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IIC Helps Housing Choice Partner Create

November 19, 2013

IIC Helps Housing Choice Partner Create Opportunities For Fair Housing

IIC Supports 101 Soldiers of the 101st A

November 6, 2013

IIC Supports 101 Soldiers of the 101st Airborne with Operation Homelink

IIC Helps Science Olympiad further The U

September 27, 2013

IIC Helps Science Olympiad further The Urban Schools Initiative in CPS

Doing Business Doing Good SM – In 1995,

August 22, 2013

Doing Business Doing Good SM – 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 []

For the Happiest of New Years, Let’s all win!

January 2, 2013


With this post, we both close the old year and bring in the new. While Investing In Communities® has accomplished a lot in the year past, we have far to go – probably around the world.

IIC’s community of communities – those seeking to strengthen and expand collaboration between the for-profit and nonprofit sectors for their mutual benefit – has nearly 400 participating charities. Because of our history, about 60 % are located in Chicago metro. The others range from St. Croix to Hawaii, from ME to WA, and from Mexico to Canada!

Feed the Hungry San Miguel

Because of a very active IIC volunteer who lives there, many of our 50 Member agents work in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We just made our first distribution to an IIC Nonprofit Partner not located in the US, Feed the Hungry San Miguel. What makes this event even more notable is that it’s the first time that the Member’s pledge was matched by their client. In fact, the client more than matched it. IIC requires only that the fortunate agent who is awarded the brokerage assignment pledge a minimum of 10% of that commission for distribution through IIC to their client’s favorite charity.

Since we began to make distributions in May, 2010, IIC has enabled more than $150,000 of support for IIC Partners.

Recently, we added a searchable Corporate Directory for companies wishing to use IIC as a tool in connection with corporate and/or employees’ transactions, and/or just wanting to affiliate their brands with ours. We look forward to building this into an important platform for companies large and small, wanting to strengthen connections to their respective communities of interest and desiring recognition for doing business doing good.

We attended a wonderful event today to celebrate the first day in history that Benefit Corporations can exist in IL and recognize the first group of such IL for-profits. A movement is afoot, which with increasing frequency will cause commerce, as it’s transacted, to benefit the parties to the transaction and the larger world. That’s the IIC model.

For this movement, “investing in communities” is not an after-effect of profit making, but is integral to making that profit. We at Investing In Communities believe this is the smartest way to do more business. What’s better than everyone winning?

We are humbled and very proud to be a part of this social enterprise movement. We will work hard to contribute to its spread, for the benefit of those companies, professionals, and their customers and clients, who see commerce as a way to fund solutions to communities’ challenges. IIC will continue to work hard to do this for the benefit of us all.

Happy New Year!

How Real Estate Helps Children Grow Into Leaders

June 19, 2012

“I’m a Dream Leader … I have to help people now.”



Despite the hard work of his single mother in raising J.L. and his siblings, J.L. experienced a difficult childhood.  In order to ensure that his family always had enough to eat, J.L. would regularly shoplift.  He was heading down the wrong path.  That was until he attended his first Dream Leader Conference.

Dream Leader Conferences are programs created by Dreams for Kids in which at-risk youth and children with disabilities are brought together with their peers for the purpose of learning and helping others.[1]

After opening up and sharing his difficulties at home during the Dream Leader Conference, J.L. began the process of becoming a true leader.  In discussing his old practices of stealing, J.L. said, “I’m a Dream Leader now. That isn’t what a Dream Leader does. I have to help people now. There are so many people who need more than I do and I have to help them. I need to be a good example.”

Attending a Dream Leader Conference provided J.L. with a new worldview.  Following the conference, J.L. went out and put on a fundraiser to help drill a well for a small African village.  This well would provide fresh water for the villagers rather than having them walk six miles each day to get buckets of dirty water from a pond.  Upon receiving the first dollar from his fundraiser, J.L. stared at the money in disbelief.  It was real.  J.L. realized he was a Dream Leader now, and he could truly help people in need.

J.L.’s experience with Dreams For Kids is relatively typical.  Kelly, another attendee said of her experience, “In a sense, Dreams for Kids has given me special powers to make the world a better place… I can now put smiles on children’s’ faces, so I can put a proud smile on my face.”[2]

It is not easy to put on Dream Leader events, and that is where the Investing In Communities innovative real estate model comes into play.  In 2011, Michael Pink, a broker with MAP Real Estate, was asked to represent Urban Partnership Bank in a lease for its new downtown branch and offices. Pink got this assignment by pledging 15% of his commission to IIC, so that Urban Partnership Bank could provide funding for local charities of its choice.  Through a random drawing, 15 different charities were chosen to receive different amounts of funding.  In total, they received $42,000, including $5,000 for Dreams for Kids. (Read all about the drawing in IIC’s next blog post).


(Bill Lowry of Chicago Community Trust)

The impact of this $5,000 can be seen in different ways.  The unrestricted funds could be viewed as helping fund two extra Dream Leader Conferences with 16 attendees each.  Another way to view the donation is that the $5,000 provides an opportunity for 32 J.L.’s to mature.  Thanks to Investing In Communities, and Urban Partnership Bank, and Pink, 32 at-risk and disabled youth will be given the opportunity to gain a whole new world view and begin to do good for the world.

Tracking Social Impact with Ashoka Changemakers: How Dreams for Kids is Getting it Right

April 18, 2012
Ashoka Changemakers

Wonderful news! Investing In Communities is excited to announce a new partnership with Ashoka Changemakers. As a Funding Partner on Changeshops Beta, IIC will require all funding recipients to set up a free Changeshop so they (and we) can track the social impact of IIC’s funds.

What is social impact, anyway? When we talk about measuring social impact, we generally mean measuring social or environmental outcome – the result of implementing a program, producing a good, or consuming a product or service.  Outcomes are distinct from outputs – the amount of goods produced or products delivered [1].

Create a Changeshop

Grow and track your impact - and we mean your outcome!

And why is this distinction important? Suffice it to say that the past ten years have seen an incredible upsurge in both the intensity and extent of outcome-oriented philanthropy [2]. Put another way, let’s face it: tracking the impact of social ventures has become an integral factor in determining which organizations receive funding. Foundations, corporate donors, and the government are all starting to evaluate impact. Funding is scarce, and you don’t want your organization to miss the boat. But it’s not just about funding. The real goal of impact assessment is to understand how to better serve your beneficiaries. (To read more about the broader implications of this industry shift to outcome-oriented philanthropy, we encourage you to check out a recent article by IIC’s Colleen Poynton: “The Challenges of Measuring Impact Assessment”).

With these two objectives in mind – funding and social good – let’s look at just how Investing In Communities’ partnership with Ashoka Changemakers will help nonprofits, consumers, and real estate professionals make a difference in their communities.  Read more…

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