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April 2005 - Feature Article 1

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FEATURE ARTICLE 1

Meeting the ICE Budget

VolunTourism offers funding support for Incentives, Conventions, and Events (ICE)

As Incentive Travel Executives, and Meeting and Event Professionals, you are very familiar with budgetary constraints. In fact, you are confronted by them on a daily basis as you prepare for your next Incentive, Convention or Event (ICE). So what if you came to discover that someone else in this world dealt with similar concerns? Would you have the professional empathy to support them in dealing with their financial challenges as well?

In the land of nonprofit organizations, MONEY is a constant challenge. The realm in which nonprofit executives dwell is fraught with disdain when the money doesn’t fill the bank accounts as expected. Likewise there is little understanding of the financial strain with which nonprofits contend when they offer volunteer opportunities to individuals and groups that are so compelled. Here is a little quiz for you:

True or False: Volunteering requires expenditures and capital outlay on the part of nonprofit organizations.

True: Volunteering requires a significant contribution on the part of the nonprofit organizations that provide such experiences for volunteers. Typical outlays include: staff time, liability insurance, supplies & materials, tools and/or equipment, and other administrative and program-related expenses.

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True or False: Nonprofit organizations or suppliers of volunteer and community service activities should be treated as “vendors” and receive compensation for their products and services.

True: Organizations that coordinate and execute plans for voluntary and community service activities are vendors of a specialized product/service. There is staff time dedicated to community needs’ assessments as well as implementation of projects. These entities should be regarded as vendors and treated according to the standards and practices that you have established for your relations with all vendors and contractors for outsourced services.

How did you do with your quiz? Are you ready for that opportunity for infusing professional empathy into your negotiations with nonprofit organizations to support you in meeting your voluntary service goals and objectives?

Well, here is some very good news for you: VolunTourism may be one of the best options available in assisting you in meeting your ICE Budget AND in giving you those much needed alternative social activities, spousal programs, and team building exercises.

But why, you may ask? MONEY is the answer!

VolunTourism gives you financial flexibility. Of course, you achieve the goals and objectives of the client AND serve the destination and its residents. But there is more, much more.

What if the gift that you purchase to have sitting in the room awaiting your guest was purchased from a women’s cooperative in a region where the daily wage is $5?

What if the “social” activity that you conduct is assembling organic garden starter kits for the families of these women?

And what if you were able to get co-op marketing dollars or philanthropic dollars from your corporate foundation to pay for the materials and coordination costs?

Would this be viewed as an asset to you and your client?

I think I heard a “Yes” in there somewhere.

VolunTourism IS how to conduct social activities, team building, and spousal programs in a destination. The list of benefits is LARGE:

  • Social impact on the destination and its residents
  • Multiple funding options – co-op dollars, philanthropic dollars, grants
  • Incorporating creative elements – gifts, etc. – from the destination
  • Tax deductible contributions – 501(c)3 status of the nonprofit partner
  • Memorable activities for your clients
  • Team building, social activities, and spousal programs - All - WITH PURPOSE!

For the savvy meeting professional you may also be able to convince a client to host a VolunTourism event prior to a convention. This is an excellent way to meet or exceed your room block.

However, as you are pinching yourself wondering if this is really too good to be true, remember that your partner in soliciting the approval of your client is the nonprofit executive. You know, the one that you are going to pay for their hard work and effort in implementing a great VolunTourism event for you and your team and helping you to meet your ICE Budget.

Ira Almeas is a partner in Impact Incentives & Meetings, Inc, based in East Hanover, New Jersey - the company he co-founded over 13 years ago with his mother, Linda. The performance improvement company has earned its niche as a highly creative organization that offers personalized service that can not be found in the larger IT houses. Impact's success has led to many articles in incentive, marketing and travel trade publications highlighting their creative use of incentives & meetings for their Fortune 500 clients.

If you would like to learn more about Ira and his team, please visit: www.impact4good.com

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VolunTourism:
A seamlessly integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination and the best, traditional elements of travel—arts, culture, geography, and history—in that destination.

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Fax: 619.426.6664

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