One local business took Summer Olympics inspiration to a whole new level. Columbus-based Fine Citizens, a creative agency specializing in responsive web design, held an Office Olympics to support local charities.
Each of the seven employees at Fine Citizens were randomly paired with a nonprofit to represent while competing in five Olympic-themed events. The winner’s charity was awarded $1,000.
“The Office Olympics was our first fundraising event, but it definitely won’t be our last,” says Juliana White, marketing coordinator at Fine Citizens. “We hope to continue it throughout each Olympic games.”
When exploring which charities to support, Fine Citizens reached out to its clients for suggestions. Columbus Food League recommended Local Matters; MI Homes recommended Fly Horse Farms; Abercrombie & Fitch suggested Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio; Grange Insurance selected Amethyst; Columbus Zoo and Aquarium opted to participate and suggested The Ohio Wildlife Center. Nationwide Children’s Hospital also agreed to participate.
“We wanted to have fun,” White says. “Games took a lunch hour and allowed employees a chance to de-stress from a heavy work flow.”
Games included Post-it Fencing, where players stuck Post-it notes on their opponents; one-on-one table tennis done tournament style until one player was left standing; and Spin-It-To-Win-It, where players spun in a desk chair, drank water, and attempted to toss paper balls into a basket.
The Hold ‘Em Food Challenge put employees in a food style poker match, betting and raising who could hold different types of food in their mouth. The foods included marshmallows, peanut butter, hot sauce, sardines and jalapenos, and were weighted according to the difficulty they posed.
Finally, players battled wits in Trivial Archery by throwing darts at balloons with questions on them. Points were based on the size of the balloons and how hard the questions were to answer. Topics included clients, foods, the ’80s, video games, the ’90s, and design.
“The Office Olympics had a win-win-win outcome,” White says. “We strengthened our client relationships by representing charities they support, our employees were able to alleviate stress by getting up, laughing and being active during the day, and, in the end, a great charity received much needed funds.”
After all the battles were waged and the points were tallied, Big Brothers Big Sisters emerged as the winner of the $1,000 donation. White’s goal is to begin planning earlier for a repeat of the Office Olympics next year. Also, after discovering that dizziness and water do not mix well, Spin-It-To-Win-It will be discontinued.
For businesses looking to give back, White recommends doing something with meaning to the company and those involved, as it’s hard to do charity work when you’re not passionate about the charity.
Check out the game videos and more from Fine Citizens’ Office Olympics at Fine Citizens.com/olympics.
Philanthropic Pursuit is a monthly feature on The Metropreneur, powered by Community Shares of Mid Ohio. Is your business giving back to the community or partnering with a local nonprofit in a unique way? We want to hear about it. Contact Ryan Kovalaske at firstname.lastname@example.org.