meet the cause collaborative events team

Events are integral to the financial success of many nonprofit organizations, and it’s essential that every detail is cohesive with their mission, values, and goals. At The Cause Collaborative, our events team always shows up with big ideas and wows clients with their ability to weave stories into event experiences. As we kick off another busy events season (you know, when the sun starts to shine and it’s actually warm here in Rochester!), we depend on their talent, creativity, and hard work to pull off events of all types and sizes.

Let’s meet the team!

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Meet Meg Lindsay, our Events Manager

Once the little girl who aspired to be a wedding planner, Meg now plans and executes mission-driven events that creatively tell the stories of nonprofit organizations. Whether it’s an annual gala or an intimate donor event, Meg looks to add purpose to every experience, no matter the scale.

What is one piece of advice for organizations looking to plan mission-driven events?

“Focus on this year. What makes this year different from years before and years to come? Focusing on that differentiating factor and tying that to a theme will add meaning and purpose while making each year unique, encouraging your guests to keep coming back.”

What's an event theme or type of event that you'd want to be a part of planning?

“I love all kinds of gatherings. (See my blog post on different types of fundraising events that can get you thinking outside the box). I'd love to help with more volunteer recruitment events, or "friend-raisers." I think there are a lot of opportunities out there for nonprofit organizations that rely on the support of volunteers.”

How do you solve problems that arise (with vendors, clients, attendees, etc.) during event planning?

“Issues that come up can almost always be solved or worked around leading up to an event. Oftentimes, it just takes a little bit of dedicated time to think through the problem, why it happened, how it affects other tasks/people, and then how to move forward.”

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Meet Rachelle Jaffarian, our Communications & Events Coordinator

Rachelle is a planning whiz. While prepping for events, she prioritizes organization and communication to make sure everything runs smoothly. Events involve a ton of moving parts, which means that dialogue has to be constant between team members, partners, and vendors. She fell in love with event planning after seeing the difference that events can make for nonprofit organizations.

What is one piece of advice for organizations looking to plan mission-driven events?

“Don't be afraid to add a theme. Themes create very fun and unique opportunities to share your mission and tell your story throughout the entire event! Check out my blog post (planning an event? put purpose first) all about mission-driven events to learn more about this.”

What skills or habits are crucial to working in events?

“It's important to stay organized with all of the different elements that come with each event — otherwise, it can be easy to lose track of something amidst the logistics. You need to keep communication rolling constantly between team members, clients, and vendors. Lastly, keep calm! Things can get overwhelming, but take a deep breath and get it done — that's what's most important.”

What does the day before and day of an event look like for you?

“The day before is a lot of prepping, ensuring we have all we need for the event. Day-of usually starts bright and early with set-up — getting all décor in place, setting up registration, placing signage, training volunteers, etc. Once the event kicks off, it's time to see your work in action! Our roles are always different day-of depending on what the client needs. We assist with everything from registration and check-out to volunteer leading, and sometimes just as floaters, filling in wherever needed.”

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Meet Zach Picardo, our Events Intern!

Borrowed from St. John Fisher College, Zach is currently helping to coordinate multiple events, including the Diocese of Rochester’s Golf & Games: Benefitting Education Hardship, an annual event benefiting families of the Diocese of Rochester Catholic Schools that experience financial hardship. Event planning has been a central thread of his time at Fisher, where he has helped to plan several events for his class and previous internship.

What's an event theme or type of event that you'd want to be a part of planning?

“I am looking forward to assisting with and attending a gala alongside the events staff at The Cause Collaborative. I enjoy the formal atmosphere of a gala and want to experience the excitement of live and silent auctions.”

What’s one thing you’ve learned about events throughout your internship?

“I’ve learned a lot during my internship. (See my blog post, new grounds: how interns have evolved from coffee makers to changemakers.) When working in events, I’ve learned that you should always have the mindset to plan in advance as much as possible. This leaves room for the possibility that something won’t go as expected. Being able to work well and communicate with clients and vendors is essential.”

Is There an Event in Your Nonprofit’s Future?

If you’re looking for event support in any capacity, whether it be branding, planning, or concept development, contact us. We’re driven to help causes throw successful events that reach new audiences, delight guests, and make an impact on their goals.