SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE – Chicago-based philanthropist and realtor Michael A. Pink is seeking to duplicate a not-for-profit organization format which has led him to distribute over $450 thousand dollars among Chicago non-governmental organizations, in San Miguel de Allende.
“I’m here to meet with charities to invite to them to participate with Investing In Communities (IIC) so that we can strengthen them,” said Pink.
The philanthropist describes IIC as “a social enterprise that is a non-profit, but it’s the opposite of a charity. We raise money for charities through a novel business model we have developed.”
Pink, a real estate broker, says that his model is aimed at the real estate industry “so that no expense to the individual or company is applied if they are going to use a broker. We can arrange to introduce them [to techniques] that are appropriate for the transaction they’d like to have. In return for that, a broker returns to Investing In Communities a referral fee. It’s the same referral fee that brokers are willing to pay to other brokers but because of Investing In Communities something good happens that never used to happen, and that’s that 80 percent of the referral fee goes to a charity selected by the individual or the company in the real estate transaction.”
Pink has detected in San Miguel de Allende “a very big need” for the large amount of existing non-government organizations “and we would like to participate in improving the life of this community in many different ways.”
He adds that this is his first venture into Mexico and for now, he’s promoting his financing concept “just in San Miguel but Investing In Communities is a broad-based concept that can be used in Canada, the United States or Mexico.”
Simply by buying a home, which they’re going to buy anyway, they can significantly raise money for a not for profit organization in San Miguel. This is what Investing In Communities is designed to do.”
-Michael Pink. Chicago real estate broker and philanthropist
He says Investing In Communities is an idea that began to grow in 1995 but practical operations are less than a year old. He foresees that the concept will be welcomed by not for profit groups and real estate brokers “in many different places.”
“We would like to help organizations that work in one or more of our six focus areas: women and families, health and wellness, arts and culture, education, environment and social justice.”
Pink says he is also running “the little business my wife and I started 30 years ago in Chicago, which is a real estate business. In Chicago, and only in Chicago, I am a real estate broker whose specialty is called office-tenant representation. It’s a tough market and I learned a lot about the real estate market.”
The concept of Investing In Communities, however, has netted nearly half a million dollar income in less than a year and “that money was divided among approximately 80 organizations in the Chicago area. We’re proud to have accomplished that — it is really a very small beginning of something that will grow.”
He picked San Miguel de Allende for a few reasons, one because his 87 year-old mother decided to retire in SMA and now lives there with his brother Tom, “and because there are many people from so many other countries and so the idea is that if someone is going to come here and buy a home they can contact Investing In Communities before they are working with a broker and we can put them in contact with three brokers that specialize in these transactions. Simply by buying a home, which they’re going to buy anyway, they can significantly raise money for a not for profit organization in San Miguel. This is what Investing In Communities is designed to do.”
Pink remarks that if the home buyer is moving from Texas, Florida or Canada, they would also be able to sell their home there with the organization. “Through the network Investing In Communities is quickly developing with brokers that home could benefit a charity in San Miguel, or perhaps the place they are from.”
The one certain thing with a transaction of this type is that “it’s always the choice of the person making the transaction to what charity their money will go to.”