It all started when MAP Real Estate pitched a charity to handle their office lease. We pledged to give that charity a portion of the commission we would be paid by the landlord for representing that charity. Their board had never heard of such a thing. We followed through on our pledge and they were delighted. We were too.

In 1995, my business partner who is also my wife, Sharon Porter, and I began an experiment to see if we could create more brokerage opportunities for MAP, by giving money away each time we earned a commission. To do so, we initiated a new philanthropy model—client-directed and broker-funded philanthropy—and turned our for-profit company into, what we later learned should be called, a social enterprise. That experiment eventually became Investing In Communities® (IIC), a separate nonprofit social enterprise that we established to scale our idea.  

Today, IIC can turn almost any brokered real estate transaction into a charity funding opportunity—at no cost to the real estate client. We call these transactions deals that makes a differencesm. IIC works anywhere in the country, can involve any broker that you or your company chooses, and almost any nonprofit you choose, and it does not matter where the transaction takes place.  

As of December 2017, Investing In Communities has distributed more than $550,000 of brokers’ commissions to charities chosen by their clients. To learn more about how IIC is making a difference for individuals, companies and charities, please visit the Investing In Communities website.