The top 10 ways REALTORS® give back to their communities

The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation asked the REALTOR® community how much they donated and/or raised for charity in 2012 and 2013. We recently crunched the numbers and came up with a BIG result. Drum roll please…

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Over $53.8 million in only two years. That speaks volumes about the generosity of REALTORS® and the important role they play in communities across Canada.

So what are their favourite ways to give back and support their charities of choice? I took a look at the 500+ stories posted on over the past nine years to find out. Counting down from 10…

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10. Going green and cleaning up their communities. REALTORS® rally together to make their communities a little brighter by volunteering their time to plant trees, pick up garbage, do some gardening, or put fresh coats of paint on needy buildings or park benches.

9. Rolling up their sleeves for Habitat for Humanity. REALTORS® trade in their business wear for hard hats and steel toe boots to help build Habitat for Humanity homes for families in need across the country.

8. Hosting charity garage sales. REALTORS® from coast to coast host garage sales each year and give the proceeds to their favourite charities. Two examples of annual garage sales organized at a national level have appeared numerous times on our site: the Royal LePage National Garage Sale for Shelter and the RE/MAX Yard Sale for the Cure.

7. Donating part of their commission. Some REALTORS® choose to support the charities close to their hearts by donating a certain amount of the commission they earn.

6. Volunteering on Boards and organizing committees. REALTORS® volunteer their time and skills for the good of their communities in many ways, including by playing leadership roles on Boards of Directors and organizing committees.

5. Organizing charitable drives. REALTORS® are really good at collecting items–such as clothing, books, food, toys, and books–for people who need them. For example, the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive–sponsored by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, and the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board–is now in its 20th year.

4. Participating in sports tournaments and physical challenges. REALTORS® get their adrenaline pumping by participating in sports tournaments and physical challenges of many kinds. We’ve shared stories of REALTORS® raising money by bowling, curling, racing in dragon boats, playing in hockey, volleyball, baseball, softball, and slo-pitch tournaments, hosting fishing derbies, powerlifting, kite boarding, rappelling from great heights, participating in skate-a-thons, swim-a-thons, and bowl-a-thons. Our #1 fundraising approach could fit in this category as well. Have you figured it out yet?

3. Hitting the road in runs, walks, and rides for charity. Every year, REALTORS® participate in a wide variety of walks, runs, and rides on bikes and motorcycles–hitting the road and getting some fresh air while raising funds and awareness for their favourite charities and causes.

2. Throwing a party. No matter how fun a big fundraising event can be, don’t be fooled–it’s a lot of work to bring everything together. REALTORS® take the challenge in stride. They hold galas, dinners, concerts, talent shows, parties, auctions, BBQs, and other get-togethers to encourage attendees to open their wallets for great causes.

1. Hosting charity golf tournaments. What could be better than spending a beautiful summer day on the golf course with colleagues and friends while raising money for a charity you love? It makes perfect sense that charity golf tournaments appear as the most popular fundraising method for REALTORS®, according to the stories submitted to our site.

How do you give back? The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation would love to spread the word about your charity event or initiative. Drop us a line at

Sarah Thirnbeck, Associate Director, Strategic Impact, oversees CREA's national REALTORS Care® program, which aims to celebrate the amazing charitable achievements of REALTORS® across Canada and further foster a spirit of giving in our industry. She also oversees CREA's efforts to support local and provincial Young Professionals Networks across the country as well as new initiatives dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion on CREA's Board of Directors and committees. Sarah recently earned a Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability from the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto to complement her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications.

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