Corporate Meetings & Incentives – June 2006
Article by Michael Bassett (link to article online)
A lot of companies want to be charitable, says Ira Almeas, “but they just don’t know how to do it.” His answer, and that of the company of which he is president — Impact Incentives of Hanover, N.J. — was to form a partner company last year called Impact 4 Good, specializing in teambuilding initiatives “that make a difference.”
Impact 4 Good is unique, Almeas says, in that its teambuilding/community service initiatives are pre-packaged and can be self-facilitated. “You don’t have to fly in crew and facilitators, so it can save quite a bit of money.” For example, he points to a recent incentive in Jamaica where a client wanted an event that could be spread out over several days. Impact 4 Good provided them with the instructions and materials to construct beehives, and over the course of the meeting, attendees would stop by a pavilion and spend a couple of hours working on these beehives, which were then presented to a local co-operative that was able to deliver honey to the marketplace.
“It was fun, it allowed everyone to work together, and people could see how it was helping the local community,” says Almeas.
He believes that this kind of program appeals to executives who might be concerned about the time and money needed to add community service components to their incentive programs. “A lot of the projects require an entire day, and it’s probably off-site, so it’s very costly. And you have to add an extra day to the agenda, adding more room nights, so it becomes a pretty expensive initiative. Many companies just don’t have the time or budget.”
But if a company wants to incorporate a teambuilding initiative/community service project into a two- or four-hour time slot, Almeas says, “That’s our niche.”