By Amanda Clayton
After raising almost $100,000 last year in charitable funds, the Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation is donating the $94,000 to 23 different organizations to support housing related causes in the Chicago, DuPage and Milwaukee region. These organizations were nominated by Coldwell Banker agents and voted upon by the advisory committee.
Right here in Chicago, $29,000 of that amount was given to Ronald McDonald specifically to be used towards the toy room in the new 14-story Ronald McDonald House. The House will be located in downtown Chicago and will have 86 private rooms, three common floors including the reception, living, kitchen and dining areas to provide a “home away from home” for guests. The ‘Coldwell Banker Toy Room’ will be a first class, state of the art facility for kids and their families to play.
Coldwell Banker has been a partner with Ronald McDonald since creating the Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation in 2007. This foundation has collectively given Ronald McDonald over $130,000 throughout the years and continues to work together to make a change in the community.
Fran Broude, president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker, explains that creating the Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation wasn’t the first time Coldwell Banker agents started giving back to their community.
“Coldwell Banker had a number of philanthropic and fundraising events throughout all of the 53 offices. Agents, staff and employees had such a passion for giving back in so many ways that we put together a more unified foundation,” Broude said. “This way we would make a better impact around the Chicago, DuPage and Milwaukee region.”
There are ongoing fundraisers in every office throughout the year as well as company wide events to raise money for the foundation. With 5k runs, Ronald McDonald dinners, silent auctions, home building projects and monetary donations, there are unlimited ways to contribute to the success of the foundation.
Broude herself contributes time and money to help the foundation grow.
“I try to contribute in a number of ways at our home office in Northbrook,” Broude said. “I participate in regional activities that I am aware of or asked to take part in and donate things from the company and my own payroll. Anytime I can be a part [of the fundraising], I’m thrilled.”
Coldwell Banker and its efforts to give back to the community have not gone unnoticed. Last year, the foundation received the Spirit of Youth Award from the National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) for its work in supporting the organization’s mission of keeping America’s runaway and at-risk youth safe and of the streets. Broude explains that the foundation has also received some local recognition and letters of accommodation from shelters and local organizations.
Award-winning or not, Broude loves working in real estate and has been with the foundation from the start.
“I have supported the foundation since the very beginning. I believe strongly in giving back, and was excited to be part of this new endeavor,” Broude said.
Broude has been involved in real estate since 1989, when she worked as a salesperson, but quickly climbed her way up to president and COO. She went from working at a one office firm to now overseeing the operations of 53 Coldwell Banker offices and more than 3,400 sales associates. With her assistant and senior leadership team by her side, the sky is the limit.
Real estate is such a wonderful industry to watch people grow a career and help families make memories, Broude explained. She loves the hustle and bustle of Chicago but appreciates the peace and quiet of her home in Long Grove.
The Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation is just another step to support housing related causes so that everyone, like Broude, can have a place to call home.
“I’m so proud,” Broude said. “Together, we make a difference in the lives of so many.”