Community Outreach

Grants, trainings, technical assistance and resources help REALTOR® Associations become leaders in your community in four key areas—diversity, housing opportunity, land use, and smart growth.

Placemaking Program & GrantA

Placemaking is the creation of vibrant, public spaces for the community to gather. The Placemaking Guide, webinars and Spaces to Places blog offer ideas for transforming vacant lots, deserted plazas, underused alleys or overgrown green  paces into destinations.
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Coordinator, Advocacy Operations
Strategy and Advocacy Operations
202-383-7512
August 2020
Mandatory point-of-sale inspections and associated escrow requirements can add significant challenges to buying a home, and the Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS® is working to get these ordinances off the books in cities throughout the region it serves. The association will educate consumers with a compelling 12-page insert in two regional magazines.
November 2015
What started as two people talking about how to spend $2,200 to improve the atmosphere of a bleak urban space, resulted in a vibrant public arts project that is now valued at $50,000, attracted a visit from a Supreme Court Justice, and, most importantly, has spurred pride and positive engagement in its neighborhood.
November 2019
The Coeur d’Alene REALTOR® association wanted to use one of the REALTOR® Party’s Smart Growth Action Grants to help a local community where its members live and work. Working together with the City of Rathdrum, Idaho, they planned and built a ‘Storybook Trail’ at the base of Rathdrum Mountain.
September 2018
With vision, elbow grease, and a Placemaking Grant, Greater Nashville REALTORS® partnered with a local civic design organization to transform a dismal traffic triangle into a cheerful, safer pedestrian refuge.
August 2016
On June 2, 2016, the Hopkinsville Dog Park was opened by an official ribbon cutting ceremony, with plenty of dogs in attendance, ready to romp. It was all the idea of the 56-member Hopkinsville Christian & Todd County Association of REALTORS® and a Placemaking Micro-Grant from the REALTOR® Party helped make it a reality.
April 2017
When a proposed zoning ordinance threatened to negatively impact property values and marketability in Munster, the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of REALTORS® looked to the REALTOR® Party for help. By presenting the Town Council with a Land Use Initiative memorandum, it was able to neutralize the threat—and demonstrate its desire to enhance and strengthen the community.
January 2017
The engaged members of the Medina County Board of REALTORS® help the 800-member association stay abreast of the needs of the community. With the help of the REALTOR® Party’s Housing Opportunity and Placemaking Grants, the organization has demonstrated its investment in the community by built gardens for low-income citizens, provide housing for disabled veterans and improve bike paths.
February 2015
When the small town of Richmond, Maine rebuilt their community library, the local 213-member Merrymeeting Board of REALTORS® stepped forward with an NAR Placemaking Micro-Grant to provide a reading garden and patio to go with it. The funds were used to create a large stone patio with a stepping-stone pathway, a sturdy bench, and shrubbery to anchor the garden. Come spring, hundreds of perennials that townspeople have donated from their own gardens will be transplanted to complete the setting.
April 2012
When the Michigan Association of REALTORS® (MAR) received an Ira Gribin grant from NAR a few years back, it funded a statewide initiative to study the benefits of placemaking in workforce housing. “As REALTORS®, we have been all about land use planning for a long time, but now we clearly need to focus on placemaking, specifically, as the real key to reversing the fortunes of the housing market here in Michigan.” says 2012 MAR President Beth Foley. Placemaking is a progressive movement that creates improved and distinctive public spaces by involving community input. In February 2012, when Governor Rick Snyder announced his own support for placemaking policies to help spur the state’s flagging economy, state leaders asked MAR to lead the way. Using a $15K Smart Growth Action Grant from NAR as seed money, the association did just that by hosting “MI Great Places,” the state’s first Placemaking Leadership Forum.
July 2014
After two years, the 'Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper' placemaking challenge launched by the Michigan Association of REALTORS® (MAR) is proving that little things make a big difference.
January 2015
The 500-member Missoula Organization of REALTORS® put a placemaking grant, as well as their muscle-power, to work to bring an all-abilities playground to their city’s McCormick Park. The NAR grant, along with funds of their own and another community grant helped to pay for the playground that features rubberized surfaces, a sensory play area, and specialized equipment like a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round. Volunteers worked with professional contractors to build it.
November 2014
After hosting a successful, yet strenuous, walk-a-thon as part of its first annual Health Fair, the 835-member Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (NKAR) saw the need for some places to rest along the way. Not a group to rest on its laurels – even after celebrating their 100-year anniversary this year—NKAR used a Placemaking Micro-Grant from NAR, along with funds of their own, to pay for two REALTOR-branded park benches along the county’s new walking/bike trail
December 2019
When the City Council of Fayetteville, Ark., proposed a zoning ordinance to restrict the width of driveways and require garage entries to be to the side or rear of a dwelling, the REALTORS® tried to reason with them. Failing that, they launched an Issues Mobilization Campaign and rallied public support to defeat the measure.
February 2018
In Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "The Other America" speech 50 years ago this March, the local REALTOR® board makes all its decisions through an internalized lens of diversification. Partnering with the public school system recently, the REALTORS® recently created a calendar illustrated with student visions of diversity; proceeds from calendar sales support diversity efforts in the schools.
October 2018
In the city of Soldotna in Southcentral Alaska, dogs are having their day in a spacious new dog park. With the help of a Placemaking Grant and a lot of elbow grease, volunteers from the Kenai Peninsula Association worked alongside the Rotary Club and Parks and Rec Department to build a large shelter, with benches, for dogs and owners alike.
