BOMA/Chicago Foundation Overview
The BOMA/Chicago Foundation was formed in 2008 as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation and has been qualified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The mission of the Foundation is to advance the development of emerging talent in commercial real estate, inclusive of underrepresented groups, through education, exposure and outreach.
The Foundation's primary goals are to:
- Grow and support underrepresented professionals in Chicago's commercial real estate industry
- Collaborate with local high schools and universities to educate students about careers in commercial real estate
- Award and fund three scholarships for courses leading to achievement of the Real Property Administrator (RPA) and Facilities Management Administrator (FMA) designations:
BOMA/Chicago Foundation Fund
The BOMA/Chicago Foundation and our 26-year-old Diversity Committee are 100% committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in commercial real estate. As we continue to expand our efforts, we also need to expand and grow our resources. Under the leadership and guidance of CRE leaders and our Board of Directors, we have launched the BOMA/Chicago Foundation Fund.
Our goal is to raise $250,000 by the middle of 2022. Donations and the interest earned from them will be unrestricted. We will use these funds to support all of the Foundation’s current and future programming, including scholarships, career days, internships and more.
You and your company can play a part and support the BOMA/Chicago Foundation through a donation. Click here to be directed to our Foundation Fund webpage. Thank you in advance for your support!
The BOMA/Chicago Foundation is qualified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible as charitable contributions or as ordinary and necessary business expenses. Donors should check with their tax advisors.
Foundation Board & Committees
As an entity separate from BOMA/Chicago, the Foundation has its own Board of Directors, bylaws, books and records and tax returns. Three committees serve the Foundation – the Nominating, Diversity and Scholarship Committees.
The BOMA/Chicago Foundation Board of Directors is made up of 13 elected directors, including three officers.
Read through our BOMA/Chicago Foundation newsletters for information about our scholarship recipients, diversity initiatives, volunteers, donors and sponsors.
History of Diversity Committee & Committee Overview
With the help of Reginald L. Ollie, a retired African American CRE leader, BOMA/Chicago created the Diversity Committee. Reggie Ollie approached the Board about forming this Committee in July 1995 and soon after, the Committee was officially formed. Today, the Diversity Committee is housed under the BOMA/Chicago Foundation. We are very proud of this 25-year-old Committee and our volunteers who lead our diversity-focused initiatives.
We have a namesake scholarship for Reggie – the Ollie Scholarship – that is awarded to one underrepresented professional each year and pays the entire tuition for the RPA designation. In September 2019, both the BOMA/Chicago Foundation and BOMA/Chicago Board of Directors unanimously voted to honor Reggie with lifetime membership. We recognized Reggie at the November 2019 Annual Membership Meeting as a Lifetime Member and thanked him for tirelessly advocating for diversity in commercial real estate.
The Diversity Committee’s current mission is: To recruit underrepresented and minority professionals to the commercial real estate industry and to promote professional diversity. Through scholarships, education programs and other efforts, the Committee will focus on retaining diverse talent in the CRE industry and forging avenues for professional growth of underrepresented groups, such as but not limited to racial, ethnic, LGBTQ and disabled groups.
Annual Diversity Celebration Fundraiser
The BOMA/Chicago Foundation hosts the Diversity Celebration each April to raise funds for its scholarships, mentoring, outreach and other programs. This event is open to both members and non-members of BOMA/Chicago.
Diversity Education, Career Days, Networking & Chicago High School and College Programs
The BOMA/Chicago Foundation's Diversity Committee works with local high schools, colleges and non-profit organizations to host CRE career days, networking events and education programs (such as diversity panels).
The Diversity Committee has created a CRE 101 Industry and Career video, which you can view here. This is a sample of the type of content we present at high school and college career days.
Below are the CRE career days and events we have hosted and attended since 2018.
- Watch a short clip that highlights our amazing volunteers and accomplishments!
