Philanthropy has always been a big part of who we are at Windermere. Back in the early days of the company it was pretty simple; we would see a need and help any way we could. But as we grew, we realized that we could accomplish much more if we had a stronger focus, so we started the Windermere Foundation in 1989. From that point on, whenever a Windermere agent sold a home, a portion of their commission went to funding our Foundation. In its first year, the Windermere Foundation brought in $90,000. Twenty-two years later, we’ve proudly raised more than $22 million.
Today, the Windermere Foundation is funded by more than 10,000 individuals, made up of agents, staff, management, owners, as well as public donations. We keep our administrative costs to a minimum, so the vast majority of these donations go back into the hands of our agents and offices because they know best what the needs of their local communities are.
This year, we decided to take our commitment to our communities even further through a year-long campaign entitled “Building Better Communities, One Home Sale at a Time”. This program is about making a difference in our neighborhoods by helping areas that have a lot of kids, but not a lot of resources. From Washington to Oregon, Hawaii, and Utah, offices throughout Windermere’s network pitched in to help improve soccer fields, collect school supplies, build parks, provide scholarships, fund school programs, and more, for children in need.
To cap off this campaign, volunteers from Windermere, Neighborhood House, and High Point Open Space Association came together last month to build a park and playground in the High Point community in West Seattle. The playground was designed with input from children who live in the neighborhood, truly making this project a community effort. What resulted is a vibrant, interactive space where kids can do what kids do best: PLAY.
As the year draws to a close, we want to thank everyone who supported the Windermere Foundation and our Building Better Communities campaign. The generosity of our agents, owners, staff, and the public never ceases to amaze us; they raise the bar every year. And, in turn, every year we are able to do more for those who need it most, one home sale at a time.