The cause of charitable giving was elevated in the spring of 2012, when local donors gathered to look to the future. The occasion was the first annual Philanthropy Leaders Summit – a discussion of best practices in collaborative philanthropy and how to create a solid return on investment to serve those in need.


“In my work with the Las Vegas philanthropic community, I have been hearing concerns about the future of charitable giving in our city, especially since several important foundations will be sunsetting their activities over the next year,” said Murray. “We felt the time was right for our many talented, insightful local donors to come together for a day of brainstorming and reflection on the critical next steps that we must take to ensure the brightest future possible for the city that we all love.”


The featured guest speaker was Emmy award-winning musician Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet, and author of Life Is What You Make It, which has sold nearly half a million books in 15 languages worldwide.


Additional speakers included:


  • Larry Ruvo, chairman of Keep Memory Alive and the driving force behind ; Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

  • Alexandra Epstein, executive vice president of El Cortez;

  • Betsy Fretwell, City Manager, City of Las Vegas;

  • Zach Ware, Campus Development Director, Zappos.com and Downtown Project;

  • Heather duBoef, co-founder, Nevada Women’s Philanthropy;

  • Punam Mathur, philanthropist and community engagement consultant


Presenting sponsors include the Engelstad Family Foundation, the Bennett Family Foundation and UNLV’s Lincy Institute. “To the best of our knowledge, this was the first major gathering of this type that is not a fundraiser in over 10 years,” said Murray. “Our primary goal was to give attendees a renewed feeling of optimism for our community and the desire to inspire others to engage in philanthropy.”

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