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Philanthropy Advisors Newsletter | Q2 2018

How Sports and Philanthropy United a Community

Moonridge Group has the good fortune to lead and advise individual and corporate funders towards the realization of their philanthropic goals. Whether it be a compassionate visionary who wants to give back to help others in need or a corporation wanting to engage its employees through charitable outreach, the result always strengthens and unifies a community. Over the past year, we've have had the opportunity to engage with leaders of some of our professional sports teams, and never have we witnessed the depth and conviction by which a community can unite through philanthropy. The desire to rally behind a new image that symbolizes the strength of Las Vegas is palpable.

Perhaps it’s the need to be part of something bigger than ourselves, or the utter joy involved with supporting a team that energizes us to get outside our heads and lead with our hearts. This human experience is exactly how people are moved to become philanthropic as well: a coming together to sustain and give life to causes and people outside of our individual existence. Las Vegans are experiencing the infectious camaraderie from the anticipation of the Las Vegas Raiders, the thrill of watching and cheering on the Las Vegas Golden Knights, Aces, Lights, and the Las Vegas 51’s, but what many may not realize is that each of these teams bring a focused level of support to our community. The Raiders Foundation, for example, has a long-standing tradition of supporting the community through enhancing civic health by providing direct support to Veterans and youth development. While Las Vegans proudly display their Las Vegas Raiders, VGK, and other sports attire around town, there are people with individual stories of hardship whose lives will be changed forever due to the charitable arm of these teams. I count my blessings each day that I have the privilege to work with such extraordinary leaders. While I, along with many of you, will root, hoot, and holler at future Las Vegas sporting events, I will do so knowing that each “Woohoo” I shout impacts the life of another sports fan and Las Vegan in need.

Warm Regards,
Julie Murray
CEO & Principal

Philanthropy Knows No Borders
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Julie Murray’s long-time love and respect of Cindy and Carlos Santana and their Milagro Foundation is the basis for an annual volunteer trip led by Moonridge to Carlos’ hometown of Autlan, Mexico, home to 60,000 people, many of whom do not have access to healthcare.

However, the TIOPA Santuario de Luz Medical Clinic founded by Carlos and Dr. Martin Sandoval 13 years ago is a thriving place of hope and care for over 3,000 people annually. In order to achieve the greatest social impact, Moonridge recruits healthcare volunteers who spend time together in Autlan each June delivering life-changing services. This summer marked the 5th annual Healthcare Volunteer Trip which included Nevada State College Nursing leaders Mitzy Flores and Anna Taber, Dr. Farnaz Norozian, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Anthony Tomaro, and Julie Murray to provide much-needed healthcare to the children and families in Autlan. New this year on the TIOPA campus is the construction of a Community Center which includes a cafeteria being added with funds provided by Las Vegans. Many lives are being uplifted and plans are underway for the summer of 2019! The greatest social impact occurs when done collectively. Contact the Moonridge Group at if you’re interested in helping to raise funds for the TIOPA Santuario de Luz Medical Clinic or new Community Center, or to join the annual volunteer trip.


Downtown Cares and Moonridge Connects
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Over 140 volunteers came together on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at Veterans Village #2 permanent housing facility to conduct a variety of tasks that included assembling of 1,200 donated emergency personal hygiene kits, organizing the food pantry, making personalized cards and painting of the railing that borders the entire Veterans Village #2 location. The 8th annual Downtown Cares was founded by Moonridge Group and El Cortez Hotel & Casino and sponsored by numerous organizations such as Zappos, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Downtown Project, Northcap, Fine Entertainment, Clientivity, and the generous support from many in-kind donors. 

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Moonridge Group considers it a privilege to connect fellow sponsors and partners each year to join individuals from a variety of backgrounds and interests who share a passion to help our local non-profit organizations. It was an "All-hands-on-deck"; morning where people of all ages worked together to accomplish in four hours what it would take Veterans Village staff weeks to complete. Throughout the painting, coordinating, lifting, and assembling, a palpable buzz was felt among all volunteers – the feeling of what can be accomplished when people roll up their sleeves in a united effort. Thank you to the staff at Veterans Village and to all those who volunteered to support our Veterans – the true champions of our community.

Councils That Care... And Act!

