How the MPI Foundation celebrates, spreads the power of good

Blog > Industry News

How the MPI Foundation celebrates, spreads the power of good

By Michael Pinchera | Jun 11, 2024

Kevin Kirby, executive director of the MPI Foundation, shares WEC Louisville successes—including raising $180,000!—and teases what’s to come during the remainder of the group’s 40th anniversary celebrations this year.

How are you celebrating the MPI Foundation’s 40th anniversary, both earlier this year and in the months to come?

For the 40th anniversary, there is an entire calendar of activities, campaigns and personal engagement opportunities developed by MPI Foundation’s Global Board of Trustees. Beyond raising funds through donations from individuals, chapters and organizations, we’ve sought to make the connection in our community more profound. Our success is measured by ensuring we maximize our grants and scholarships distribution. While how much we raise is important, it’s equally as important to know that through 40 years, we have helped over 25,000 individuals.

The MPI Foundation’s theme this year is “Celebrating the power of good!” Like any major milestone, our celebration is extended to create higher awareness and seek support. Last year, we delved into researching our MPI Foundation archives. That sounds easier than you can imagine, because the internet wasn’t born when we came to be!

“Celebrating the power of good” means being better storytellers and those archives offer amazing insights. In April, we commenced sharing stories of countless individuals who benefited from grants and scholarships—and stories of those that stepped up to help us raise funds via diverse media channels.

World-class entertainment during the MPI Foundation's RENDEZVOUS during WEC Louisville

MPI Foundation fundraising activities relating to WEC each year are incredibly important. How’d WEC Louisville go—can you share some of the final numbers?

We’re thrilled to share that 75 individuals received scholarships from several partners and from funds the MPI Foundation collected last year. It’s always a special moment when we calculate the professionals attending through the generosity of others.

WEC Louisville was critical to our first-half-of-the-year efforts. Over the event, we sought to provide different ways for people to donate. Our jewel of an event, RENDEZVOUS, is our most recognizable platform during WEC. It has become synonymous as the must-attend after-hours event in our industry. Of course, not everyone stays up late, so we created a pickleball tournament for the early birds and they had a blast! Throughout WEC, we hosted a silent and live auction that featured amazing resort stays, experience packages, memorabilia and two Hilton resort packages for anywhere in the world plus Taylor Swift concert packages from Caesars Entertainment and Visit Indy.

Simply, not everyone gives back the same way, so we pursue diverse options.

Three days later, through a combination of events and auctions, we rallied our community to raise over $180,000. We should all be very proud!

Pickleball tournament participants
WEC Louisville pickleball tournament participants

Of course, those fundraising efforts in turn benefit the global meeting and event community. Can you speak to how the MPI Foundation has given back in the past year?

That’s really what drives us. Making our industry and community the best version of ourselves. In 2023, the MPI Foundation distributed 251 grants and scholarships. We want to do more! 

For the last 40 years, the foundation has acted on behalf of our members, chapters and industry distributing over $14.4 million across our global community.  

Recently, this included providing support to our community in Hawaii impacted by last year’s tragic wildfires, as well as providing a grant to develop an anti-human trafficking education program for use by all MPI chapters, to support our efforts to stop the horrors of human trafficking.

MPI volunteer leaders come together at the WEC Louisville Presidents Dinner

As we move into the second half of the year, what are you most looking forward to?

We have so much on our calendar! Consider this a teaser for our bigger activations:

  • Aug. 5-7, we are celebrating our birthday with a 40-for-40 campaign! The three-day effort encourages everyone to donate 40 euros, pounds or dollars in a 72-hour period through individual donations.
  • Sept. 23, we will host a RENDEZVOUS in Ottawa for attendees of the EVENT, MPI’s Canada-centric conference!
  • Oct. 7-10 is the always-amazing IMEX America! The MPI Foundation has several activities happening, most importantly RENDEZVOUS@Drais hosted by Caesars Entertainment.
  • Finally, we intend to publish a recap of our 40 years in December to say thank you to one and all! Past, present and future brought together to tell a story of the power of good!
You don't need to wait for a special event to donate to the MPI Foundation—you can give at any time!




Michael Pinchera

Michael Pinchera, MPI's managing editor, is an award-winning writer and editor as well as a speaker, technologist and contributor to business, academic and pop culture publications since 1997.