REALTORS® are not only strong advocates for homeownership, but also for their communities, and many contribute countless hours of their time to enhance the lives of others. For six years now, REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Society has helped REALTORS® expand and develop their charitable efforts through the Volunteering Works Grant and Mentoring Program. The program, which assigns expert mentors to REALTORS® who want to expand their community service outreach, is now seeking entries.
“REALTORS® are dedicated to volunteering and furthering the causes they believe in to make our communities a better place to live,” says National Association of REALTORS® President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc. REALTORS® in Dayton, Ohio. “Through the Volunteering Works program, REALTORS® can get the support and tools they need to help them achieve even greater success for their cause.”
The Good Neighbor Society is seeking applications from REALTORS® who work on small-scale charitable efforts that have growth potential. Five Volunteering Works applicants will be selected to receive a year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society and a $1,000 grant as seed money to help implement improvements in their community program. The Good Neighbor Society is comprised of past recipients of REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in community service.
Volunteering Works recipients will be selected based on their dedication to the community through volunteer work and the potential for their charitable work to be expanded or improved with the help of an expert mentor. Ideal candidates have been active in charity work, can identify specific challenges they would like to address with the help of a mentor, and have specific goals for the future of their community service project. Applicants must be NAR members.
“Mentors help the Volunteering Works recipients face the challenges of starting up a volunteer project—and help them avoid the pitfalls—because the mentor has been there before,” says Victor Kee, Good Neighbor Society Advisory Council Chair, a 2008 Good Neighbor Award recipient, and a former mentor. “The Volunteering Works recipients benefit from their mentors’ many years of experience with fundraising, recruiting volunteers and running an effective board.”
2013 Volunteering Works recipient Joan Rogliano says the impact of the grant and mentoring on the Wildflower Women’s Organization, a nonprofit she founded in 2010, has been “boundless.” Rogliano, broker owner of Rogliano Real Estate Group in Littleton, Colo., was matched with mentor and 2003 Good Neighbor Award winner Claudia Deprez, who contributed advice based on her years of success in the nonprofit world. “Claudia helped me identify which community leaders to reach out to, which led to our first matching challenge grant.” Rogliano says the $1,000 Volunteering Works grant her organization received enabled WWO to retain an interim executive director during a crucial growth period.
The REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Award winners, who mentor the Volunteering Works recipients, on average spend more than 20 hours a week on volunteer work and have built and led some of the most effective charitable organizations in the country. Since 2000, there have been more than 130 winners and honorable mentions of the Good Neighbor Award.
Volunteering Works is funded by The Stuart & Jill Siegel Charitable Foundation.
For a Volunteering Works entry form, visit www.Realtor.org/gna and click on “Volunteering Works.” The entry deadline is Feb. 28, 2014. Recipients will be notified in April.