This article was originally published in Real Estate Agent Magazine Twin Cities, written by Charity Malmberg, Founder and President of Trademark Title


We just lived through that special time of year when people string up lights, stop counting calories and drive for hours upon hours to see the people they love.

Now, that we’ve come to a new year, it’s time to reflect and think about what we’re thankful for and how we can give back. Giving back to those who may be less fortunate or having a tough time is not just a great way to boost the spirit of others, it’s a great way to build your business culture.

In the past, you may have looked at charity as a personal, individual effort, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Giving back as a group, with your employees, co-workers, colleagues or even family is a great way to work together, build relationships and be inspired-while doing something kind for others.


Perhaps the idea intrigues you, but you just don’t know where to begin. Check out these five ways to give back with your business to get you started.

1. Spare Key

Often, families with critically ill or injured children are in a tough situation; they want to spend precious time with their child, but they face the reality of bills, including their mortgage, that must be paid. Spare Key helps these families by providing housing grant assistance so these families don’t have to worry about their mortgage while they’re trying to focus on their kiddo’s health and happiness. Donating to Spare Key is an investment in families in your own community and a way to give back to the industry you love. Additionally, you can check out volunteer opportunities with Spare Key in your area.

2. Sponsor a family

In every community, there are families who are having financial difficulties, and Christmas will be yet another reminder of how tight things really are. Partner as an office or even with your family to sponsor one of these families by purchasing age-appropriate gift s for each family member. If you’re not sure how to find these families, get in touch with local churches; often they will know of families in need of a little extra help this season.

3. Feed My Starving Children

For nearly 20 years, FMSC has been working to feed starving children around the world with volunteer-packed, nutritious meals. With permanent sites in the Minneapolis area, volunteering at FMSC is a great opportunity to invest your time in helping to feed malnourished children around the world while spending time and building relationships with your business team or family. You can sign up to pack meals for a specific slot of time and bring a group or even two, making a fun competition out of which group can pack the most meals in your time slot.

4. Habitat for Humanity

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is another great way to give back within the real estate industry while helping families in need in your own community. This nonprofit works locally and around the world to provide safe, affordable homes for families in need by building homes from the ground up! Habitat empowers homeowners to build “sweat equity” by working alongside volunteers to build their future home and acquire an affordable mortgage. Habitat also has several other programs involving renovating homes, selling donated home goods and more. Check out their website to learn about ways you can volunteer as a building group, donate or help in some other way.

5. Pay for Someone’s Coffee

If you’re in a real estate, sometimes being a business owner means you’re an agent all on your own or just starting out, and things are a little tight. If that’s the case, it may not be as easy to donate or find a group to volunteer with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact. Simply paying for the car behind you in the drive-through at your local Starbucks is a great place to start. If you’re feeling extra peppy, you could even give the cashier your credit card and instruct them to run it for the next twenty minutes as you sit in the coffee shop, watching as strangers are blessed with a gift of a free beverage. It’s these little acts of kindness that tend to multiply, blessing one person who in turn blesses another, leaving a bigger impact than you can imagine.


Whatever your plans for the new year, take a moment to think about how your business – even if it’s you alone – can spread cheer in your community and world. Giving back is a great way to show your gratitude, let your business make a positive impact in 2017 and beyond.