April 2021
When the local Land Trust acquired 180 acres for a community forest outside Sandpoint, Idaho, the Selkirk Association of REALTORS® made supporting accessibility a priority. With a Placemaking Grant from the REALTOR® Party, it provided benches along the level half-mile path to ensure connecting with Nature was easier for those with limited mobility.
April 2021
When the local Land Trust acquired 180 acres for a community forest outside Sandpoint, Idaho, the Selkirk Association of REALTORS® made supporting accessibility a priority. With a Placemaking Grant from the REALTOR® Party, it provided benches along the level half-mile path to ensure connecting with Nature was easier for those with limited mobility.
June 2016
The 2,500-member Plymouth and South Shore Association of REALTORS® (PASS) has a strong and vital charitable arm that is accustomed to giving back, but past April 16, and again on Earth Day, about 20 members couldn’t resist an opportunity to by get out in the fresh air and get their hands dirty with a community garden placemaking project.
November 2015
Despite what you've heard about teaching old dogs new tricks, the century-old REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley (RAPV) has taken to the REALTOR® Party's Placemaking initiative like a puppy to a fetch-stick. After learning about The REALTOR® Party’s Placemaking Grant, the 1,650-member association came up with ideas to help transform neglected public spaces into vibrant community gathering places.
April 2021
In light of all that’s been learned about racial bias in the past year, the Greater Syracuse Association has been working hard to raise awareness of how the issue is at play in the real estate industry. Using a Fair Housing Grant from the REALTOR® Party, it presented Bill Dedman, the lead investigator on the Newsday “Testing the Divide” exposé, as a guest speaker at a seminar for members.
May 2020
The REALTORS® of the Schuylkill County Board used a Placemaking Grant to bring a local playground swinging back to life.  The REALTOR® who spearheaded the project, having learned the workings of the Borough Council in the proposal process, was appointed to replace an outgoing Council member, and is now serving a second term as an indispensable public servant – and the only woman on the local governing body.
July 2017
The 650-member Greater Fairfield Board of REALTORS® created an inviting 'pocket park' on an unused downtown corner. The 156-member Newtown Board of REALTORS® helped establish an attractive and productive 'Fruit Trail' of flowering trees and perennials along a recreational path. Both projects, made possible by the REALTOR® Party’s Placemaking Grants, have enhanced the towns and heightened the profile of the REALTORS®.
April 2016
The 82-member Greater Mason City Board of REALTORS® in northern Iowa has prided itself on its community involvement, recently applying for a Placemaking Micro-grant. To formalize its program, the association developed a Core Standards Committee and Community Outreach Task Force consisting of a handful of REALTORS® and its one-and-a-half staff members, who have ramped up the group’s already robust tradition of community service to an impressive pitch.
December 2019
On a vacant lot in downtown McAlester, Okla., an attractive new gathering place has sprung up, providing the family-oriented community with a central new green space and priming the area for additional growth and development. A perfect example of successful placemaking, it came about through a collaboration led by the REALTORS®.
August 2018
Using REALTOR® Party resources, the REALTOR® Association of Southern Minnesota hosted a WalkShop event to determine how the revival of Mankato’s Old Town section could be even more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly. The half-day program included a walking tour with an expert consultant, and a whole lot of brainstorming.
February 2021
Until recently in the sunny City of Melbourne, Florida, canine residents were left out in the cold where public parks were concerned. The local REALTORS® stepped up with elbow grease and Placemaking Grants from the REALTOR® Party to welcome the dogs and the humans who love them; in doing so, they’ve earned the appreciation of grateful communities.
September 2015
The 1,718-member Greater Springfield (MO) Board of REALTORS® was keen to show that they truly cared about their community. They found that opportunity by helping to restore the city’s beloved 31-acre Phelps Grove Park after a major ice storm had damaged much of its landscape. With an NAR placemaking grant, they not only helped to bring the park back to life, but they also added a patio at the intersection of several of the park’s walking paths, enhanced by two handsome stone benches bearing the board’s name.
December 2018
In St. Louis, Missouri, REALTORS® have a profound reminder of past prejudicial real estate practices in the Shelley House, the property at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case of Shelley vs. Kraemer, which gave way to the Fair Housing Act 20 years later. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of that breakthrough legislation, St. Louis REALTORS® engaged into local projects benefiting underserved communities with grants from the REALTOR® Party and Missouri REALTORS®.
March 2022
Using Smart Growth grants from the REALTOR® Party, the McDowell Board of REALTORS®, the Yancey Association of REALTORS®, and the High Country Association of REALTORS®, all in western North Carolina, commissioned assessments of small town centers with an eye toward sustainable residential and commercial growth.
March 2017
Using a REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Action Grant, the Whatcom County Association of REALTORS® (WA) was a major sponsor of a dynamic placemaking competition that drew 24 participants and more than 500 community members. Judging from its success, the REALTORS® know it will make an impact—and plan to make it an annual event.
June 2016
Nearly 600 REALTORS® from the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® (WRAR) participated in its second annual REALTOR® Action Day—aka "RAD." From playing music at senior centers to planting plants and clean-up and landscaping projects, RAD was full of WRAR members working to improve their community. Nearly 100 participants built a community garden with park benches and a tool shed using a $3,000 Placemaking Micro-grant.
April 2015
A 65-year-old granite eagle monument to honor veterans had become an eyesore from years of neglect, and the 1,500-member Worcester Regional Association of REALTORS® decided to do something about it