PISCATAWAY, NJ – The start of a new era for Derek Basista began Friday, Sept. 30 when he cut the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony for Charity Events Group’s (CEG) new Piscataway headquarters at 30 Knightsbridge Road off of Route 287.
Four years ago Basista founded CEG, a national events management firm that specializes in organizing gala affairs for charities and various types of non-profit organizations.
The Manville resident chose Piscataway as the company’s new home after realizing that in order to grow, he needed to move operations to a facility that allows him better access to the communities he wants to target throughout New Jersey: non-profit foundations and charitable fundraising organizations.
Basista’s journey began seven years ago, when after graduating from DeVry University with a degree in business administration, he started a web design and business solutions company serving companies of all types. But despite the successes that came with it, he kept feeling the need to help non-profit companies wherever he could.
“I felt like something was missing so I started planning and designing events for the Ronald McDonald Foundation as a volunteer,” said CEG’s founder. “I realized it was something I really enjoyed doing; my heart was in it.”
This experience led Basista to form Charity Events Group which designs, plans, and markets events for non-profits and charities. “They’re the ones that need the most help,” he said. “Event planning companies and designers are expensive.”
CEG, which can coordinate events anywhere in the country, charges set rates to help clients plan their budgets. “My goal is to provide a service I know I’m very good at to people who can’t necessarily afford another company, for a much lower rate,” Basista said.
He noted that what sets CEG apart from their competitors is that they are also able to be charitable through their Donation Program which donates a portion of an event’s proceeds back to the charity that referred the client. “Why should we keep the money when you need it more than we do,” said the entrepreneur.
“I care about knowing that I’ve given the client an event they can be proud of, I’ve given them an event that could potentially have brought in more profit through fund raising and I’ve given them a donation so that at the end of the day I’ve left them a little better off than when I met them,” he said.
Because of his care for what he does as lead designer, Basista and his team at CEG have grown their portfolio of clients around the state and the country to include a variety of non-profit organizations and charities such as HomeFront NJ, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Atlanta’s Rally! Foundation.
And the CEG team continues to design themed gala events and golf tournaments for the Ronald McDonald Foundation, the company’s first-ever client, as they fundraise to build a new Ronald McDonald House in New Brunswick.
Basista considers April, 2016, to be a turning point for Charity Events Group when he and the company were awarded a Joint Legislation Resolution by the State of New Jersey and Assemblymen Andrew Zwicker and Jack Ciattarelli of the 16th District in recognition for their work in organizing the Hillsborough-Fire Thank You Dinner to show appreciation to over 600 first responders who assisted in a February warehouse fire.
CEG has also been recognized by the Gallagher Group International, recently receiving their prestigious Power of Diversity Award for the work they are doing in the community.
“I want to let the surrounding communities and counties know that we are here,” said Basista. “Let us know how we can help.”
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