IIC Distribution: Lake Forest Open Lands Association

April 29, 2011 at 8:37 pm

By choosing to work with IIC Member Michael Pink,  S. Michael Rummel of Rummel and Associates was able to support three fantastic nonprofits at no cost to him or his firm.

IIC Members are Doing Business Doing Good, which is why Members pledge at least 10% of any IIC-related commission to the IIC Nonprofit Partner(s) that their clients select. Michael Pink of MAP Real Estate was pleased to see his IIC pledge go to support three organizations that his client cares deeply about.

The third IIC Nonprofit chosen by S. Michael Rummel to receive funding is the Lake Forest Open Lands Association.


Sadly, less than one 100th of 1% of native Illinois prairie remains. Lake Forest Open Lands Association works diligently to protect and restore the remaining fragile ecosystems in its region, which extends from the Lake Forest lakefront on Lake Michigan, west to the rural landscapes of Waukegan Road.  It is dedicated to conserving the natural environment through land acquisition, habitat restoration, environmental education and conservation advocacy.

Since being established in 1967, Lake Forest Open Lands has acquired, reserved, restored and maintained over 800 acres of local native landscapes including prairies, savannas, woodlands and wetlands for the benefit and enjoyment of the local communities. The Association boasts 12 miles of walking trails, which are open to the public year-round.

Lake Forest Open Lands Association has been recognized as a national leader in land conservation, and in 2008, became the first Illinois land trust to be accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a significant mark of distinction.

 Lake Forest Open Lands’ restoration efforts are designed to cultivate and improve healthy habitats for the native plants and animals that occupy their preserves. The organization constantly records  and monitors the discovery of new flora and fauna species on its preserves, as proof that active management can positively impact local areas .Lake Forest Open Lands is actively involved in environmental education, and believes that education is essential to building community support for the protection, restoration and maintenance of threatened native ecosystems and open space. Through its partnership with local schools, Lake Forest Open Lands provides subsidized and sequential environmental education to over 3,200 students each year.Finally, Lake Forest Open Lands is an advocate at the City and County government level for the preservation of open space and environmental protection policy. Through its  active membership in Chicago Wilderness and the Land Trust Alliance, Lake Forest Open Lands also participates in conservation issues at the regional and national level.

We congratulate Lake Forest Open Lands Association for being selected to receive this funding through IIC!

Again, thank you to IIC Member Michael Pink and client S. Michael Rummel of Rummel and Associates for making this philanthropy possible!

IIC Distribution: The Ragdale Foundation

April 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Today we’re announcing three different IIC distributions, all thanks to a recent IIC transaction.

Together, IIC Member Michael Pink of MAP Real Estate and his client S. Michael Rummel of Rummel and Associates are investing in communities. By working with Michael on its real estate transaction, Rummel and Associates was able to satisfy its real estate need and direct over $3,500 to several outstanding nonprofits. I’ve already profiled the first of three nonprofits that S. Michael Rummel chose to support. Now let’s take a look at the second nonprofit receiving $1,175 through this IIC transaction, The Ragdale Foundation.

The Ragdale Foundation supports writers and artists in a retreat setting, and makes the arts more accessible to the public through the artists residency program, community programs, and preservation of the historic Ragdale site. Arts and Crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw built the Ragdale house in 1897, as a summer retreat for his family.

The Shaw family’s creativity and dedication to the arts was commemorated in 1976, when Shaw’s granddaughter, poet Alice Judson Hayes,  created the Ragdale Foundation. Ragdale was conceived as a nonprofit artists community, that would provide a peaceful place for artists to live and work. Ragdale continues this tradition today with its artists residency program, which brings together artists from around the country and the world to create, write, experiment, research, plan, compose, rejuvenate, brainstorm, and work.

Thanks to S. Michael Rummel of  Rummel and Associates and IIC Member Michael Pink for their commitment to social responsibility. Without IIC Friends and Members,  this philanthropy wouldn’t be possible!

Congratulations again to The Ragdale Foundation,  IIC is proud to support your work!

Would you like to see your favorite  charities receive free funding through IIC? Then sign-up as an IIC Member or Friend, and make your real estate transactions IIC transactions. 

