For Amuse Consulting’s Marc Smith community is all about how you show up in the world, and as a finalist at this year’s Small Business BC Successful You Awards, he is sharing that philosophy with other businesses across the province.
A finalist in the Best Community Impact category, Smith (pictured right) is competing against four other nominees that organizers have chosen for demonstrating a positive impact in their community and who have taken positive action to invest in that community.
“I really struggled with nominating Amuse for the community impact award because it was difficult to talk about myself and what I do,” admitted Smith, “but I realized there was an opportunity to share the work I have done and perhaps inspire others.”
That work includes his 2011 pro bono efforts with QMUNITY, BC’s Queer Resource Centre. Originally inspired after hearing of the Arkansas school board member who posted on his Facebook page that “queers” and “fags” should kill themselves, Smith began researching local queer charities to see how he and his company might make a difference.
“I was so upset that viewpoints like that still existed in the world and although I knew about QMUNITY it wasn’t until then that I really discovered them. I reached out to Jennifer [Executive Director Jennifer Breakspear] and offered my services”.
As an event planner, Marc was not only able to organize the QMUNITY’s Stack The Rack event that raised over $22,000 but helped to take them to a new level of exposure, engagement and opportunity.
“Throughout the year [Marc] worked with us to conceive, plan and present high calibre events which captured community interest and imagination,” said QMUNITY Executive Director Jennifer Breakspear. “This translated into increased fundraising revenue and elevated public profile, both of which are vital for a non-profit organization.”
Not looking to parachute in to help with a specific fundraising event though, Smith says that helping the organizations he works with transform the way they do things is much more important than simply raising money. Having helped transform QMUNITY, Smith now has his sights on another organization.
“I’m still involved with QMUNITY this year but my goal is to take my expertise to others and help them grow as well,” said Smith who has chosen Five Hole for Food, which helps raise funds for local food banks, as his 2012 charity.
Smith will find out if he is this year’s winner of the Small Business BC Best Community Impact award at the Successful You Awards on February 28th, 2012.