are female entrepreneurs. Kay Dowling, Trust Fundraising Officer of Tree Aid, said: “The project has been hugely successful with enterprise groups earning more income year on year. When the project started the average income was £1, and now it is £21. It may not seem very much to us in the UK, but in Mali that makes the difference between being able to fed your family and send your children to school.

What can you do?

In some cases it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big difference to lives and that’s where I hope you’ll feel you can help. We are looking for companies to become Charity Partners and for individuals to join us as Personal Champions to support this work. Individual membership from as little as £5 per month will let you become part of a growing movement in our industry to make a difference to those less fortunate. You can be sure all your money will go where it can do most good as everyone works for free (even me!), there are no management charges or salaries, 100% of your donation goes to funding projects.

Why not take a look at some more of the projects we’ve been involved in and find out how you can be a part of our industry’s charity MIMN. Just think your £5 per month could have planted over 150 trees by this time next year and provided a sustainable income for 8 families. Food for thought.

Nigel Cooper