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Giving back in the Pacific Northwest

IREM Western Washington’s support of the IREM Foundation and local causes

By Natalie Bell, CPM®
Members of IREM Western Washington volunteering at Mary’s Place, a nonprofit that helps women and families move out of homelessness and into more stable situations. Photo courtesy of Sheena Boone, CPM®.
Members of IREM Western Washington volunteering at Mary’s Place, a nonprofit that helps women and families move out of homelessness and into more stable situations. Photo courtesy of Sheena Boone, CPM®.

Why does IREM Western Washington give to the IREM Foundation? The short answer—the why—is easy: our chapter believes in promoting high-quality, ethical property management, and the IREM Foundation directly supports the members pursuing an IREM education to become outstanding property managers.

IREM Foundation scholarships support industry professionals looking to enhance their education through IREM’s world-class offerings. Scholarships are funded by generous IREM members dedicated to supporting the dreams and aspirations of fellow real estate managers. To learn more, visit iremfoundation.org/scholarships.
IREM Western Washington fosters community philanthropy by contributing grant money for schooling, but we also support local organizations in our community through donations and volunteering. This helps to extend our values into the markets where our members work and live.

Many of our board members or their employees have benefited from a Foundation scholarship, so the commitment and motivation to pay it forward to the next generation is engrained early in our IREM membership journeys. We’re also just a tad competitive over here. Along with knowing how much we’re helping the future of property management, seeing our name at the top of the Foundation contribution list is also an excellent motivator.

The ability to give back in such a meaningful way comes down to the dedication and support of our board members, industry partners, members, and volunteers. IREM Western Washington’s philanthropy strategy focuses on getting our stakeholders excited and giving back to our community.

Our flagship event

The Phil Fehler Scholarship Golf Tournament has been a top event for the IREM Western Washington Chapter for many years. While we can’t always depend on the Pacific Northwest weather to grace us with a sunny day for golf, we can rely on a sold-out tournament and the support of our industry partners and participants.

The golf tournament is dedicated to Phil Fehler to honor his passion for golf, his compassion for the people in his life, and his commitment to the professional growth of the people working in the multifamily sector.

We’ve made Phil’s priorities a consistent message for the tournament each year, and the generosity we receive is what makes a large part of our IREM Foundation pledge possible. We prioritize this event in our budget and convene a dedicated planning committee to ensure the tournament is a fun and worthwhile event for all.

Local philanthropy

In addition to our $10,000 annual pledge to the Foundation, IREM Western Washington works hard to raise enough funds to offer a donation to a local charity. This year, the board of directors partnered solely with Mary’s Place.

Mary’s Place, “a community where all families have safety, stability, and housing,” has a message and mission our local chapter can easily get behind. It’s also not that different from the IREM Foundation’s aim to “help communities thrive through professional real estate management.”

Each year, Mary’s Place helps almost 700 families, including over 2,400 children, by providing more than 690,000 meals and 230,000 overnight stays. It’s been a privilege and pleasure working with their kind and charismatic staff and involving them in our annual golf tournament and membership events. This year, we donated $5,000 of leftover budgeted funds from last year to Mary’s Place on a unanimous vote by our board members.

But we aren’t stopping there. In August, we hosted a volunteer landscaping project at the only shelter owned wholly by Mary’s Place. In October, the Mary’s Place Burien location had a day of fun for its 170 residents, sending them into the city to enjoy the day. IREM Western Washington collected funds to sponsor this event and prepared sack lunches for every resident for their outing.

IREM Western Washington will continue this approach to philanthropy by inspiring our members, industry partners, and volunteers to give back to their communities through organizations like Mary’s Place. We’ll also keep supporting the IREM Foundation to help IREM members pursue the property management education and career support they need. Philanthropy is at the very heart of the IREM Western Washington chapter.

Journal of Property Management

Natalie Bell, CPM®, is the president and owner of Revel Property Management & Consulting. She started her property management career in 2010 after finding her niche in boutique multifamily properties. Natalie has been actively involved in her local IREM chapter since 2018. She’s looking forward to giving back to IREM Western Washington as the 2024 chapter president.

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