IMI Volunteer Project Inspires Future Service

By Meredith Parker, Account Associate

Earlier this year, we asked IMI Staff to complete the statement: “I love IMI because…” Responses were featured in our 32nd birthday celebration social media campaign. The below response struck a chord with me:

“I love IMI because we provide the highest level of client service, respect professional relationships, act with integrity, are innovative and creative, value individuals, and work with enthusiasm and enjoyment.”

These points were taken directly from the IMI Core Values and reading the response was a great reminder of who we are as a company: we see every person as a human being before anything else. Because we serve nonprofit organizations, our staff works daily to support people who are making the world a better place. Usually this means management support, but earlier last month, it took on a different meaning.

On Wednesday, August 8, the Fun Committee organized a group of 12 IMI Staff to go to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina for a two-hour volunteer shift. The Food Bank serves 34 counties which are divided into six regions. We volunteered at the Raleigh Region Distribution Center, which covers the counties where our staff works and lives. According to a report released by the Food Bank in 2017, 15.1 percent, or 265,360 people, of the population in the counties served by the Raleigh Branch is food insecure. This translates to one or two people in a group of 10 struggling with food security.

Our task was to sort through one-ton pallets of onions and potatoes and determine whether the vegetables were safe to eat. Safe vegetables were bagged for distribution to hungry families across our state while unsafe vegetables were thrown away. Within the IMI Staff group of 12, we broke into smaller groups of four. My group dug into our pallet, which contained onions that were caked in dirt and, in some cases, spotted with green, fuzzy mold.

This task was completely outside of the skillsets we use in the office, and we were truly humbled by our experience. The food we were sorting had come straight from the farm and looked nothing like what we see at the grocery store. We were struck by the difficulty of making food safe, evidenced by the dirt speckling our clothes and hiding under our nails at the end of our shift. It was definitely a challenge, but it was rewarding to make sure people in our community were receiving the best food.

In addition, through this experience, we grew closer as a team. During the time spent together, we talked through how to discern that produce was safe; made runs to the dumpster to throw away unsafe food or to grab more net bags; and recounted stories around the giant pallets. Our group was fueled by our seamless, cheerful collaboration, especially because we were outside of our typical context.

After our two-hour shift, we felt fulfilled when we look at the “fruits” of our labor and realized that we had helped sort 5,400 pounds of fresh produce, which will provide 4,547 meals to our community.

Humbled, Fulfilled, and fueled by our Collaboration, we agreed that we would like for IMI to contribute to our community through regular volunteer service. Last week, we established an IMI Service Committee so our staff can continue to live out IMI’s Core Values in our community. Reflecting on the past few weeks, I am grateful for my colleagues, people who work daily to serve others and still desire to do more.

Want to team up with IMI to complete service in the Triangle? Comment below or email me at



IMI: All About Animals

Image Credit: André Spieker
Image Credit: André Spieker

By Adrian Emerson, Association Accounting Specialist and 2014 Chair of the IMI Association Executives Fun Committee


In a previous post, I discussed how IMI wanted to start a new charity program and the process I followed to develop a program for our team. Here’s an update on the second and third quarter collections.

For our second quarter project, we collected donations for someone in our office who was experiencing hardship. We purchased a large basket and filled it with all kinds of goodies, like gift cards and other items this person needed. She was thrilled with the outpouring and we were all happy to do it. These kinds of collections can be tough to coordinate but are just as important as the bigger charity programs already out there. We at IMI are proud to say that we will help our employees and their families when we can.

During our third quarter we chose to collect donations for the SPCA of Wake County. The SPCA of Wake County, located in Raleigh, N.C., was founded in 1967, and has rehomed thousands of animals during that time. Their mission statement is: “To protect, shelter, and promote the adoption of homeless animals; to provide education about responsible pet ownership and to reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neuter programs.” The organization operates solely on donations, and does not receive government funding. For more information, visit the SPCA of Wake County website. For this charity effort, I built a custom website at a third-party website called allows you to set up a website to collect donations for a small fee. They are connected with thousands of charities and can even help to set up a new fundraiser. We collected donations in August and September for a total of $225.

Now, I am gearing up for our fourth quarter charity project, which will be to collect donations for Backpack Buddies, a program coordinated by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, located in Raleigh. This collection will be our final community service project for the year.

In 2014, IMI collected donations for the American Heart Association for Women, a co-worker, the SPCA of Wake County, and Backpack Buddies of Raleigh. I am proud of what our group was able to accomplish. We plan to do something similar next year with different charities. I urge you to set up a collection in your office, even if it is just placing a tip jar in an office common room or organizing a group to participate in a marathon. Every little bit helps, and brings happiness to those in need.


Want to know more about association management? Contact us to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

IMI Goes Red for the American Heart Association

IMI Turns Red for the American Heart Association
IMI Goes Red for the American Heart Association

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.

The Backstory
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.

First Steps
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.

Next Steps
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.

Your Turn
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!

Want to know more about association management? Contact us to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.