When we asked Point of Rental users to share their stories of how they were EPIC in 2019, the responses amazed us – and some were too good not to share. That’s how we felt about Taylor Rental Center’s entry, “50 Events for 50 Years.”
Every rental store is familiar with the requests – someone asks every day for a donation, sponsorship, or to use your inventory rent-free. Keeping true to founder Alan Neuwirth’s philosophy of being involved in their community, Taylor Rental Center committed to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2019 by agreeing to the first 50 requests to roll in.
We asked the current owner, Paul Neuwirth (Alan’s son), about the promotion and how it went.
POR: How’d you come up with the list?
PN: We started with our list of recurring donations and added to it. Each time we sponsored an event, we posted on our Facebook page using our 50th anniversary logo and a picture from the event. That brought others who were interested in participating, and we were able to get to 50 events pretty quickly. As we went through the list of recurring donations, we realized for the first time how many of these events we were already participating in – we’ve at least two dozen organizations that we’ve worked with for each of the last 20-plus years! So it turned out we were already halfway there before we even started promoting it.
POR: Was there a vetting process? Was it focused on a type of group specifically?
PN: Obviously there are limits to what we can do; for example, we can only work with so many people per weekend, so we’ve had to turn down requests due to that.
We try to support local events where we have a history with the people running the event – past customers, etc. We support schools, scouts, fundraising events for charities, local fire and police departments, civic/business associations, churches/temples, a local playhouse and local charities.
We sponsor a local concert series in town and hand out free popcorn at the four summer concerts. We also support five of our high school sports varsity teams and two local marching bands.
Some events we’ve done are small local fundraisers; some are very large charity events including a 5K road race event that raises $1 million per year. In many cases of the smaller school fundraisers, we provide a gift certificate for a free rental of a party rental item – moonwalk or popcorn machine with supplies.
For our scouts, we provide free construction rental equipment for any Eagle Scout that his working on his senior project. It counts as one event, but we probably sponsor four or five Scouts per year – many of them building or improving facilities in the area.
We have been the Gold sponsor for a Mother’s Day 5K race for the past five years, raising money for the local YMCA’s Live Strong program for cancer survivors. We set up an entire tent village for vendors, food and registration areas.
My father was a founding member of the original Chamber of Commerce so we have been a big sponsor of the annual “Block Party” in town that draws a few thousand people to town on a Sunday in June.
POR: Are you able to quantify the donations you ended up making through this campaign?
PN: While we still have events to go this fall, we have already supplied more than $35,000 in sponsorships. The dollar totals donated don’t include any of the labor involved in delivering or setting up these events/rentals. So we haven’t taken an exact measure of the amount of time, effort and money with the promotion. But our entire staff takes a lot of pride in being able to give back to the community where we live and work.
POR: Did the 50 Events for 50 Years promotion influence how you’ll handle charity requests moving forward?
We will certainly continue to support local events in the community. We’ve developed a reputation for supporting our community – we just won’t be marketing it with a special campaign.