07/05/2022 | by
AvalonBay associates volunteering. Photo courtesy of AvalonBay Communities, Inc.

This case study was published in the 2022 REIT Industry ESG Report, which details the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and features 32 case studies showcasing REIT leadership and ESG innovation from a variety of sectors. The report serves as a practical tool for shareholders and stakeholders to assess the scale and impact of the REIT industry's ESG commitments and initiatives. Applicable footnotes and/or citations for this case study are available in the full report.

Building Strong Communities Through Impactful Philanthropic Partnerships

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. strives to cultivate diverse and sustainable communities by engaging employees, the company’s 140,000+ residents, and local communities through meaningful, long-term partnerships.

AvalonBay’s community investment program, Building Strong Communities, focuses on creating relationships with local non-profits to provide monetary donations, volunteer hours, and expertise aligned with specific community needs. Since 2015, the program has increased annual community investment from $1.1 million to $2.3 million and has contributed to meaningful outcomes for the company’s non-profit partners. Initiatives include:

Disaster Relief and Community Preparedness: Since 2015, AvalonBay has provided over $2 million in donations to the American Red Cross. The ongoing partnership has included over 350 blood drives, resulting in nearly 7,500 pints of blood donated, which could potentially save over 22,000 lives. During the pandemic, AvalonBay continued its support with virtual campaigns that facilitated blood donations and raised $70,000 for those impacted by Western Wildfires.

Affordable Housing and Support for At-Risk Populations: Across the country, AvalonBay partners with over 50 local non-profit partners. A few examples include:

  • Washington, D.C.: AvalonBay partnered with A Wider Circle to provide project management and construction expertise to build the Ward 8 Neighborhood Hub and Family Success Center.
  • Northern California: AvalonBay serves on the board of the Housing Industry Foundation and partnered with the foundation to collect 8,169 pounds of food for local food banks.
  • New Jersey: The company donated to New Jersey Community Development Corporation to purchase laptops for children who were forced into remote schooling at the start of the pandemic.

AvalonBay also began a multi-year partnership in 2020 with the National Urban League, managed by the company’s Black Associate Coalition. The partnership serves as a model to explore how internal associate resource groups can engage in philanthropic partnerships that also contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Disaster Responder Program members like AvalonBay Communities, Inc. are truly extraordinary because they understand the importance of having vital resources in place before emergencies. We are extremely grateful for the company’s long-time support—both financial and through blood drives—which ensures we stand ready to help people in their darkest hours, whenever and wherever we’re needed most.”
-Anne McKeough, Chief Development Officer at the American Red Cross*

The impact made by AvalonBay’s philanthropic partnerships over the years was celebrated with the company’s 10th annual Spirit of Caring Season (previously Spirit of Caring Month) in 2021. During Spirit of Caring Season, AvalonBay dedicated time to establish new engagement methods with its non-profit partners that best fit their needs during the pandemic. Since 2015, AvalonBay logged over 57,000 volunteer hours, equivalent to six-and-a-half years of service, and donated more than $12.4 million.

AvalonBay’s philanthropic efforts are supporting the important missions of its non-profit partners, which help ensure the vibrant and diverse neighborhoods, communities, and regions where they live and work, remain healthy and resilient.

*The American Red Cross name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion, or political position. The American Red Cross name is a registered trademark owned by the American National Red Cross.

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. is a REIT with a long-term track record of developing, redeveloping, acquiring, and managing distinctive apartment homes in some of the best U.S. markets, and delivering outsized, risk-adjusted returns to shareholders. With equal parts experience and vision, AvalonBay has established a leadership position rooted in building value for the long term.

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