If you’re feeling the pull to be more socially conscious, you’re not alone. A Cone Communications study on corporate social responsibility (CSR) found that “76% of those surveyed said they would decline to do business with a company if it held views and supported issues that conflicted with their beliefs,” said Forbes. In addition, “78% of people wanted companies to address social justice issues” and “63% of American consumers were looking to businesses to take the lead on social and environmental change.”
The pull is stronger among some demographic groups than others, with millennials largely driving the trend. Chief Learning Officer stated that, “By and large, baby boomers sought workplaces that offered stability and high pay. Millennials, however, have different priorities. Millennials have high expectations for the actions of business when it comes to social purpose and accountability; and they want to work for companies that uphold these values.”
According to a report titled “Millennials at work – Reshaping the workplace,” corporate social values “become more important to millennials when choosing an employer once their basic needs, like adequate pay and working conditions, are met,” they said. “The report states that ‘millennials want their work to have a purpose, to contribute something to the world and they want to be proud of their employer.’”
“Social purpose” goes beyond philanthropy and charity and “encompasses much more than the terms ‘corporate social responsibility’ and ‘community investment’ evoke.” But when it comes to real estate, many of today’s buyers and sellers are seeking out agents and companies whose beliefs track with their own. If you’re looking for a socially conscious company when buying or selling a home, here are a few to consider:
Give Realty, Austin, TX
“Give Realty is a full service real estate brokerage with two passions: Real estate and the community,” they said. “We donate 25% of our commission to the 501(c)3 nonprofit of the client’s choice.” So far, they have donated almost $900,000 to various charities.
Giving Tree Realty, North and South Carolina
“Giving Tree Realty is built upon a foundation of giving back,” they said. “Our unique charity platform was designed to ensure that a portion of every sales commission our Realtors earn is donated to the charity of their choice. When a Realtor joins Giving Tree Realty, they chose a charity that is near and dear to their heart.” The company has donated more than $500,000 to local charities since 2010.
The Conscious Group, Denver
“Our Colorado real estate agents donate 10% to the nonprofit of our client’s choice,” they said. “We are Denver and the Front Range’s only residential real estate agency social enterprise. Our real estate agents contribute 10 percent of agent commissions to the nonprofit of your choice.” The company also specializes in “eco-friendly homes and business practices.”
Windermere, Western United States/Mexico
“For the past 30 years, the Windermere Foundation has donated a portion of the proceeds from every home purchased or sold using a Windermere agent towards supporting low-income and homeless families in our communities,” they said. “What started in 1989 as a grassroots foundation serving families in need in Washington State, has grown to encompass ten states and has raised over $38 million for programs and organizations that provide shelter, food, children’s programs, emergency assistance, and other services to those who need our help most.”
There are also a number of individual real estate agents who make it a point to give back to charity, and programs like PinRaise help support those efforts. PinRaise’s Agent with Heart™ program “is a platform designed to support local nonprofits and recognize the generosity of real estate agents and brokers who give back to the community they serve,” they said.
Agents in the program donate to the nonprofit of their client’s choosing when their home closes escrow. You can find a participating agent here.