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Philanthropy Advisors Newsletter | Q4 2019

To Whom Much Is Given, Much is Expected

I recall fondly one of my favorite Thanksgiving holidays.  It was a difficult time in my life, but we invited two Dreamers from our “I Have a Dream” Foundation to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. Martice and his younger brother didn’t have a lot, but still showed up with huge smiles and hungry stomachs. My two boys, Joe and Riley connected easily with them as the four boys played basketball in the backyard, while my daughter Kathleen and I prepared the holiday meal.

I felt such joy!  The act of giving Martice and his brother something we had in abundance, food, and love, was such a heart-warming experience. That’s the way giving works. You often receive more than you’ve given. Studies have shown that actions taken to do good often raise the level of dopamine and endorphins, chemicals in the body related to triggering the feeling of happiness.

Today, my children are grown and living in three different cities.  But one thing that they share in common is their desire to make the world better. I take comfort in knowing that the world is in good hands with this next generation who have philanthropy as a part of their DNA.  During this holiday season, know that your gifts of time and in-kind donations are equally as important as cash donations…all acts of giving are important and greatly needed by the 6,600 non-profits in the Las Vegas valley, and thousands throughout the country.
Best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy holiday season.  Send me your stories and photos about how giving was a part of your holiday and we’ll post it:

Warm Regards,

Julie Murray
CEO & Principal

Equity Through Board Diversity & Inclusion
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Alongside a committee of community leaders, Moonridge Group facilitated the Equity Through Board Diversity & Inclusion workshop on Monday, October 7th at United Way of Southern Nevada. The event brought
together prospective board members, as well as non-profit and government leaders seeking to maximize the effectiveness of boards and commissions across our community. A candid panel discussion with prominent stakeholders revealed challenges and solutions for achieving maximum board diversity within our community. Concluding the workshop was the opportunity for participants to take action and be assigned board seats via live board matchmaking. Moonridge Group would like to thank the volunteers, committee members, and our sponsor Get Outdoors Nevada for making the event a success! For more information on Board Matchmaking please CLICK HERE.

A Talented Trio - New Team Members Join Moonridge Group!
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A Las Vegas native, Nikki Tatalovich, joined Moonridge Group in August of 2019 and brings with her a renewable zeal for philanthropy and social enterprise. After graduating from San Diego University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology Nikki returned to Southern Nevada where she planned one-of-a-kind experiences for children with life-threatening injuries as coordinator for Make A Wish of Southern Nevada. Before joining Moonridge Group, she worked in development and public relations for The Public Education Foundation.  Along with volunteering and serving as the Co-Chair for Political Action and Community Engagement for The Human Rights Campaign of Las Vegas, Nikki enjoys doing yoga, spending quality time with good friends, and daily morning walks with her fur baby, Bagel. 


Alexandria Evans is a highly motivated and ambitious leader with a passion for improving the lives of others. She began her work with Moonridge Group as an intern and became a full-time member of the team in August of 2019.  Alexandria has lived in Las Vegas since 2007 where she has dedicated much of her time to volunteerism, community outreach, and development.  She graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.  She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Public Health and in her free time enjoys binge-watching her favorite television shows, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Morgan Ettinger joined the Moonridge Group team as a Project Intern in August of 2019. Morgan moved to Las Vegas from Southern California in the Fall of 2013 to pursue her dream of playing Division I college softball while earning a bachelor's degree. She graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. In the fall of 2018, she began a Master's in Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management and will graduate in May of 2020. In her spare time, Morgan enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking at Red Rock Canyon with her dog Hudson, and giving back to the Las Vegas community.

8th Annual Walk for Water for One Drop Powered by Moonridge Group 

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, the One Drop Foundation hosted its eighth annual Walk for Water presented by Focus Plumbing at the picturesque Las Vegas Springs Preserve. $120,000 was raised with all proceeds directly benefiting water conservation, technology, and educational efforts throughout Southern Nevada. The Walk for Water annual event raises awareness, pays tribute and educates participants regarding the need for safe water worldwide. Over 1,000 participants and representatives from ten local high schools walked a little over two miles carrying buckets of water to represent the endeavor millions of women and children in developing countries make daily to provide clean water for their families. 