IIC Distribution: Boy Scouts of America, Northeast Illinois Council

April 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

We’re excited to announce three distributions to three fantastic Nonprofit Partners. Here, I’ll be profiling each of the nonprofits chosen to receive funds generated by a recent IIC transaction.

Thanks to IIC Member Michael Pink of MAP Real estate and his client S. Michael Rummel of Rummel and Associates, these nonprofits will each be receiving $1,175 in free funding.

The first Partner to receive $1,175 is Boy Scouts of America, Northeast Illinois Council. The Northeast Illinois Council serves 376 Scouting units, chartered to community organizations and corporations across Lake County and Northern Cook County.  Membership stands at an impressive 17,318 and includes a spectrum of ages, from Cub Scouts to Life Long Learning participants.

In 2010, the Scoutreach program enabled 572 boys to experience the fun of scouting through programs at their schools. Scoutreach strives to make Scouting accessible to all young people, regardless or their background, neighborhood, or economic circumstance.

The Northeast Illinois Council also demonstrated outstanding service in 2010, with Scouts contributing roughly 112,000 hours to the community. The Scouting for Food program also raised a record of 78 tons of food for the needy.

Congratulations to Boy Scouts of America, Northeast Illinois Council!

IIC Featured on The Source

April 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

As the deadline for the National Association of Realtors’ Good Neighbor Award approaches, the IIC model of Doing Business Doing Good sm   is attracting some attention!

Last Friday IIC was featured by Commercial Source in its blog, The Source. In case you missed it, you can read the full post here. In the piece, IIC co-founder Michael Pink discusses why starting IIC has been such a personally rewarding experience. Take a look!

Social Enterprise and the Cocktail Party Problem

April 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Confronting Old Conventions and Misconceptions

I’ve noticed a certain trend, and it speaks volumes about a major soft challenge confronting social entrepreneurs. Call it the cocktail party problem.

You see, cocktail parties are an excellent litmus test for gauging the assumptions and conventions of others, as social pressures, noise, and various distractions tend to push us back on familiar narratives and frameworks. And I find that whenever the topic of my work comes up, responses follow a predictable pattern: either “Tell me why” or, “What’s in this for you??”

My private sector friends often pounce as soon as the words donation or NGO leave my lips: “Tell me why,” they interject,” – why should I participate in this? Remember, I’m a cold hearted corporation, talk to me about the bottom line!!” Those with a public sector or nonprofit background are more apt to let me finish before leaning back, pursing their lips, and offering up a long “hmm okay…but what’s in this for you?”

Social Enterprise Back in Global Spotlight

April 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm

This week, leading lights from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors are gathering in Oxford for the Skoll World Forum on Social Enterprise. A program of the Skoll Foundation, established by Ebay co-founder Jeff Skoll, the Forum is evidence of the gathering global force behind social enterprise.

graphic courtesy of Social Enterprise Associates

At the World Forum, attendees will undoubtedly take stock of the rapid progress this sector has made in attracting attention, investment, and talent as well as the real impact that social ventures are generating across the globe. Perhaps more importantly, these innovative leaders will confront the challenges that remain before them – including legal, financial, and political systems that are designed to serve traditional for-profit, nonprofit, governmental, and nongovernmental entities.

As social enterprise begins to merge these silos, new investment vehicles, legal classifications, and regulatory policies will be needed if the sector is to flourish. Progress is being made. The new LC3 business classification and the gradual emergence of a new asset class serving impact investors each point to the start of systemic change – but much more is needed. There must be a widespread shift in the way the private and nonprofit sectors view social enterprise. As UK Labor leader Ed Miliband stated recently, it must be taken seriously. It also must be understood for what it is, rather than confounded with corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, or other activities that are ancillary to a business model.

Here at IIC, we are interested in the dialogue surrounding social enterprise not simply because IIC is one, but because the nature of our model makes us a bridge between the traditional nonprofit and private sectors. We have a foot, and a stake, in both worlds. IIC connects these sectors for mutual benefit, and strives to replace a relationship of dependence with one of interdependence and collaboration. This requires changing conventions and challenging assumptions on both ends – no easy task.

In light of the World Forum, it’s a good time to revisit the topic of social enterprise here on the IIC blog.

So join us in the coming week, as we examine perceptions and misconceptions about social enterprise, and consider the future and role of this sector in developed economies such as the United States. Stay tuned!