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Guarantee Real Estate raises money for local charities

Aid program to be honored
Guarantee Real Estate raises money for local charities.

By BoNhia Lee

   The ‍Fresno Bee
   Guarantee Real Estate started a corporate philanthropy program 5 1/2 years ago that has raised more than $220,000 for local charities.

   Now, the ‍Fresno real estate company and the ‍Fres‍‍no ‍Regional ‍Foundation, which helps distribute the money, are encouraging other small businesses to replicate the program.

   “We see our mission as trying to stimulate philanthropy and this is a great way to do it,” said Dan De-Santis, the ‍foundation‍’‍s chief executive officer. “It’s coming from a broad spectrum of people so it’s easy to do.”

   The ‍foundation plans to honor the program and share its success with other small businesses during an event today where it will give donors a midyear update on the ‍foundation‍’‍s activities .

   Guarantee owner and broker Joan Eaton, who will speak about the program today, said Tuesday that she is “really pleased with the success we had because we’ve raised over $220,000 in the five hardest years in real estate probably since the Great Depression.”

   The program is called the Guarantee Goodwill Network .

   Here’s how it works: The company called on its 470 employees and real estate agents to pledge a portion of their paycheck or commission to the program. The money was collected by the ‍foundation.

   Then Guarantee matched the first $5 of every donation. To help employees and agents feel more invested and inspired to give, the company let them nominate community organizations to receive money.

   But there were two requirements: The organization had to provide permanent or temporary shelter like Habitat for Humanity or the Marjaree Mason Center shelter for women. Or the organization had to benefit the community and be open to all residents, such as the ‍Fresno Art Museum or Tree ‍Fresno.

   The network also holds an annual fundraiser and silent auction. And the company encourages each office to raise funds on its own to donate to a project of its choosing.

   “If we all work together as a community, we can build this region into an even better place than it already is,” Eaton said.

   » The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6495, [email protected]   or @bonhialee on Twitter. 

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