Encouraging business support: DQ's Sarah O'Donnell, left, and Happiness House's Robyn Francis

Out-of-town businesses running conferences and events in Queenstown now have a way
to meaningfully contribute to the local community.

Destination Queenstown, along with its convention bureau, have launched a corporate
social responsibility programme called ‘Community Connection’.

It introduces 16 established not-for-profits and trusts from which business events organisers and delegates can choose to donate to, sponsor or volunteer their time towards.

These groups cover a range of areas — social/community support, environmental, sports,
heritage and children/young people.

Examples include Happiness House, Baskets of Blessing, Whakatipu Wildlife Trust,
Queenstown Mountain Bike Club, Queenstown Lakes Baby Box Charitable Trust, Wakatipu Search & Rescue and Queenstown Trails Trust.

The programme’s stemmed from business events organisers asking Queenstown Convention Bureau how they can give back to the host community.

‘‘Many of these small organisations are run by volunteers, funded by the kindness of donations from the local community, and would highly value contributions from visiting groups,’’ DQ marketing & comms director Sarah O’Donnell says.

‘‘Within the prospectus, each of the charitable organisations lists a variety of ways in which groups and visitors can give back to our local community and make a contribution during their time in Queenstown.’’

Robyn Francis, who manages community support centre Happiness House, says the programme’s ‘‘a great opportunity to connect visiting groups with not-for-profits in Queenstown’’.

‘‘I just really like that businesses are thinking about their social responsibility.’’