Many of the questions that come up in any philanthropically-motivated campaign center around what percentage of sales actually go toward the selected charity, and if that amount is significant enough to make an impact on the cause. Usually, it’s only a few cents per transaction on small ticket retail goods. While every penny helps, in order to generate a measurable difference, more sizable proceeds need to reach the charity, making it imperative that the effort is seamlessly integrated with the transaction and turnkey enough to maximize donations. And above all, the contribution should fit the price tag.
Brokers for Charity, a consortium of real estate professionals committed to giving back, understands this concept, and has created a well orchestrated solution for linking home buyers with reputable agents that benefits the world and their bottom line. Other than a yacht or Learjet, there are few bigger ticket items than a new home, so with a hefty 10% of the agent’s commission going toward the charity of the buyer’s choice, those dollars add up quickly. And while some companies pad costs to offset charitable donations, at Brokers for Charity, there are no additional — or hidden — fees in the program. Once the deal closes, 10% is promptly donated to the 501(c)(3) charitable organization that the buyer has chosen, making it not only a profitable arrangement, but a personal one, where the investment is deeply connected to the consumer. . . and where a philanthropic spirit is always in move-in condition.
1. How do you define for-profit philanthropy?
Personally, for-profit philanthropy is a way to simultaneously do two things that I enjoy — real estate and helping others.
My concept for Brokers for Charity began at the grocery store with Paul Newman and Newman’s Own products. I wished that I had more choices in products and services that gave back to a greater good. It is so easy to get caught up in our everyday routine and feel badly about how much more we could be doing for others if we just had the time, resources, etc. There are many people who would make that choice to give back if it were right in front of them. For me, the conclusion became simple after grabbing that Newman’s Own salad dressing. That day, that moment, was when the concept for Brokers for Charity took hold of me. I didn’t know salad dressing, but I did know real estate.
Brokers for Charity gives individuals and businesses that same choice with residential and commercial real estate transactions. It began from my own desire to have more socially responsible choices and from my motivation to provide these same choices to others.
2. Please describe your philanthropic business plan and your current charitable activities.
The plan is quite simple. When a business or consumer wants buy or sell a property anywhere in the US or Canada, they can sign up with Brokers for Charity and we connect them with a qualified realtor or broker. When their transaction closes and the referral fee is paid to Brokers for Charity, we donate 10% of the original broker’s commission to the client’s favorite 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For example, on a $400,000 transaction with the agent’s commission at 3%, or $12,000, Brokers for Charity would donate $1,200 to the chosen nonprofit.
These much needed donations can add up quickly, and our business model helps everyone involved:
- The charity receives a donation.
- The referred realtor or broker gains new business.
- The residential or commercial buyer or seller finds a qualified professional to help them meet their goal.
3. How do you communicate the impact of these efforts to your customers?
Our customers are ultimately the ones making the impact. Every time they close a real estate transaction utilizing Brokers for Charity they are aware of the donation we will make. Since our customers choose the organization we support, they know where exactly where the money is going. In fact, this is the part that seems to be most appealing.
We provide the nonprofit organizations a login to view the activities of their supporters and the stages they are in, ranging from assigning a realtor, to closing a transaction, to fulfillment of the Brokers for Charity donation. They can easily see the impact of the program without any tracking or additional work on their part.
We are currently connecting and communicating on many different networks and will be announcing our upcoming blog launch soon.
4. Why do you think it’s important for companies to adopt philanthropy as part of their revenue model?
I believe that we are all responsible for making a difference in our world, and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t agree with that belief!
5. What would you say is the most critical element in successfully implementing philanthropic endeavors?
I think Mahatma Gandhi said it best, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Name: Janae Jaynes-Learned
Title: Designated Broker and Managing Partner
Company: Brokers for Charity, LLC