Tribal Spirit of Giving Celebration 2018

 Highlights from the National Indian Gaming Analytics & Marketing Conference

Looking back to when most Baby Boomers and older generations entered the workforce, using corporate philanthropy as a basis to work for a company was a non-factor. This was also the case when it came to buying a company’s products or services.

Indeed, until fairly recently, many companies agreed with economist Milton Friedman who wrote, “There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.”

Enter into the 21st century, and there’s a new standard. An organization’s focus on environmental and community social wellbeing does play a factor in their bottom line. Many of these companies weave their altruistic stories into their overall marketing strategies, with philanthropy buying goodwill from consumers and employees.

With that being said, tribes have a history of uncommon generosity and support to non-native and native communities. For Native American organizations, “giving back” and “sharing of wealth” are not a corporate trends, but a part of their cultural heritage.

Unfortunately, tribal gaming organizations are seldom recognized for the millions of dollars and hundreds of life-changing programs that they endow every year, for reasons ranging from a desire to give quietly to good works being overshadowed by ongoing anti-Indian gaming sentiment.

The Tribal Spirit of Giving

To share the many untold stories of positive relationships between tribal entities and the regions in which they operate, gaming and hospitality firm Raving created the Tribal Spirit of Giving recognition program in 2015. This program’s purpose was to raise awareness and recognize the acts of giving

 by tribal communities.

Since its inception, the Tribal Spirit of Giving has honored over 50 generous acts of giving by Native communities across the nation. Tribal casinos are asked to “share their stories” and are celebrated annually at a special celebration luncheon during Raving’s National Indian Gaming Analytics and Marketing Conference. This luncheon, which was sponsored by VGT – An Aristocrat Company, was held on January 31, 2018, at Choctaw Casino Durant, Okla. While several of last year’s entries benefited national organizations, this year’s submissions were focused on local programs which included rebuilding a community baseball park, supplying a food bank, providing supplies for local school children and raising money for a community’s Boys and Girls club. Real people. Real causes. Real impact.

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I Think We’re Onto Something Here … NB3FIT Week Expands in 2017

In November of 2016, a movement took place. More than 10,000 young people from 110 tribes and Native American communities participated in a group exercise for one hour on one day. This “appeal” was created by NB3F, an organization founded by golf broadcaster and the first Native American four-time winner of the PGA Tour, Notah Begay III. NB3F’s focus is to reverse the epidemic of type 2 diabetes facing children in Indian country and that 50% of Native youth are facing a life of obesity and unfulfilled years fighting health problems. Creating NB3FIT Week during Native American Heritage Month is one of many steps in changing these statistics.

This year, NB3F expanded option to have the event any day during the week of November 5 – 11,  allowing participating organizations scheduling flexibility. According to the organizers, they had several locations that hosted events each day of the week!

According to Justin Kii Huenemann, President and CEO of the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3 Foundation) early data shows that:

  • 91 Native American communities participated in NB3FIT Week
  • 20 states across the country were represented
  • Over 100 events were scheduled

The stats above don’t include the Kid’s Quest locations that participated. According to Ann Zenor, Senior Creative and New Business Development Strategist, “NB3 Fit Week was celebrated at all Kids Quest locations from Connecticut to California! To support the NB3 initiatives, we asked all center Play Pros to come up with fun games that would keep the children moving! During that week, we kept the kids busy with physical challenges. Activities ranged from pick-up basketball games and obstacle courses in the gym to timed races through our Quest play pieces and sessions of some serious climbing on our rock walls! To incentivize our Native families, children received their play time at Kids Quest for 50% off the hourly rate at all Tribal properties.”

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Press Release – Northern Nevada’s Involvement in NB3FIT Week 2017

PRESS RELEASE – November 2017


Battling an Epidemic: Northern Nevada’s Involvement in NB3Fit Week, a National Health Initiative


Reno, NV – Native American Indian communities are facing an epidemic.  One out of two Native children born since 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes and 81% of Native adults are overweight or obese and 45% of 2-5 year olds are overweight. NB3Fit Week, November 5-11, 2017, is a national movement which moves this issue to the forefront, bringing together thousands of Native American youth across the country in physical activity as well as promoting drinking clean water and eating healthy foods.

