The Valley-based organization that plans to go national is known as the Alliance of Socially Responsible Agents, or ASRA. (www.ASRAgents.com)
That was the brainchild of Kevin Johnson, a Buckeye RE/MAX broker. For years, Johnson has operated his own real estate business, Catalyst Realty Group, with this same model that helps nonprofits raise money to further their missions. The idea evolved when he was working with business and personal coach Jon Bohm – who also coaches rookie players for the Arizona Cardinals on financial and life matters.
“Kevin told me he didn’t need help improving his business but wanted to have a bigger impact in the community, wanted to feel like what he did mattered,” Bohm said. “This is what he came up with. I think it’s not only brilliant, but could be a huge and growing model for giving, because everyone wins.”
Johnson pulled together a professional band of believers who helped develop the system, curriculum, marketing plan and campaign to recruit agents and non-profits. The team includes Johnson; Bohm; Deborah Whitehurst, Senior Consultant with The Phoenix Philanthropy Group and former COO at the Arizona Community Foundation, Matt Caraway, who serves at the CIO; and Hal DeKeyser, longtime Valley journalist and speechwriter in the Governor’s Office.
After training on nonprofits, community need, tax and accounting elements and marketing, agents agree to donate 10 percent of a transaction to the 501(c)3 non-profit of the customer’s choice – or 10 percent of all transactions referred by a qualified nonprofit. The training also earns them the ASRA professional real estate designation, assuring customers and nonprofits that the promise will be fulfilled. Donations will be paid out of escrow, so agents never touch the contribution.
Brokers and agents gain by having buyers and sellers aimed at them by charities to help them fulfill their own missions, whether that’s helping children, fighting disease or homelessness, building a church, improving education, supporting military families or the like.
“That’s the beauty of the thing – it’s not only a win-win; it’s a five-win: The customer, agent, non-profit and beneficiary of the non-profit all win,” Johnson said. “And the community and society win as it helps address the need. And – customers get to pick their own cause, what they’re passionate about.”
"If “location, location, location” is the mantra for real estate, then “donation, donation, donation” is the mantra for nonprofits,”
Agent Steve Castle just joined ASRA. He took a two-year hiatus from real estate to spend two years helping Phoenix Children’s Hospital raise money – focusing on contributions from real estate agent. After his Peace Corps-like stint, he’s back working with his wife, and -- as an ASRA agent – donates 10 percent of his commission to the nonprofit of the clients’ choice. He talks about how those contributions allow families to deal with a child’s serious illness together and with a huge financial relief. firstname.lastname@example.org - 602-881-6228
Deborah Whitehurst -- Senior Consultant with The Phoenix Philanthropy Group and former COO at the Arizona Community Foundation – could explain the state of fundraising for nonprofits these days. 602-400-
Larry Cervarich with Homeless Youth Connection also understands the needs of nonprofits and the value of the ASRA model in fulfilling its mission. Office: (623) 374-3747Cell:
Kevin Johnson, 602-317-0060
Hal DeKeyser. 602-316-6863