Ten years ago, Homes for HOPE’s founder and CEO of Keystone Custom Homes, Jeff Rutt, developed a twist on our Conventional Build Project. Jeff recognized he had many trusted trade partners who wanted to participate in Homes for HOPE’s projects each year, but were unable to because the conventional Homes for HOPE house could only use a limited number of professionals. In response, he conceptualized and instituted an innovative solution we now call our Virtual Build Project.
A Virtual Build Project provides the opportunity for all of a builder’s trade partners and suppliers to contribute to the overall donation and make a significant impact. This means there is no competition between trades over who gets to participate in the project (e.g., multiple spouting companies can contribute instead of just the one that works on the Conventional Build Project).
A builder will invite their trade partners and suppliers to a kick-off event where they hear about the work of Homes for HOPE. The trade partners and suppliers are given the opportunity to identify a current or upcoming job on which to offer donated or discounted services for the builder. The builder takes the net proceeds generated from those donated or discounted jobs and matches it with a donation from their overall company profit, combining it into a large-sum donation to Homes for HOPE. A celebration event marks the completion of the projects and shares about the significant impact of the collective donation.
Homes for HOPE loves this approach because it provides a more flexible timetable compared to our conventional projects. It can turn around quite quickly which makes it easy to do annually or embed in a company’s culture. And probably the most exciting aspect of this approach is the opportunity it gives trade partners and suppliers to challenge their builder partner toward greater generosity. At the close of 2020, Keystone’s trade partners and suppliers set a new record by generating more than $178,000 in donated or discounted services! Including the Keystone match, a resulting donation of more than $356,000 was given to Homes for HOPE which will enable us, in partnership with HOPE International, to serve more than 19,000 families this year alone!
Homes for HOPE is so grateful to the quality trade partners and suppliers listed below for their partnership in this strategic work, and for their challenge to Jeff and Keystone Custom Homes to be more generous than ever before.