Shareholder 101: The Importance of Your RSVP

Shareholder 101Whether you’re fluent in French or only know enough to say “bonjour,” you’re likely familiar with the phrase répondez, s’il vous plait—or, more commonly, “RSVP.” If you read this newsletter, you’ve seen requests for your RSVP for events like CIRI’s Information Meetings or the CIRI and The CIRI Foundation Friendship Potlatches.

Originally derived from the French phrase meaning “reply if you please,” RSVP is a request for a response to an invitation. When CIRI’s Shareholder Relations department asks individuals to RSVP for an event, it’s because knowing how many people to plan for is crucial to maintaining costs and making sure there’s enough food for everyone. The opposite is also true: When a shareholder or descendant RSVPs to an event, then decides not to come, CIRI’s Logistics and Events department is basing its food order on an inaccurate number of attendees—which translates to too much money being spent on too much food.

A great example is the CIRI Shareholder Open House at the Fireweed Business Center that was held in August this year. Nearly 750 shareholders and descendants sent in RSVPs for that event, which was thrilling. But in the end, fewer than 300 actually attended. And while CIRI employees enjoyed snacking on leftovers, as a company whose goal it is to generate dividends for our shareholders, we’d much rather spend every dollar wisely.

And it’s not just about keeping food costs low.

“We try to be good stewards of CIRI’s resources, and part of that is making sure we don’t rent a space that’s too large,” says Shareholder Relations Senior Director betsy Peratrovich. “When individuals RSVP in a timely manner, it allows us to arrange for an appropriate number of daycare providers, if that service is available, and for an American Sign Language interpreter, if requested. On top of that, RSVPs ensure an appropriate number of staff members are scheduled to work an event, including CIRI staff, janitorial staff, catering staff—all of which costs money.”

How can you help? If you plan to attend an event, please RSVP by the published deadline. (You may also consider adding a reminder about the event to your personal calendar.) Then, if your plans change and you won’t be attending after all, simply call (907) 263-5191 or (800) 764-2474 and select option 5 to update your attendance. Your RSVP helps CIRI staff ensure that shareholders and descendants are comfortable and enjoy each and every CIRI event.