Real Estate Makes a Difference for 15 Nonprofits

November 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Can the simple act of signing an office lease fund college visits for 350 disadvantaged youth? Can it prevent an aspiring nurse from dropping out of training? Could it provide at-risk children with a safe place to learn and play? As Urban Partnership Bank and IIC proved, an everyday real estate transaction can do all that and more.

attendees await the awards

On October 25th, over 150 leaders from Chicago’s nonprofit and business community turned out  to celebrate a new kind of philanthropy. Fifteen fantastic nonprofits received a total of $42,000 in free, unrestricted funding through IIC, thanks to Urban Partnership Bank’s socially responsible, business savvy decision.

Urban Partnership Bank (UPB) seized a unique opportunity: secure office space while benefitting its community at the same time. How? The bank required competing brokers to participate in Investing In Communities (IIC) if they wanted to win its assignment.  UPB awarded its assignment to a broker who agreed to participate in IIC, by pledging at least 10% of his commission on that deal to nonprofits.

By using IIC as bargaining tool, the bank generated $42,000 in philanthropy, at no cost to itself, just by finding office space. That’s right $42,000 in corporate philanthropy – for free.