The opening ceremonies included remarks from Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Walk for Water Chairman Brian Kunec of KB Home. In addition to raising awareness, the Walk for Water event also gives participants the opportunity to learn the stories of real individuals around the globe who complete daily treks for water. Fatimata, Santos and Nathi Bai were the individuals whose stories were told at the walk this year. CLICK HERE for a link to the Walk for Water recap video. To learn more about One Drop, visit 

The Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE: A Year in Review

Moonridge Group is proud to be a part of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE alongside Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and her team to provide strategy and community engagement. It’s been a year since the Mayor’s Fund launched to improve the quality of life for Las Vegas residents through collective action within public and private partnerships and what a year it’s been!  Donations ranging from $5 to more than $100,000 were received from individual residents, foundations and corporations to fuel the programs supported by The Mayor’s Fund. Recent donations include significant underwriting for a Strong Start GO Mobile Pre-K bus that provides early learning opportunities in underserved areas of the city. Major sponsors include City National Bank, the Helms Helps Foundation, the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, and Zappos for Good. Together, these community partners are helping to fund the city’s second mobile learning center. Also stepping forward to support the Mayor’s Fund is NS8, a Las Vegas-based software company that protects businesses from online fraud. This growing tech company hosted an informational mixer to learn about the digital divide in Las Vegas where participants learned about the disparities in access to technology and the internet that exist in our valley.

Donations made at the event provide low-income valley families with access to in-home high-speed internet, computer training and tablet computers pre-loaded with educational and informational apps and software. Additionally, a significant collective donation was made at the conclusion of the NBA Summer League to the Courtyard Homeless Resource Center from AT&T and ESPN for programs that help the homeless and other vulnerable residents gain access to resources to seek employment, housing and the skills they need to gain stability. Mayor Goodman is extremely grateful to all community partners who have supported the Mayor’s Fund for LIFE. Because of their generosity, The Mayor’s Fund is not only making an impact in the lives of many but is strengthening and connecting our community as a whole. CLICK HERE for more information on the Mayor’s Fund.

A Northern Success: Philanthropy Leaders Summit Reno Powered By Moonridge Group!

Moonridge Group’s 4th annual Philanthropy Leaders Summit Reno was held on September 13th at the beautiful Nevada Museum of Art in the Nightingale Sky Room with a sold-out capacity crowd of over 230 funders and special guests. The Summit was emceed by the incomparable Punam Mathur, and Nancy Fennell, Board of Trustees Executive Committee Member of the Museum, provided welcoming remarks. This special gathering assembled a dynamic group of local and national leaders from companies like Starbucks, Tesla, Nevada Gold Mines, bigtruck, and more to discuss the power philanthropy has to transform the ideas of our employees, and communities at large, into action. 

Keynote speaker and Reno-native, Virginia Bergin Tenpenny, VP of Global Social Impact at Starbucks and Executive Director of The Starbucks Foundation, beautifully wove together the role and impact Starbucks serves in our communities while highlighting how they turn “Ideas in(to) Action.” With over 300,000 employees wearing a green apron all around the world, Starbucks aims to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.  “We believe Starbucks is not a coffee business serving people, but rather a people business serving coffee,” said Virginia Bergin Tenpenny who also shared the important role businesses play in affecting change for social good.

The Collaboration in Action panel of three consisted of Nevada Gold Mines’ Head of Communities & Corporate Affairs, Rebecca Darling, Tesla’s Workforce Development and Education Lead, Chris Reilly, and Desert Research Institute’s (DRI) Director of STEM education program and Science Alive, Amelia Gulling. They highlighted their special partnership to support Nevada Robotics, a collaborative, statewide effort of higher education institutions, school districts, robotics education programs, government, industry, and community partners.

The Millennials in Action panel led by Garrett Kalt, LEAD On co-founder, and Amelia Lane, Assistant Director of Development at The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, shared their generational perspective on philanthropy. Garret posed a thoughtful question, asking, “How does one properly thank those who have profoundly impacted their lives?” Garret believes you do so by feeling gratitude, saying gratitude, and doing gratitude.  Amelia shared how, at a very young age, she was taught to leave the world in a better place than she found it and explained how philanthropy is something that is taught and underscored the importance of giving time, talent, and treasure.
The Purpose and Profit in Action panel highlighted two of three current Certified B Corporations in Nevada, bigtruck co-founder, Galen Gifford, and Pure Ground Ingredients’ VP Sales and Development Director, Kristen Jaskulski, along with Maupin, Cox & LeGoy Attorney, Michaelle Rafferty who shared how Certified B Corporations must meet the highest standard of verified social and environmental performance. 

Finally, Jeremy Aguero, Principal Analyst at Applied Analysis, as always energetically and enthusiastically reviewed the highlights from the 2019 Corporate Philanthropy Report and drew attention to the influential role Nevada businesses play, and how they are remarkably in tune to community needs, as seen in the way that they’re giving.  In terms of volunteering, according to Applied Analysis, companies donated more than 90,000 volunteer hours in Nevada communities.

A special thank you to Cathy and Rick Trachok who opened their beautiful home and hosted the pre-event reception and to the following amazing sponsors: 

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Moonridge Group Proud to Facilitate the Work of Nevada Medical Center - 3rd Edition of NMC’s Healthcare Report Card Event a Success!