A “movement” created

In November of 2016, the inaugural event, more than 10,000 young people from 110 tribes and Native American communities participated in a group exercise for one hour on one day. The “movement” was created by NB3F, an organization founded by golf broadcaster and the first Native American four-time winner of the PGA Tour, Notah Begay III.  Local Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe had over 50 kids show up for their 90-minute cross-training event. Tribal organizations across the county held walks and hikes to Native field games and obstacle courses. This year, NB3F changed the event from a day to a week, allowing participating organizations scheduling flexibility. Several tribes across the country have already registered their event for 2017, including, for the first time, the University of Nevada Reno, Native American Alumni Chapter.

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Tell your story and inspire others – Submit Your Tribal Spirit Entry Today!

We’re asking you to share your story …
it’s more important than ever

For a number of reasons, Tribal gaming organizations are seldom recognized for their history of uncommon generosity and support that they provide to non-Native and Native organizations and communities. 

This November, we ask you to share a story about how your tribal organization has come together to raise awareness, raise funds, or offer assistance to people and to causes in the past year.

Free to enter - Share your story today!

We listened to your feedback and the entry process is now easier than ever. No categories, no fees, just your story. 

Deadline to submit is November 30, 2017. 

Each property can submit up to three entries. Here are the questions you will be asked:

  1. In a nutshell, tell us your story ...
  2. Who was impacted?
  3. How much did the event raise (if applicable)?
  4. How does this event bring value to your community and why do you do it?

People's Choice Award - Cast your vote December 15!

We've decided to put the decision-making in your hands this year with the People's Choice Award; voting will open December 15, 2017. The five entries with the most votes will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win up to $500 donated to the charity of their choice!

Celebrate with us!

We will draw prizes for the five winners of the People's Choice Awards during the Tribal Spirit of Giving Celebration Luncheon on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at Choctaw Casino Resort - Durant during Raving's 20th National Indian Gaming Analytics & Marketing Conference. We'd love for you to join us at the luncheon and celebrate the Tribal Spirit of Giving with us! Sam McCracken, Nike N7 Visionary, will present the keynote luncheon.

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Ravers, You Rock! 2017 Native Strong Comedy Slam SELLS OUT!

During the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention (NIGA), the largest gathering of tribal leaders and casino executives in the country, Raving Consulting and their generous event sponsors held the 3rd Annual Native Strong Comedy Slam.  The sold-out event took place on Wednesday night, April 12, at the Edge in the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.

Larry Omaha, the Comedy Slam host, who has been involved since the inaugural event, shared, “Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a worthwhile event.  I am honored that you respect my talent enough to bring me in year after year.  I am who I am today because people reached out to me when I was a youngster with no direction and no hope.  Till my last day on earth I will strive to give back all that I can.”

“Larry’s heartfelt sentiment captures what this event is all about,” added Dennis Conrad, President, Raving Consulting. “It’s about raising money for a critical cause. It’s about giving Native American comics significant exposure. And finally, it’s about taking that needed time to celebrate and laugh with our partners, clients and members of the NIGA community that are so passionate and dedicated to the success of Indian gaming.”

And yes, we took pictures of all that celebration and laughter! What happens at the Comedy Slam doesn’t stay at the Comedy Slam. You can also view the full album of photos on our facebook page, please tag yourself and share with your friends!

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Marketing Your Cause

Casinos aren’t known for their charity work … but they should be.
Some helpful tips to make your fundraising efforts more successful.


By Dennis Conrad, President and Chief Strategist, Raving Consulting Company

One thing that casinos don’t get enough credit for is their charity and community work. In the hundreds of casinos we have been privileged to work with, there hasn’t been ONE that didn’t have significant support for several charitable endeavors. And interestingly, most tend not to “toot their horn” very much about this philanthropy.

24913980_sIn my casino career, I have seen and been involved in hundreds of casino supported charities. Sometimes it involves only writing a check for a client’s Charity Golf Tournament. But in three situations, myself or my company has been “all-in” with a charity and have been responsible for helping them raise, in total, over half a million dollars over the years. I am honored that the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, and now (and for the last two years), the Notah Begay III Foundation, have all allowed us the freedom and support to help raise much needed funds for their critically important work serving their communities.

From this experience, plus seeing numerous clients execute their charitable efforts, I’d like to share a few tips on perhaps how you can make your own or your company’s charity (READ: Fundraising) efforts more successful.

Build relationships, not “charity giving transactions” – in the dozen or so years I raised money for MDA, I encountered several young, dynamic local District Directors. They were vastly underpaid, but incredibly successful because they were skilled at BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS with their supporters. They were helpful, encouraging, appreciative and fun. And very soon, they were close friends. I guarantee, those relationships were the chief reason I stayed involved with MDA for so long, when my original goal was to just raise them a few bucks with my own unique fundraiser. Continue reading