REALTORS® Increase Their Giving, Volunteerism During the Pandemic

December 3, 2020

Real estate pros are expanding charitable outreach in their communities in a variety of ways, from reaching out to those isolated in quarantine to making food deliveries to the elderly and frontline workers.

The median annual value of REALTOR® associations’ donations to communities in 2020 has doubled to $10,000. What’s more, 92% of broker-owners have made donations this year, and two-thirds of REALTORS® report volunteering on a monthly basis, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ newly released Community Aid and Real Estate Report.

“REALTORS® are in the business of helping people and serving their communities, and we’ve seen countless examples of this play out nationwide during this pandemic,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler. “To hear that my colleagues in the real estate industry have pitched in to an even greater degree than usual is indeed heartwarming, but it is also not surprising.”

NAR’s CARE Report, which is based on nearly 7,000 survey responses, offers insight into the monetary and volunteer contributions of members, broker-owners, and association executives and multiple listing service staff.

REALTORS® have responded to the pandemic in their communities in multiple ways, from conducting wellness checks and visits to senior neighbors to offering virtual companionship to those isolated or quarantined alone. Thirty-six percent of brokers and their firms have donated money or nonperishables to food banks during the pandemic. Twenty-seven percent donated masks and protective gear, 16% donated school meals to children, and 9% were able to provide stable and secure housing to those in need, the report shows.

Brokerages also have been encouraging their sales associates to take an active role in their communities. Sixty-eight percent of REALTORS® say that their firm has urged them to volunteer. That may be why 82% of REALTORS® reported making charitable donations last year, the CARE report shows.

Seventy-nine percent of broker-owners also have volunteered their time on a monthly basis. The median amount brokers-owners donated annually was $2,000. Sixty-eight percent of association executives or multiple listing service staff volunteered monthly, and 93% of AEs or MLS staff made personal donations in 2020.

Ninety-one percent of AE or MLS respondents’ associations conducted a fundraiser for their community in 2020, an increase from 89% in 2018.

“Historically, REALTORS® have a proven track record of donating time, money, and energy toward various charities and volunteer efforts,” Oppler says.

Oppler has encouraged REALTORS® to participate in community services and log their volunteer hours over the next year. He has set a goal for REALTORS® to reach 5 million hours by November 2021. REALTORS® can record their hours, earn a digital badge, and see their volunteer work represented on a map at NAR’s tracker at

Community Aid and Real Estate (CARE) Report,” National Association of REALTORS® (2020)