Easter Seals holds thought leader luncheon with Century 21 CEO

Easter Seals of Southeast Wisconsin recently held its annual Thought Leaders Luncheon. Tom Kunz, former president and chief executive officer of Century 21 Real Estate was the featured Keynote speaker at the event. He spoke on the topic of connecting corporate investments to branding and community impact. Kunz, who recently retired as president and CEO of Century 21 in February, was a large part of Century 21’s contributions to the Easter Seals organization. Over the past 30 years, Century 21 has raised more than $100 million for Easter Seals.
"We’re really proud of that accomplishment," Kunz said. "But I know deep down it shouldn’t have taken us 30 years, and that we could probably do better," he said.
Kunz teamed up with consultant and business owner Mark Boersma to write a book, Community & Business Partnerships, from the science of success series. According to Kunz, the book outlines a five step process for increasing a company’s revenue through business and community partnerships.
“As presidents and CEO’s of companies we have a strong responsibility to our shareholders or those who have a vested interest in our company that the money we are giving out to charitable organizations is a worthwhile investment and it’s even better if it equates to money coming back in,” Kunz said. “Now, some will frown upon this notion and say that a company does it to feel good and that it’s the right thing to do. I absolutely agree with that but it has the chance to offer a nonprofit organization a competitive advantage as well.”
A nonprofit organization that can actually show that a company who has supported its mission has actually increased its own internal revenue has a competitive advantage over organizations who can’t make that claim, Kunz said.
“It’s all about dynamics, and it might even be as simple as just getting donors of the organizations in a room together to talk about how they can add value to each others business,” he said.
At Century 21, Kunz was able to form partner relationships with companies who supplied investment planning for his agents, home good stores and even pharmacy goods and services for individuals who purchased homes from Century 21. Those relationships also led to more money being given back to Easter Seals as part of the proceeds, he said.
“Community organizations are fighting for every dollar these days,” Kunz said. “I have a passion for Easter Seals and its mission so if I can spend a dollar doing some good for Easter Seals and they can in turn introduce me to other donors who may be able to increase my business opportunities and revenues the likelihood of me donating more to that organization is pretty high.”
Kunz talks more about the concepts behind his book in the video below.



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