As More Households Rent Rather Than Own, Thriving Apartment Industry Gives Back Over $1Million To Charitable Causes

San Francisco - August 9, 2011 - In a down economy charitable giving is often among the first corporate cutbacks, but in 2011 the Apartment Rental Industry will donate well over $1 million to charitable causes.  MyNewPlace, one of the nation’s largest apartment and home rentals websites, is one of several companies that are donating to breast cancer research and using their philanthropy to raise awareness among their renters. By doing so, these companies are amplifying the size of their donations and increasing activism and a sense of community among their web site visitors and apartment community residents.

In January, 2011 MyNewPlace launched MyNewPlace PINK, a $100,000 nationwide fundraising campaign benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).  MyNewPlace designed its campaign to raise awareness at both the renter and property level: users can take an active role in finding a cure during their apartment search by simply clicking, printing and delivering a donation form to a participating community’s leasing office. Alternatively, renters can participate by Liking MyNewPlace on their Facebook page and for each new Facebook fan.  Either action will result in MyNewPlace donating $10 to BCRF.

“We’re grateful for the success we’ve achieved as a company and want to embrace initiatives that give back to our community.  Breast cancer has affected those closest to the MyNewPlace family and considering nearly 2.5 million or two-thirds of our monthly visitors are women, it was a natural fit for us to make a financial commitment to find a cure for one of today’s leading women’s health issues,” said Mark Moran, Senior Vice President of MyNewPlace. “In addition to our monetary contribution we hope to have a broader impact by raising awareness and provoking dialogue about this critical issue.”  Additional details are available at http://www.mynewplace.com/fight-cancer and at http://www.facebook.com/mynewplace.

MyNewPlace’s fundraising outreach efforts have led many apartment rental companies to share their own examples of ‘giving back.’ Across the country, both renter and management participation has been consistently active and enthusiastic - not only in raising funds for cancer research, but in a variety of other causes as well. Below are just some of the many charity campaigns underway throughout the apartment industry.

BRE - California - Over $650,000 for City of Hope

Connie Moore, the President and CEO of BRE Properties, Inc. was asked to be the 2011 City of Life Honoree for the Real Estate and Construction Industries group in Northern California for City of Hope Hospital and Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles. BRE Properties “raised $653k in 2011, nicely surpassing last year’s goal…and was honored to do so,” says Moore of their corporate fundraising efforts.

Value Properties - New Jersey and New York  - Lease For A Cure, $75,000 for The Cure Breast Cancer Foundation

Apartment rental companies are lining up to join the 2nd Annual ‘Lease For A Cure’ program based out of Clifton, New Jersey- with nine new management companies added this year (for a total of 70,000 units). This program, started by CEO of Value Companies Andy Abramson after his wife got breast cancer, has raised over $2 million to date.  For every lease signed and renewal in October, these companies will donate $10 to the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). “The response we received far exceeded our expectations,” says Executive Director of the 2011 Lease For a Cure program Leslye Schulman. “Apartment owners, managers and others in the real estate industry were incredibly eager to join this cause and we anticipate several more companies to sign up in the weeks ahead.”

UDR - Denver, CO - A Tree For A Brochure, 350,000 Trees planted in Kenya and Haiti

In an effort to help developing countries around the world, UDR has teamed up with a non-profit agency to have one tree planted in Haiti and Kenya for every print brochure that does not have to be printed and handed out to apartment prospects. Since mid-2010, 350,000 trees have already been planted in these two countries.  “UDR wanted to make an immediate and positive impact on the environment by not printing brochures anymore and to take advantage of offering online brochures as a PDF,” said Steve Taraborelli, vice president of sales and marketing at UDR. Taraborelli noted that “not one prospective renter has raised any concerns about not being offered a print brochure and we have received many positive comments that planting a tree instead of handing out a print brochure is the right thing to do.”

Home Properties - Rochester, NY Food Drive - 20,500 lbs of food donated to local food banks

Home Properties has organized resident-driven food drives that not only encourage renter participation, but also benefit food banks in each of their geographic regions. “We felt a food drive could benefit so many people and our residents could easily choose to participate, by picking up an extra item or two at the grocery store, and dropping it off at our leasing office” said Rosemarie Cook-Manley, Vice President of Marketing. “This sort of giving back costs very little for residents to participate and help out, while offering an extremely high value and great benefit to the local food banks. Everyone can relate to such a basic human need, and our residents really responded, donating generously to help their community.”

Lincoln Property Company, Lincoln Military Housing, Dallas TX - Lincoln Charities, Inc.

Some apartment companies are choosing to keep their charitable donations within the community. Lincoln Charities of Dallas Texas is one such example, and distributes their donations to those in need within their nationwide employee network. “Our mission is to serve our employees and their families in times of need, distress or tragedy,” said Jennifer Greenaway of Lincoln Properties. “We are dedicated to inspiring hope and restoring welfare through the generosity of our employees, residents, and business partners.”

Whether nationwide or hyper-local, there is one unifying theme among companies in the Apartment Rental Industry: they are stepping up their longtime efforts to raise  money and mobilize resources at a time when many individuals and organizations have had to cut back on charitable giving.

###

About MyNewPlace

MyNewPlace is one of the nation’s largest apartments and home rentals Web sites with 4 million monthly visitors. The company offers apartment owners and managers a great source of qualified, prospective residents under a results-oriented pricing program. MyNewPlace provides renters free access (via web, mobile web or mobile applications) to rich property information, including photo galleries, videos and neighborhood information. For more information about MyNewPlace, please visit www.mynewplace.com.