In 1995, Sharon and I began incorporating something into the practice of our brokerage company MAP Real Estate, Inc. that we thought would both:
- Get us more business
- Do something good for the world
We called that new approach to doing business, Investing In Communities®.
We continued the practice for many years, and began to realize that it could become much more important than “just our company.” The business practice got us a lot of business that we would not otherwise have gotten. That’s why we call it doing business, doing good SM; and it’s for this reason that we founded the nonprofit, Investing In Communities. Although it’s a nonprofit, Investing In Communities is the opposite of a charity. IIC funds charities.
The right way to be a human – and the smartest way to be a business person. It’s also the smartest way to be a consumer. More on that, in another post.
We didn’t know in 1995 that we were turning our for-profit real estate brokerage firm into a social enterprise. As time went by, we learned more and more about social enterprise and why that business model makes so much sense.
Over the years, the world has only become more needy and more crowded, with fewer resources. It would be impossible for us not to be “investing in communities.” It’s simply the right way to be human – and it’s the smartest way to be a business person.
Since 1995, we’ve distributed well over $400,000 dollars of our own commissions. That’s in addition to everything that we’re doing to fund the creation of Investing In Communities. It may seem strange, but we’ve been going so fast that it wasn’t a priority for us to find out what was done with the money we gave to the 50 or so organizations which received funding before we activated the nonprofit. It was enough to know that these were very good organizations, doing great work – even if the work was being done for the benefit of someone that we didn’t know and would never meet. Now that we’re building the nonprofit and all funding is directly from Investing In Communities, we take a more formal approach to tracking impact.
Investing In Communities is something that we’re very passionate about and very fortunate to be doing. If we could go back to 1995, we would definitely do it all over again.