HOW THE NEXT STEP PEER MENTORING & MORE HELPED CREATE A NEW DONATION STREAM by T. Wayne Cole, Real Estate Agent, 501c Realty Team
ic Danger was a client I was helping find a home, but little did I know he was going to open my world to a cause much grander than real estate. Nic is such an inspiration not because he was injured and overcame his injury, but because he has such a huge heart and believes in doing something greater than himself. “The desire to help others drove me to start The Next Step Peer Mentoring & More,” Nic said. “We’re all looking to make a difference in our world and I believe that by focusing on improving and empowering life after injury through education and recreation we can make the most substantial impact. Our services are provided at no cost to our participants.”
The Next Step Peer Mentoring & More group focuses on providing services to individuals with spinal cord or other traumatic injuries: Creating environments of empowerment and safe spaces to meet others facing sim-
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ilar differently abled lives. Through the vehicles of kayaking and target practice and the new Self Preservation Class (wheelchair jujitsu), The Next Step envisions changing the perception of the newly injured by their families, medical professionals and the general population that life ends after injury, but actually it’s a new beginning. Seeing Nic and his members in action certainly changed this perception for me. Hearing Nic’s story and participating in several of the events with his members really motivated me into creating the 501c Realty Team. I thought there has to be a better way than “just” having a passive donate button on a website or asking over and over again from the same small pool of individuals. I s a w t he n e e d for nonprofits to have a sustainable income platform to support their cause. A ser vice they would be able to offer their demographic that would provide something in return and not feel like you’re “asking” for donations. That’s where I realized real estate can come into play. One in every 50 people will buy or sell a house this year, and if you have a donor database of 200 names you’ll have four people making a real estate transaction. So why not use this as a force for good. Ten percent
of my commission goes back to supporting causes of my clients’ choice. A $300,000 home sale creates an average pay-it-forward check of $900. The Next Step Peer Mentoring is one such cause. “Wayne’s right, too – I knew someone from my group of friends selling a home, and then there was a donation check of $900 for us all because I introduced them to Wayne. Last year alone, Wayne and 501c Realty Team donated $4,628 to us. We were blown away,” Nic said. Going back to that group of 200 people, where four will be buying or selling a house, that’s an average of $3,600 that can go back to sustaining a nonprofit. It’s incredible the potential, and it’s what has given me the mission of being “Committed to Community.” All of which started with client Nic Danger, who is now a cherished friend who helped me realize my potential through his organization The Next Step Peer Mentoring & More.
THE SUMMER EDITION • SUMMER 2018