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IIC a Chicago Innovation Awards Nominee

September 7, 2011

Investing In Communities is officially a Chicago Innovation Awards Nominee! We’re proud to be recognized along with other companies and organizations that are pushing the envelope in the windy city.

What makes IIC so innovative? Several things: First, it creates a virtuous cycle that makes philanthropy profitable and sustainable. And Second, it turns giving into an integral part commerce – rather than simply an afterthought. How do we achieve this? Well, as any business person knows, you’ve gotta spend money to make money. Now imagine if you could replace the word spend with give, and achieve the same business growth goals through a philanthropic model. That’s Investing In Communities.

Here’s how it works: IIC is a nonprofit online platform that allows individuals and businesses to connect with socially responsible real estate professionals, and benefit nonprofits as a result. These professionals have pledged to donate, through IIC, at least 10% of any IIC-related commission to the nonprofit/s their client selects. But the IIC pledge is fundamentally different from traditional charity. Here’s why:

In real estate, professionals frequently pay to acquire new business, and one of the most common forms of payment is referral fees – a share of commissions earned on referred business. Anytime a real estate professional is referred business by a third party, he or she usually pays from 15-25% of that commission back to the referring entity; be it another individual or a company. Investing In Communities replaces referral fees with philanthropy.

By pledging to donate to their client’s preferred nonprofit/s, participating professional attract socially conscious consumers such as the individual and corporate supporters of nonprofits. With over 1.5 million registered nonprofits in the United States, there are many millions of individuals and businesses supporting nonprofits every day with their own time and money. IIC lets these consumers support their favorite nonprofits with someone else’s money, simply by awarding their business to a socially responsible professional.

IIC founders recognized that if organized correctly, philanthropy could have the same business-generating effect as paid advertising or referral fees – but with the added benefit of significant social impact. After establishing IIC as successful business practice within their own small firm, founders Michael Pink and Sharon Porter decided to give IIC to the world by creating an independent nonprofit that would enable the IIC model to scale across the country and benefit nonprofits, professionals, and consumers everywhere.

The product? A neutral platform that brings consumers, nonprofits, and professionals together to benefit each other and society at large. We think that giving money away to important causes is a great way for professionals to make more of it and – we hope you’ll agree – pretty innovative.

Best of luck to all the 2011 Chicago Innovation Award Nominees!

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 10:57 pm


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