April 2024

The More You Give

NewMark Merrill’s philosophical and operational pillars are built on a foundation of giving back.

Leading from the heart means building real and meaningful connections, meeting people on their own terms, and recognizing that there is a lot more that goes into the bottom line than dollars and cents. For NewMark, a foundational piece of our approach is giving back and lifting up the people and places around us. That starts with our own team, but extends to our tenants, our customers, and the communities we serve.

We’ve seen firsthand how powerful philanthropy can be in creating and sustaining real and impactful community connections. At NewMark, we make it a point to empower our team members to create and contribute to philanthropic endeavors in creative, fun, and fulfilling ways.

To be clear, we aren’t a charitable or philanthropic organization.. But the best companies, like people, have a known personality: a way of carrying themselves and moving through the world. And for NewMark, it’s important to us that our professional personality reflects our personal values. And we’ve seen firsthand over and over again how charitable initiatives and community programs that add value are not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do.

Authenticity and synergy
Our commitment to giving back starts at the top. Our CEO Sandy Sigal believes strongly in the power of giving. Generosity and community have figured prominently in his own story, and he passes that forward, instilling his family and his company with the same passion for lifting people up. Loyalty, love, and long-term relationships aren’t always words you associate with commercial real estate—but at NewMark, they are integral to our work.

That approach is consistent across the organization, a thread that runs through everything we do. It’s part of a holistic approach that wasn’t necessarily strategic but is absolutely authentic—and synergistic (more on that in a moment).

Our philanthropy is almost entirely organic and employee-driven, finding causes and programs that are meaningful to our team members and giving them the freedom and the support they need to drive meaningful action. Our Giving Back Team is made up of volunteers who are focused on organizing those efforts.

At NewMark, giving back means supporting our merchants, providing them with marketing assets and flexible support during difficult times. We host and contribute to a long list of charitable and community initiatives. We support community arts and artists. We donate to civic organizations, collaborate with school districts, and participate in educational programs. We donate our time, our energy, and our money to give back to those who could use a helping hand. In 2023 alone, we donated $166,500 and contributed another $111,000 worth of hours in volunteer time.

A rising tide
When we talk about the NewMark Merrill difference, our philanthropic work is a big part of that. That support makes a difference to our tenants (both directly and indirectly, through increased traffic and sales), but also to the residents of the neighborhoods and communities we serve. At NewMark, we strive to be a good neighbor, and that doesn’t go unnoticed. Communities and municipalities recognize that work and tend to be more flexible and more willing to reciprocate with civic resources and logistical and financial support. In a cutthroat industry, replacing self-interest with community interest stands out.

Similarly, supporting our merchants during COVID ultimately benefited NewMark Merrill just as much. The lines of communication that were established and the trust that was built are assets as valuable as any physical or financial resource. That trust and collaborative connection is a balance that we can draw upon in the future.

There’s a consistent theme here, and it’s one that might be a little surprising: giving back isn’t really giving. Okay, sure, it comes from a genuine desire to do the right thing and to support the people we work with and the communities we serve. Ultimately, however, everyone benefits, including NewMark Merrill. Generosity pays off: for tenants, communities, civic leaders, and for us! In other words: a rising tide lifts all boats. A stronger community and stronger community connections yields a stronger bottom line.

When you give back, you aren’t just elevating those around you, you are making an investment. Even when the cost-benefit isn’t immediately obvious or dramatic, the long-term impact can be profound. You are investing in meaningful connections, building reputational traction contributing to collective community momentum. If you are consistent and committed in your efforts, the relationships you build will engender bonds with families and young people that can last not just years, but decades.

In that context, philanthropy is not an either/or proposition—it’s both good deeds and good business. It’s not cynicism or purely altruism, it’s mutualism: doing the right thing both because it’s the right thing and because it’s the smart thing. As a guiding principle for our work, that’s not only a great place to start, but it is also the key ingredient in a recipe for success that has served this company—and our clients, consumers, and communities—well for a very long time.

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