Here’s how you can contribute to the charities you care about most through everyday real estate transactions – at no cost to you.

Investing in Communities® is a free service that refers brokers to people who are buying or selling a home, and to companies that want to lease office, retail, or industrial space. We can help make your next real estate transaction faster, easier, and more rewarding. It’s a great way to support your favorite charity — anywhere in the US, Mexico, and Canada.

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How you and your chosen charity will benefit:

  • We offer an entirely new way to support a charity or cause you are passionate about – at no expense to you.
  • We use social media to highlight the charitable impact that you make possible (you may, of course, remain anonymous if you choose).
  • Our process for selecting brokers and donating referral fees is completely transparent.
  • We are a 100% nonprofit social enterprise, though we are not a charity.


For any brokered sales and any commercial leasing anywhere in North America

Waters Today

RECEIVED: $1,766


DETAILS: When Heather Hofman got a new job in Washington D.C., she needed a real estate broker for her home sale in Boise, Idaho. Heather used IIC to find her broker and by doing so, generated $1,766 for Waters Elementary, at no cost to her.

Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

RECEIVED: $25,000


DETAILS: Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law chose a broker through IIC. As a result of their new office lease, they were able to generate $25,000 of unrestricted funds for their own mission.

Kennebec Estuary Land Trust

RECEIVED: $6,905


DETAILS: As the result of an office lease renewal in the Central Loop, Eckhart Kolak selected Kennebec Estuary Land Trust in Maine, to receive $6,905 through Investing In Communities.

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Yes! When you share your charity’s IIC page on social media or by email.

Yes. When brokers pay the referral fee to IIC, we keep 3/10 to help cover our administrative expenses, and the other 7/10 goes to your charity. (We round up for the charity share and round down for the IIC share. In the example of a $100,000 home sale or purchase, IIC would keep $185 (29.6% of the referral fee) and your charity would receive from IIC $440 (70.4% of the referral fee).

In our experience, for residential purchase and sale transactions, the referral fee is most typically 25% of the commission; assuming a 5% total commission split evenly by the buyer’s and seller’s broker on a $100,000 home, if either the buyer or the seller use IIC to make the arrangements, the commission would be $2,500 and the referral fee would be $625.

Anyone can make a referral. But brokers in all states can only pay referral fees to another licensed broker. All states have a real estate license act that controls the business activities of real estate licensees in their state. And all states require referral fees be paid only by one broker to another broker. IIC is a licensed broker in Illinois which allows us to make referrals anywhere in the US and be paid a referral fee, which we then give at least 70% of to your charity.

IIC uses the information you provide to search for the best possible brokers based on the type of your transaction, it’s approximate size, and its geographic location. We then contact them to ask if they are interested in a possible referral. If they say yes, we can then present them as one of the possible options for you to choose from. It is rare for a broker to decline a referral opportunity.

If you want your transaction to benefit your favorite charity at no cost to you, you would need to select from the brokers that are contacted by IIC in order to enable payment of a referral fee. But, IIC can call just about any broker in the country and ask the magic question, “would you like to have a referral?” We do that after we have identified three brokers that specialize in the specifics of your transaction.

Yes! If you have a contact person at the charity, let them know you’d like to choose their organization to benefit from your upcoming transaction. It only takes a few minutes to complete our online charity application.

The easiest way is for IIC to approach your preferred broker before you sign an agreement with them. Even if you’ve already signed an agreement, many brokers are open to the idea of paying a referral fee to benefit a charity, especially if it might help them get more business. But if you sign with the broker before coming to IIC, since that broker will no longer be in competition to win you as a client, we cannot guarantee that the broker will agree to take less than the full commission.

Of course you can! Everybody has a friend of a friend who’s a broker who would love your business. And there’s google and yelp. But none of those options will yield a referral fee for your favorite charity. IIC can work with any broker you want, but let us contact them first, in order to charge the full going rate for referral fee for the specifics of your transaction. And why not include a couple other options for the sake of due diligence?

Our success depends on our ability to provide you with a choice of brokers that are highly qualified for the specifics of your upcoming transaction. We can even include a broker you already have in mind. With IIC, the focus is getting the right broker. That’s because IIC makes your own transaction do the social good, whether that’s the interest of the broker or not.

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