As the holiday season approaches, we are invariably drawn to the ideas of kindness and community. Whether that community is your immediate family, childhood friends, or even a close network of co-workers, we feel a connection to those that share their time with us. As such, we want to show people that we care through gift giving, and with the deluge of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, we can get lost in the fervor of saving money on the latest and greatest of what the market has to offer.
However, it’s important to remember that the holiday season isn’t only about material gain. It’s about fostering a sense of purpose as we look to those that are in our community that do not have access to the same luxuries that we do. Things that were staples of our own childhoods, such as bicycles and stuffed animals, may be something just out of reach for many children in underserved communities. It is a harsh reality, to be sure. But not one without some solutions.
#GivingTuesday is a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year. It connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for a common purpose: to give back.
When a company gathers for a teambuilding event, the central focus is to get their employees out of their collective shells, improving interpersonal relations and communication skills. Often this is done in a fun and engaging way, from Escape Rooms to Scavenger Hunts. Attendees feel unified in achieving a common goal, of using their individual skills in order overcome a set of challenges and emerge a closer unit at the end of it all. Taking this one step forward is including a philanthropic component to the activity, which adds a whole different layer to an event.
Knowing that your efforts are having a tangible impact leaves people with a sense of fulfillment that can be hard to put into words. But the words are easily found by those receiving the donation, which are often a simple, but meaningful, “Thank You”.
In 2018, Impact 4 Good helped our corporate clients donate everything from stuffed animals, to computers to prosthetic hands, all with the mission of increasing the Return on Emotion, or “ROE”, for their employees. In a 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study, it was found that of the survey of consumers, 63% of Americans are hopeful businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change moving forward, in the absence of government regulation, and that 78% want companies to address important social justice issues. This mentality isn’t exclusive to consumers. Establishing a teambuilding program that allows employees to feel connected in the grand scheme of their company’s philanthropic endeavors encourages a sense of camaraderie among employees, and helps them establish a firm foundation in believing that their employer can help them do good in the local community.
Through our many teambuilding events, both here in the United States and internationally, we have donated over 62,000 individual items of food, nearly 6,000 “Solar Car Kits” for STEM education programs, over 200 computers to introduce coding curriculum to underserved communities, and in the wake of the many disasters in 2018, over 15,000 hygiene care kits to Red Cross affiliates across the country. This is only a sample of the many items that have been donated through our events, and it only scratches the surface of how our partnerships have managed to support those in need around the world.
At the end of the day, a teambuilding CSR initiative isn’t simply about ticking off a box to say you’ve made a donation. The sense of accomplishment becomes an extension of each attendee, and the donation is symbolic of something even more precious than the donation itself. It represents a commitment to helping others, an understanding that what we do to help others causes a ripple effect. No one act of giving is completely solitary. Each act of giving reminds ourselves, and those that we help, that you are never truly alone.
So for this #GivingTuesday, and every Tuesday that comes after, think about how you and your company can make a difference. The choice to change a life is at your fingertips. So, #whatsyourImpact4Good?
As a national provider of philanthropic team building, Impact 4 Good works with many different beneficiary organizations across the US, from food pantries and children’s hospitals, to local charter schools and after-school programs. Our goal is to provide our clients with engaging and fun team building activities and to identify a beneficiary organization as the recipient of their good will. We help companies choose an organization that best aligns with their corporate values and mission, as well as the goals and objectives of the selected team building activity. The “give back” part of our programs provide a benefit and connection to the community, and in some cases, a chance to engage with individuals who will be on the receiving end of a much-needed meaningful gesture.
One beneficiary organization we have partnered with many times over since we started in 2005 is the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida. They currently have 35 individual clubs under their umbrella, and last year they provided services and support for over 15,000 children between the ages of 6-18 across Central Florida. They provide a haven for children in lower income areas and work to help keep kids focused on their education, and away from harmful distractions or unsupervised activities. More than 80% of their members come from low-income families and single parent households. These are children whose parents are truly strapped, where even the single parent may have one and sometimes two jobs to keep food on the table, and clothes on their back. Their end goal, according to Betsy Owens, Director of Marketing and Communications, is “to build healthy, and well-adjusted adults.”
