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A sampling of 32 Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM®) Chapters throughout the U.S. has shown that these groups gave approximately $328,000 in cash plus donations of food, toys and personal time to charitable organizations during 2009. The principal funding source by far was golf outings, followed by fundraisers at chapter events such as 50/50 raffles, silent auctions, and casino nights at luncheon and dinner meetings as well as galas and picnics.
The vast majority of donation recipients were local health and social service agencies for both children and adults; other recipient groups included Special Olympics, Toys for Tots, Habitat for Humanity, food banks, military troops, scholarship funds, and the IREM Foundation.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to document some of the extensive efforts by our membership to give back to their communities in these very tangible and meaningful ways,” said IREM President O. Randall Woodbury, CPM®, Woodbury Corp., Salt Lake City, UT. “This is our first effort to identify the extent of what we sensed was going on in many of the communities in which IREM has a presence around the country; it convinces us that much more is happening than has been reported to date,” he added.
Chapters providing information on giving indicated several longstanding community support programs—one going back 40 years (Arkansas) and three going back 30 years (Dallas, Houston, and New Jersey). The Houston Chapter has contributed more than $1 million over the last 20 years to Harris County Protective Services.
Three other chapters (Greater Metropolitan Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and West Central Maryland) have collaborated to stage a black tie gala that has raised $126,900 over the last four years for children with cancer and their families. In addition, the Greater Metropolitan Washington D.C. Chapter has raised $80,000 over the past 12 years for Special Olympics.
Similarly, the Nebraska Chapter has contributed $143,000 to Special Olympics over the last 11 years and was given the “Champion of Greatness” Award for 2008 by Nebraska Special Olympics. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Chapter has raised $75,000 over the last 11 years for the Learning Center for Children and $40,000 over the last three years for Ronald McDonald House with a 5K Run and Walk event it created.
An affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®, IREM, based in Chicago, IL, is the only professional real estate management association serving both the multi-family and commercial real estate sectors.