With over sixty attendees present at the third edition of Nevada Medical Center’s Data Portal and Healthcare Report Card event, participants learned how Nevada compares to other states in the country in seven healthcare categories.  While the grades show that Nevada has work to do with regard to improving healthcare quality, it is important to note that much progress is being made by individual counties within Nevada that is not reflected in the NMC report card or data portal.  Moreover, the report card is designed to be a transparent comparison on how Nevada ranks against other states in the country, and while states continue to move the needle towards improved overall healthcare, Nevada’s rank must be taken in context, as the goal to change the landscape for healthcare indicators across the country improves. The 2019 healthcare report card contains the following seven categories: Access to Healthcare, Chronic Diseases, Oral Health, Nutrition and Activity, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Infectious Disease. Oral Health was added as a new category due to the direct impact oral health has on an individual’s overall well-being. In addition, indicators about the prevalence of Autism were also included as a development disorder subcategory within the mental health section. UNLV School of Public Health Dean Dr. Shawn Gerstenberger introduced the report card and Principal Analyst with Applied Analysis, Jeremy Aguero formally presented the 2019 data portal. In addition, highly respected and long-time Southern Nevada physician Dr. Florence Jameson shared how the report card and data portal help Nevada’s healthcare system improve, and NMC President, Ms. Julie Murray addressed how the NMC report card and data portal set the foundation for informed collaboration, especially as it relates to mental wellness among Nevada’s youth. 

A Tidal Wave of Inspiration during WaterStart’s Channels for Innovation Summit 2019!


Local and international experts in water sustainability assembled for WaterStart’s Channels for Innovation Summit held at City National Arena on September 26. WaterStart, an organization created by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development in 2013, is headquartered in Las Vegas with another office in Brisbane, Australia. WaterStart works to innovate commercial water technology by connecting the need with the solution. The summit included a presentation about reducing the risks of innovation from both a Nevadan and Australian water utility experts. Partnering organizations addressed their still-enduring needs with pitches for technology solutions from Southern Nevada Water Authority, Truckee Meadows Water, Queensland Urban Utilities, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The keynote address came from Ramsay Huntley, Vice President of Clean Technology and Innovation Philanthropy Program Officer for Wells Fargo, who spoke on the bank’s investment in novel water solutions nation-wide including their recent $500,000 grant to WaterStart to continue their efforts. 

The Channels for Innovation Summit had several other fascinating segments including a showcase of four different pilots, presented by the partnering company as well as a representative from the tech company. The winning presentation was awarded to a partnership between MGM and APANA, which tackled the complexities of water usage in large-scale commercial properties and how they can be broken down. Moonridge Group was honored to execute this successful convention at the direction of the firm’s newest Project Manager, Nikki Tatalovich.

Vote for Stacie Alonso for CNN Hero of the year!

We're excited to announce that our very own, Staci Alonso, has been selected as a Top 10 CNN Hero and is a finalist to win $100,000 for Noah's Animal House! We'd appreciate your support.

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Upcoming Events

What: A gathering of Jameson Fellows to come together to conduct Circles of Trust

Quarter 4 All Cohort Event: Monday, December 4, 2019

Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Contact: Kristy Keller -

What: A council of corporate and individual funders who meet quarterly to network and share best practices in corporate giving.

Combined Q4 Meeting: December 5, 2019
Contact: Heather Libonati -

A gathering of the new Jameson cohort to conduct a two-day Leadership Lab to kick-off the year.

When: January 30 & 31, 2020

Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Contact: Kristy Keller - 

What: Annual gathering of 400+ funders at the Zappos Chambers with the goal to inspire, connect, and inform. Learn from inspirational speakers about best practices and trends in giving.

When: February 7, 2020

Time: 7:30 am to 11:30 pm 
Where: Zappos Chambers

Get Tickets:

Contact: Nikki Tatalovich - 



What: A wildly fun and unforgettable evening benefitting global and local water issues.  You will be awed by the adrenaline-pumping Cirque du Soleil show R.U.N, immersed in an unforgettable party experience with food and drinks galore, and surprised at every turn!  We hope to see you there!

Date: March 27, 2020 
Where: Luxor Hotel & Casino

Contact: Tiffany Twohig - 

Tickets: To purchase tickets please CLICK HERE.


: The Greater Good Council is a collective impact funding group comprised of philanthropists and family foundations, who pool funds via The Moonridge Foundation to achieve the highest social impact. Moonridge Group will facilitate this Quarter 1 event.

When: TBD

Contact: Nikki Tatalovich - 


What: The Nevada Corporate Giving Council (NCGC) is an affiliation of corporate leaders focused on improving our State through community engagement and business philanthropy. Moonridge Group will facilitate this Quarter 2 event.

When: TBD

Contact: Nikki Tatalovich -

Talented Trio
Walk for Water
PLS Reno
The Mayor's Fund
Nevada Medical Center
Nikki Tatalovich                                        Alexandria Evans                                                Morgan Ettinger 
Project Manager                                      Executive Coordinator & Special Projects       Project Intern                    
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