- June 7, 2018: Sullivan High School Junior Achievement Career Day
- March 8, 2019: Pass With Flying Colors CRE Career Day & Building Tours
- May 15, 2019: BOMA/Chicago Foundation Diversity Panel
- November 19, 2019: Diversity Committee & Ambassador Networking Event
- December 6, 2019: Junior Achievement CRE Career Day
- January 8, 2020: Robert Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School CRE Career Day
- February 11, 2020: Fenger High School Youth Motivation Career Day
- February 29, 2020: Pass With Flying Colors Gala
- March 3, 2020: National Louis University Career Bridge Event
- April 3, 2020: Year Up Chicago Virtual Guest Speaker Series
- August 26, 2020: National Louis University (NLU) Communications Career Panel
- November 9, 2020: National Louis University (NLU) Career Panel
- November 12, 2020: NLU Class Presentation about CRE
- December 16, 2020: Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) Youth Motivation Career Day
- March 9, 2021: National Louis University (NLU) Virtual Career Fair
- April 12 and 14, 2021: Simeon Career Academy High School Virtual Career Days
- April 21, 2021: Sullivan High School & Junior Achievement Virtual Career Day
- April 29, 2021: James Jordan Foundation Vision for Families Career Event
- May 14, 2021: Seward Elementary Virtual Career Event
- May 18 & June 1, 2021: National Louis University (NLU) Elevator Speech Event
- May 19, 2021: Chicago Military School & Junior Achievement Virtual Career Day
- May 25, 2021: Historical Exclusion, Current Barriers & Becoming an Ally for an Equitable Future Virtual Panel
- June 10, 2021: Concordia University Chicago Virtual Career Day
- June 21, 2021: ASPIRA High School and Junior Achievement Virtual Career Day
Make a Donation
You are invited to make a donation to the BOMA/Chicago Foundation. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible as charitable contributions or as ordinary and necessary business expenses. Donors should check with their tax advisors.
Internships and Job Placement
Through our relationships with National Louis University (NLU) and other local non-profits and colleges, BOMA/Chicago has access to internship and job candidates. These candidates come from diverse backgrounds and are first-generation college students.
We are so proud to announce that the Diversity Committee has already assisted four college students secure CRE internships for the summer of 2021! Hines has hired two interns from NLU and DePaul University. Glenstar has hired two NLU summer interns. Thank you so much to Hines and Glenstar for supporting our diversity initiatives and opening their doors to underrepresented students.
Are you looking to hire interns or employees? If so, please reach out to Jaclynne Madden and she will connect you with students from local colleges and non-profits.
Creating Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces
The Diversity Committee believes that property management companies and vendor partners have a responsibility to help us diversify the CRE workforce and re-evaluate policies and practices to support the careers of diverse professionals. Please read through the Committee's recommendations of how you can create a diverse and inclusive workforce at your company.
Become a Diversity Ambassador
Are you passionate about enhancing diversity, inclusion and equity within our industry? Then we want you to join us as a Diversity Ambassador!
By becoming a Diversity Ambassador, you will help the Diversity Committee and Foundation:
- Facilitate honest conversations about diversity and inclusion by encouraging others (and yourself) to share stories and experiences
- Educate and mentor underrepresented high school and college students about the CRE industry
- Recruit underrepresented professionals to the CRE industry and create professional advancement opportunities
- Host building tours, job shadow days and networking events
- Plan D&I education programs
See the above section titled Diversity Education, Career Days, Networking & Chicago High School and College Programs for specific information about the work we do and the organizations we work with, including Pass With Flying Colors and Junior Achievement. You can volunteer when you are available; we typically have several opportunities each month. We will email you with all available opportunities once you sign up to become an Ambassador.
BOMA/Chicago members and our community-at-large are encouraged to become Diversity Ambassadors. You will work hand-in-hand with our Diversity Committee in making measurable, positive steps in diversifying the CRE industry. Our future leaders are right here in our own community and YOU can make a difference by volunteering alongside us. All you need to do is complete this quick online Diversity Ambassador form and we will be in touch!