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In 2021, Realtor associations donated a median of $12,070 to community nonprofits.
That’s up 20.7 percent from a median of $10,000 in 2020 and up 141.4 percent from $5,000 in 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors’ recently released Community Aid and Real Estate (CARE) Report. NAR has more than 1.5 million members and 1,090 local Realtor associations.
“Realtors are deeply involved in their communities and this report shines a light on the great volunteer efforts by NAR members,” said NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith in a statement.
“It is inspiring to see Realtor associations across the country continue to boost local charitable efforts, and I’m proud to be part of such a compassionate and caring group.”
The report is based on June 2022 survey answers from 7,075 respondents who are a mix of general members at large of NAR, broker-owners, association executives (AEs) and multiple listing service (MLS) staff. The survey asked about donations to community nonprofits; schools; local, state, or national associations; and other nonprofits, according to NAR. The survey asked about financial donations made last year, specifically, but other questions, such as those related to volunteering were asked generally.
The respondents were not representative of NAR’s overall membership in terms of experience, skewing toward veterans. Among the respondents overall, 53 percent had 16 or more years of real estate experience. General members at large had a median of 11 years of experience, broker-owners had a median of 24 years and association and MLS staff had a median of 16 years. Just under two-thirds of respondents, 63 percent, were general members at large, 33 percent were broker-owners and 5 percent were AEs or MLS staff.
Nearly half, 49 percent, of respondents said they volunteer the same amount as before the pandemic, while 12 percent said they volunteer more. A third, 33 percent, said they volunteer less and 7 percent weren’t sure.
The survey found that two-thirds of NAR members (66 percent) volunteer monthly and, if they do, they spend an average of eight hours volunteering per month. Those figures haven’t changed since 2018, according to NAR. Of those who volunteer, 73 percent said they volunteer in their communities, while 19 percent said they volunteer for their associations. Members overall spend an average of four hours volunteering.
The same share of association executives or MLS staff volunteer monthly: 66 percent, down slightly from 68 percent in 2020.
The share of those who volunteer monthly rises to 77 percent among broker-owners, though this is a slight decrease from 79 percent in 2020. Of those broker-owners who volunteer, 77 percent volunteer in their communities, while 35 percent volunteer for a Realtor association.
About two-thirds (67 percent) of general members at large reported that their firm encourages its employees to volunteer, nearly flat from 68 percent in 2020. The vast majority of Realtor members at large, 83 percent, said it was an important part of their business plans to be involved in their communities, a slight dip from 85 percent in 2020.
The share of Realtors at large who donated to charity declined a bit last year: from 82 percent in 2020 to 79 percent in 2021. Of those who donated, 83 percent donated to nonprofits while 31 percent donated to a Realtor association. The typical amount they donated annually was $800 in 2021, up from $700 in 2020.
Ninety percent of broker-owners donated in 2021 compared to 92 percent in 2020. Broker-owners as a whole donated a median of $2,300 annually compared to $1,800 in 2020. Of those who donated, 89 percent donated to community nonprofits while 50 percent donated to a Realtor association.
Among AEs and MLS staff, 87 percent made personal donations in 2021. Ninety percent reported that their association held a fundraiser last year for their community, nearly flat from 91 percent in 2020. A slightly smaller share, 85 percent, said they held events that encourage their members to volunteer.
Survey respondents were most likely to have volunteered with food delivery for the elderly or food banks to help with COVID-19 relief efforts, according to the report.