Moonridge is proud to convene two giving groups quarterly: The Greater Good Council (GGC) and the Nevada Corporate Giving Council (NCGC)
The Greater Good Council (GGC), co-chaired by Diana Bennett and Tom Thomas, held its Q2 event on June 20 at the City National Arena – home of the Golden Knights practice facility. A big thank you to GGC members Paul Stowell and Lee Pullan from City National Arena for their amazing hospitality. Council members had the good fortune to hear from guest speaker Linda Smith, innovative trailblazer and international speaker who shared her recipe for success and a magic touch with the GGC members. In addition, spotlight speaker Kat Harley provided an update on Mayor Goodman’s Courtyard project, the City of Las Vegas Homeless Initiative that the GGC voted to adopt as the Collective Impact Grant recipient for 2018.

The Nevada Corporate Giving Council (NCGC), co-chaired by Michael Brown, Shelley Gitomer, and Tony Sanchez held their Q2 event on June 21 also at the City National Arena, where George Short, a Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck shareholder from the Santa Barbara office, provided helpful updates about how the new tax law impacts charitable contributions. George’s experience as a transactional tax attorney for 40 years makes complex financial, legal, and tax concepts easy to understand through his common sense and practical approach. NCGC’s Spotlight Speaker was Tim Mullin, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Vegas Golden Knights. Both events were a huge success and skillfully led by Moonridge Group’s Heather Libonati!

A Silent Non-Profit Hero Among Us: Dr. Arnold Stalk
Dr. Arnold Stalk is an extraordinary non-profit leader who generously gives of his time and expertise to help others. By sheer will, in-kind goods and services, funds, skill, and 12-hour days, Arnie Stalk has propelled Veterans Village from a single facility to shelter homeless Veterans to development of a fifth and sixth location opening soon. Arnie, a salt of the earth individual, can make you feel better about the world in which we live and humanity in general through his devotion and advocacy to end homelessness among our Veterans. An architect, businessman, professor by profession, and a philanthropist by choice, Arnie is the founder of Veterans Village in downtown Las Vegas where he has streamlined the process of housing displaced and disadvantaged homeless veterans in our valley. There are four Veterans Village facilities that provide services ranging from emergency and transitional housing, assisted living and specialized care, emergency SRO and family housing, to permanent housing. Plans and development are underway for the fifth and sixth Veterans Village locations that will serve homeless female veterans and provide family housing respectively. Arnie’s passion is contagious and he can talk at length about his quest to house and provide intensive services for our Veterans, but he shies away from talking about himself. He is a quiet force who works tirelessly each day to build public and private partnerships and secure individual and private donations to ensure Veterans not only have housing, but access to vital wraparound services as well. Moonridge Group is honored to know and work with this outstanding leader and a silent hero who has dedicated his life to helping others. We are proud to call Arnie our friend.

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Top 3 Donor Stewardship Tips
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Funders with whom Moonridge Group has worked share that sometimes the thank you process leaves a bit to be desired.  Based on feedback from funders we have guided, Moonridge Group recommends the following donor stewardship tips.

1. Thank Your Donors –
As obvious as this seems, many funders report they never received a thank you for their time or donation.
2. Personalize the Thank you –
Engaged Board members who take the time to make a personal contact to thank donors make a lasting impact and build life-long relationships with funders.
3. Build Trust by Listening –
Learn what it is that matters most to the donor, summarize and share your understanding of their wishes to ensure you’ve got it right. Treat the donor as a valued member of the team and you’re sure to build a solid, long-lasting relationship.

Upcoming Events

What: A gathering of Jameson Fellows to come together to conduct Circles of Trust.
Date: Friday, September 7, 2018
Time: 9:00am to 12:00pm – Lunch 1:00-2:00pm
Contact: Kristy Keller at

What: Join us and learn how philanthropy can positively impact your business, employees, and customers, hosted by Moonridge Group
Date: September 21, 2018
Location: The Nevada Museum of Art. For more information, CLICK HERE
Contact: Heather Libonati at

What: An intimate gathering of individual funders and family foundations. For more information on joining this collective impact group, which shares best practices and discusses the current needs of Las Vegas.
Quarterly Meetings: Third Quarter Meeting on September 25, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Contact: Heather Libonati at

What: A council of corporate funders who meet quarterly to network and share best practices in corporate giving.
Quarterly Meetings: Third Quarter Meeting on September 27, 2018.
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Contact: Heather Libonati at

What: Please join us for the 7th annual Walk for Water for One Drop to raise awareness and pay tribute to the millions of women and children who spend hours a day collecting water. The walk will start at the Smith Center and end with a family-friendly event at Springs Preserve including live music and entertainment, food, carnival games and much more.
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018
Contact: Tiffany Twohig at or call 1.844.33WATER

No Borders
Moonridge Connects
Concils That Care
Donor Stewardship
Upcoming Events
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