You choose your agent AND your favorite charity gets funding

Investing In Communities® is the nonprofit real estate referral platform that uses an objective vetting process to find the most qualified agents for your transaction and by doing so enables you to generate $500 for every $100,000 of the sales price for your favorite charity- at no cost to you.

How IIC Works

Because of the competitive nature of the real estate industry, it is standard practice for brokers to pay referral fees, often 25% of their commission, to a broker that brings them new business. Licensed as a broker in Illinois, Investing In Communities® is able to make referrals to any other commercial or residential real estate broker in any state. When a consumer submits an online inquiry to IIC, we use an objective vetting process to identify several agents specifically  qualified for that consumer’s inquiry. Before providing the names and contact information to the consumer, we confirm that the agents are interested in the referral and happy to pay the referral fee (it’s rare for an agent to turn down a referral.) The consumer chooses one of the options we provide or can request additional options, if they’d like. When the transaction is finalized (commercial lease signed or house/condo is bought or sold), the agent sends the referral fee to IIC and we send 20% to the charity that first sent you to IIC and 60% goes to the charity you select as your favorite. If they are one in the same charity, they receive 80%.

The IIC Team

Michael Pink and Sharon Porter are the co-founders of IIC and the principals of MAP Real Estate, which has been representing commercial tenants in Chicago for over 30 years. In 1995, MAP pioneered a philanthropic approach to business development, which attracted socially conscious clients and made MAP feel great about supporting the community. The practice was so successful that in 2008 MAP founded Investing In Communities®, a nonprofit real estate referral service that enables real estate professionals and nonprofits anywhere to participate and benefit. MAP has, contributed over $450,000 to its clients’ favorite nonprofits through Investing In Communities®.

Nate Hutcheson joined IIC in 2016 as the engagement coordinator. He has worked with a variety of nonprofits and start-ups on capacity-building, business development, and community engagement. Contact Nate at or 312.955.4900 x 3.

Investing In Communities® counts a trusted group of advisors as an important part of the team. Our advisors include:

Michael Cannon (bio coming soon)
Bob Godfrey (bio coming soon)
Ron Grzywinski (bio coming soon)
Ray Kolak (bio coming soon)
Adam Newell (bio coming soon)
Layton Olson (bio coming soon)
S. Mike Rummel (bio coming soon)


Our History

The web based social enterprise that is the current IIC grew out of a 1995 experiment that the co-founders of IIC conducted to see if they would get more clients by giving part of each commission to charity. And, even that philanthropic experiment had to be done in a way that would not violate the IL license Act.

“By 5/2010, we’d given away more than $275,000. Most of that money was given directly to our charity clients from whose transactions we earned the commissions. That’s allowed in IL and about 40 other states. When we gave part of our commission to our for-profit clients we simply requested that they give it to their favorite charities. People were fascinated when we’d give them our money to give to their charity. They liked our idea a lot. And we learned that our competitors liked our idea, too. Well, they sort of did.

“Starting in 1995, when we pitched a charity to handle their office lease, we always included our Investing In Communities® pledge. Invariably, the executive director was delighted and wanted to share our proposal with the board. Naturally, we followed up to see if we’d won the assignment. What happened next showed that if we could figure out how, we could do something really good for the world – something much bigger than us. Their board had never heard of a broker offering to give part of the commission to the client, and wanted to find out what the brokers they knew had to say about it. When our competitors learned of our IIC pledges, the only smart thing they could say, in order to try to win the assignment from us, was, “Oh, we’ll do that too!”

The seed for rethinking real estate℠, rethinking philanthropy℠ had begun to grow!

To scale our idea of client-directed/broker-funded philanthropy, we launched an independent social enterprise allowing any brokered real estate transaction, anywhere in the world, to be a charity funding opportunity. Now, IIC can enable all individuals and companies to turn their residential and commercial transactions into deals that make a difference℠ for their favorite charities.

In May 2010, Investing In Communities® made its first distribution. “We’ve since raised over $250,000 for 142 charities, made possible because of IIC-organized residential purchase & sale, and office, retail, & industrial lease transactions, among others, located in Mexico and the US. We have been told by a number of people in the real estate brokerage industry that the IIC system should prove effective in about 70 countries.”