Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A New Fundraising Method! Real Estate Rebate Fundraising Programs...

Care 2.com is an activist organizing, California based, non profit that provides subscribers the opportunity to sign Internet petitions or e-mail representatives about current issues that concerns its members. They work on causes such as women's community, animal welfare, health, environment, consumer safety, child protection and more.

Care 2.com, within the last day or two, sent an e-mail to its (free) members describing a new fundraising program called the Home Cash for Charity Program. To quote their e-mail, Care2.com has "...partnered with HomeGift Realty Inc., a national, licensed real estate company..." to offer home buyers and home sellers (the largest asset most Americans will ever own) the opportunity to donate a real estate agent referral fee refund to the charity of their choice (ala this e-mail, Care2.com hopes you'll choose theirs').

This program works when American real estate agents receive a referral, they are required to pay for that referral (the amount is based on the cost of the sale or purchase of the home) out of their commission fees. Their FAQ page explains this further by stating that "Agents willingly reduce their commissions to get your business and the business of thousands of non-profit supporters. We pass these savings on to you in the form of a cash rebate after closing." For buyers, the "found money" is the rebate they will receive to donate or keep. Signing up for this program is free, according to the e-mail, and the process is reportedly "easy". It does appear to be so.

The directions explain that there are simply three easy steps to donate your refunded real estate referral fee or found money. First, you must sign up (it is free to do so). Second, you may hire any real estate agent that you like to sell or buy your home (and you must tell that agent, up front, that you are a member of this program). Third, after closing you receive the refund check. You may keep the money or donate it to the charity of your choice.

Home Gift Realty, Inc., according to Care2.com's Home Cash for Charity Program web page, is reputable and has worked with other non profits, such as Habitat for Humanity and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) to provide this fundraising program.

Care 2.com has a good explanation of this fundraising program on their site. See http://www.homegift.com/realtyrewards/SHG_Pages/default.aspx?npo=care2&z00m=9421993

Their FAQ page explains that this program can not work in conjunction with other real estate refund programs. So, there are other realty companies who work with non profits to provide these rebates (in the hopes of raising the rebates as donations for the non profits).

I think this is a great way for non profits to raise larger donations from any donor (as the home is usually the largest asset Americans own). I do not have any experience with, nor have I heard of the real estate rebate fundraising program until the Care2.com e-mail I received yesterday. If you have experience with this kind of fundraiser, please share your experience in a "Comment" at the end of this post. My readers and I are always interested in the latest in fundraising.

2 comments:

Michael said...

Arlene,

I tried to find out more about this program but the link is non-existing. Any inputs. Do you know the contact phone number of a person with the program. TX

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Arlene M. Spencer said...

Michael,
Thank you for letting me know that the link died. I looked up the program that I wrote about, on the Care2.com site using Google and there were no immediate stories that ranked very high. I did write this a while ago. I did find a Home Gift site: http://homegift.com/ but please be warned that I do not know that these folks are the same Home Gift program originally mentioned by Care2.com though it does seem to have some information about real estate rebates. I'd look into anyone claiming to give donations on your behalf with their State's Attorney General's Office and also look up nonprofit information at Charity Navigator. Good luck, Arlene