By Adrian Emerson, Association Accounting Specialist and 2014 Chair of the IMI Association Executives Fun Committee
Are you considering starting a “give back to the community” initiative in your office? Read below for Adrian’s experience with IMI’s efforts to branch into office-wide charity efforts.
Based on a lot of individual interest in charity efforts during 2013, IMI asked me to start an ongoing office-wide charity program in 2014.
My first step was to determine what kind of charities and charity programs would be the best fit for our team’s interests and availability. So, I created a good old fashioned survey. I found that everyone had different passions and interests when it came to charities. Some team members were interested in charity events like a group walk, while others were more interested in collecting donations. I also found that choosing charities for everyone to agree on would not be an easy task! I had to create a plan that would satisfy our desires to give back to the community, but would also fit within the team’s availability and would be appropriate for the entire group.
I decided that this year would be a testing year. We would freely test a plan and be ready to change things up in 2015 based on our experiences. From our survey results, I picked several different types of charity options and just see how they worked with our group of individuals. We settled on one charity drive each quarter and preplanned the four charities for the year. We obviously couldn’t participate in all of the charities suggested by our team members, but we did our best to focus on the main charities our team felt passionate about. I’m keeping the list of the remaining suggestions for future years’ charity efforts.
Going Live With the Plan
For our first quarter charity we picked Go Red for Women, which is a charity drive sponsored by the American Heart Association. The event is during the entire month of February and is part of the National Wear Red Day. Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States? For this charity drive, I built a free online webpage on the Go Red for Women website to collect donations from our employees. Our February staff meeting happened to fall on National Wear Red Day so we asked everyone to wear red in support of the cause. IMI collected donations for about a month and we raised $252 for the American Heart Association. I look forward to the good we hope to do during the rest of this year.
Does your office have an ongoing charity program? We’d love to hear about your success stories and how your program works. Please share in the comments below!