What a year we’ve had so far! It is my honor to be Co-Chair with Ann Hunger of this year’s Columbus REALTORS® Foundation Fundraising Committee. The comradery we build while helping others is invaluable all the while having fun.
Building on the challenge issued by our President, Sara Walsh, we “see the need and take the lead,” helping to build a financial culture of giving in the central Ohio real estate community. REALTORS® are truly some of the most giving, kind folks around (even if I do say so myself!).
Since becoming its own nonprofit 501c(3) organization, the Foundation has raised more money year over year, with just over $82,000 raised so far (61 percent to our goal). More importantly funding to the community has also increased year over year, with over $187,200 given away in 2018.
So how did your donation help this year?
- Seven scholarships to future REALTOR® and Broker leaders
- Over $13,000 in emergency grant funding to REALTORS® in need (Benevolence)
- Funding for this year’s ‘epic’ REALTOR® Care Day (including 22 local area realty projects)
Currently the Foundation’s primary project is to invest $300,000 over three years to the South Side Renaissance (SSR). Thanks to a generous gift we are matching, the partnership with SSR will help create 45 affordable housing units. This organization has a very unique view. They do not “do for” the recipient, they “partner” with the recipient to move to a better, safer quality of life. Pregnant woman are housed from pregnancy to the baby turning a year. During that time, counseling, life skills, cooking, job skills are all taught. This actually combats affordable housing and infant mortality, all while bettering the community and creating active community members, who will in turn give back.
Additionally these marginalized community residents, exposed to food insecurity and housing unavailability, are given access to fresh fruits and vegetables and housing. Often they are given jobs as a volunteer that leads to paid employment. As you are aware the need is great and funding is always needed.
Recently the Foundation Trustees gathered to evaluate and award its annual local community nonprofit grant projects. Keep in mind, this is very serious and carefully considered; we understand your hard earned money must be put to its greatest use. There are tough choices to make and not all applicants are awarded. A few of this year’s benefiting organizations include:
Remember you can sum up the many things the Foundation does in five letters:
C – Community Grants
A – Emergency Aid
R – REALTOR® Care Day
E – Education Scholarships
S – Service!
To help raise funds, we host two major events each year, and have now added a third. The Spring Wine Tasting was in the new Bridge Park area in Dublin at the Exchange. Fun was had by all as wines were pared with wonderful appetizers. The auction was a success and we had many in attendance, exceeding our goals.
We are excited to once again be selected as the benefiting charity of the Sept. 22, 2018, O-Zone Tailgate (formerly Hineygate), ahead of the Tulane vs. Ohio State game! We will need all hands on deck as we serve beer and laugh. Last year bad weather shut us down early but we still raised over $5,000 to benefit the Foundation. This year’s great date and time (being earlier in the season), we expect to really shine. In fact, the organizers said we were the most professional and well organized group they have ever hosted! While we are still waiting for the game time to be set, there will be two shifts available (approximately 4.5 hours each). Click here for more information and to register (we need at least 65 volunteers). Afterwards there will be an impromptu gathering at a local watering hole.
Lastly, in the fall (Thursday, Nov. 15), at the Hollywood Casino, we will have our annual Foundation Luncheon. These are fun filled events of giving back and networking. Enjoy good food and drink and a rousing auction. We will have many fun events like the balloon raffles, door prizes and poker chips.
We are also in the planning stages of developing a family friendly 5 K run/walk. This will be implemented in 2019 so look for it next fall.
Things to remember:
- The Foundation is a 501c(3), which means any money you give is a tax write off on the taxes!
- It is a trusted organization to remember in your planned giving.
- We are also the most fun committee to be on (self-proclaimed but true)!
So please, consider giving us your time and talent and we’ll give you a sense of accomplishment of giving, all while having a great time!