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CBRE Donates $7.25M To Community Orgs In Effort To Build Pipeline Of Future CRE Employees

Dallas-headquartered CBRE is making a wave of donations, including to groups that aim to increase racial diversity in CRE.

CBRE announced Thursday it will donate $7.25M to more than a dozen community groups, including some that focus on groups that have been historically excluded from the commercial real estate industry. The move aims to develop a broader talent pool from which CBRE can pull for future employees. 

The 14 groups that will be recipients of the funds generally fall into one of three categories: improving education and career development opportunities for people of color and disadvantaged groups, helping combat climate change and supporting the community of Dallas, where CBRE is headquartered.

“We're especially focused on creating opportunities for diverse and underrepresented people to advance their career, not just within the real estate industry, but specific to CBRE," Chief Responsibility Officer Tim Dismond told Bisnow. "It's about building that pipeline of talent and providing additional exposure to rewarding careers in real estate."

CBRE was one of the 16 brokerages whose upper-echelon diversity Bisnow examined in 2020 and again this year. Overall, progress in increasing the number of women and people of color at those companies has been incremental. 

Asked to comment on the findings, Dismond said he could only speak to what he has seen at CBRE, which is a focus on diversifying at the company’s top levels and that those efforts have yielded results. 

“I'm very optimistic and we have seen improvement in many areas,” he said. 

Some of the award recipients had previously partnered with CBRE, but for others this was their first time teaming up with the firm.

Among the recipients are real estate and entrepreneurship-focused Project Destined; a scholarship fund for BIPOC students through the Point Foundation, which supports LGBTQIA+ students; an education and networking endeavor by Hiring Our Heroes, which works with the military community; and Girls Inc. National's Project Accelerate, a program addressing workplace inequality for women and women of color. 

“CBRE thrives when the communities in which we live and work thrive,” CBRE CEO and President Bob Sulentic said. 

Dismond said the company hopes the $7.25M in funding, also referred to as the community support initiative award, will raise awareness about CBRE and generate interest in open positions and internship opportunities.

“It's an ongoing relationship, it doesn't happen overnight, but it's not that we expect not to see any advancement or progress for years to come,” Dismond said. “That is certainly not the intent.”