Impact 4 Good asked Ms. Owens how donations from our clients’ events impact the lives of the children in these programs.
“The donations and gifts definitely have an emotional impact on the child that receives them. And donations like new bikes or educational toys are really luxuries that these families can’t consider. We all remember getting our first bicycle, and in so many ways these are things that we take for granted, these given parts of a normal childhood. However, for the children in our clubs, the gift of something new is something these kids don’t routinely experience. They are more accustomed to getting hand me downs. To get something that is new and their own, that is truly a big deal.”
At many of Impact 4 Good’s “bike build” events, the children from the beneficiary organization are on hand to surprise their clients and engage with the teams, and of course to receive their bikes in person. It can be a surprisingly emotional moment for everyone involved, as helmets and new bikes are matched up with the children in the room. Eyes light up, and the excitement and happiness are palpable.
It’s easy to overlook the impact that the gift of a brand-new bike or toy can have in the life of a child. But it is in these moments that the real spirit of philanthropy in found. Teambuilding that gives back offers many different benefits to all who are involved. And, if done right, leaves participants with the joyful and infectious sense of, “yes, let’s do more of THAT!” and the question, “what more can I do for an organization like this when I return home from this event?”
Impact 4 Good works with Boys and Girls Clubs and many other nonprofit and community organizations across the country and the world, to bring fun and rewarding team building and philanthropy to the ballroom, meeting room or conference room. If you are considering a teambuilding or CSR event for your next corporate meeting or event, contact Alan Ranzer at 301-214-1472 or request a quote at www.Impact4Good.com.
Earth Day 2018 will be recognized on Sunday April 22nd. Touted now as “the Worlds Largest Environmental Movement,” this year’s theme is “End Plastic Pollution.” There has been tremendous discussion around the exponential growth of plastics as trash in our environment, across our landscapes and harming our oceans. This year’s theme is around how you can take action to End Plastic Pollution. Here are some great ideas from ECO Watch that you can put in action NOW for your OWN recognition of Earth Day!
1. Avoid buying items packaged in plastic. Look for produce and other items that aren’t over-packaged. Buy food in glass jars rather than plastic ones, and detergents in boxes rather than bottles. Not only are you reducing the plastic you use, you’re sending a powerful message to the makers of those products that you don’t like plastic packaging.
2. Use cloth shopping bags. Plastic bags are an eyesore and are dangerous to wildlife. Keep reusable bags somewhere handy—in your car or your bike or by the front door—so you don’t forget them when you go to the market, grocery store or mall.
3. Skip bottled water. Carry a reusable canteen. Plastic bottles are one of the top five most common types of litter found on beaches. Since bottled water is much more expensive than tap water, you’ll also save money doing this, and avoid the possible hazards of plastic toxins leaching into your beverage.
4. Upcycle. Think of new uses for old items rather than discarding them or buying new ones.
5. Bring a reusable mug when you order coffee. Stow it on your desk, in your purse, car or bag so you have it on hand when you order or refill your drink.
6. Say “No straw, please.” Straws are one of the top 10 items found on beaches. In most cases, drinking out of a straw is simply unnecessary. If you do need a straw, you can get a reusable stainless steel or glass one.
7. Wear clothing made from natural (not synthetic) materials. Wearing and washing clothes causes fibers to flake off, and polyester clothing is made of plastic. Tiny particles of microplastic found in oceans around the world have been traced to such synthetic fabrics.
8. Avoid disposable tableware or use the compostable kind. Try using washable and reusable cups, plates or utensils. When using compostable tableware, be aware they will not biodegrade in a landfill and must be disposed of in appropriate composting conditions.
9. Don’t just discard electronics. Aim to repair or upgrade your devices instead of buying new ones. Sell gadgets and computer parts or find a facility where you can turn them in for recycling.
10. Bring your own container for takeout and leftovers. When ordering takeout or bringing home leftovers, ask if you can get the food in your own reusable container!
Impact 4 Good believes in the power of CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility and providing activities for corporate meetings that include how to be a good global citizen! Call us for ideas (including some GREEN activity options) at www.Impact4Good.com or call us at 301-214-1472.