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Philanthropy Advisors Newsletter | Q2 2019

How Philanthropy Informs Policy

When government, business, and philanthropic sectors come together to collaborate and affect change, transformative steps are taken to uplift the lives of others. Over the past several months, the Moonridge Group team and I have been privileged to work on and support several projects where Nevada policy was shaped by philanthropy. No clearer example can be found than the effort led by beloved philanthropist Dr. Gard Jameson to establish Las Vegas as a Compassionate City. Due to his vision and belief that the well-being of a community is enhanced when the needs of its citizens are met through collective impact, Las Vegas has now joined a network of cities focused on compassion, care, and respect.

Being a compassionate city requires the identification of the issues most troubling to the communities that make-up a city in order to address the need through compassionate action. Dr. Jameson embodies the qualities that define compassion by fully embracing the notion that communities are healthier when individuals unite to confront complex problems with innovative solutions. Because of his leadership, our community has declared its commitment to be more than well-intended; Las Vegans are accepting the responsibility and privilege to honor one another’s humanity – in all of its forms. 

In addition, my team and I worked alongside State Senator Pat Spearman who sponsored a suite of mental health bills during the 2019 Legislative Session, all aimed at greatly reducing the youth suicide rate in Nevada. During each bill introduction, Senator Spearman referenced the mental health data on the Nevada Medical Center’s data portal to use metrics to support the components of each bill. Nevada Medical Center (NMC) was founded by the late Eric M. Hilton, another beloved Las Vegas philanthropist, and a further example of how philanthropy and government can work together to shape behavior. His vision to improve the quality of and access to healthcare for all Nevadans, through a preventative approach to wellness, includes a report card and data portal designed to compare certain healthcare indicators against other states in the nation. Mr. Hilton would be proud to know that his philanthropy and vision contributed to the drafting of bills that will save lives. 

Even though philanthropy and government have distinct sector identities that may not have always aligned with ease, it is clear that what Gard Jameson and the late Eric Hilton believe and prescribe relative to the power of collective impact, has made its way to the voice of the people. It’s been our honor at Moonridge to have played a part.

Warm Reguards,

Julie Murray
CEO & Principal

Downtown Cares & Moonridge Connects!

On Saturday, May 4th, The Moonridge Foundation and the El Cortez Hotel & Casino, led a group of over 100 volunteers to bring families, businesses, and community partners together for the 9th annual Downtown Cares day of volunteerism at the Boys & Girls Club on 2801 E. Stewart Avenue. Just in time to gear up for summer programs, Downtown Cares volunteers joined forces to repaint the interior rooms and two indoor murals, update the club’s outdoor play area, plant a garden, and refurbish the club’s teen center. Volunteers also participated in a youth soccer game during the event which further promoted the essence of teamwork for the day.

The East Stewart location is one of 13 clubs in the Las Vegas Valley that offer a full curriculum of after school and summer programming that includes homework assistance, meals, and a Cox Communications tech Center for young children and teens 357 days per year. For this event, Downtown Cares raised more than $9,000 of cash and in-kind donations such as books, art supplies, toys, sports equipment, and more – none of which would be possible without support from the following amazing sponsors: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Downtown Project, Zappos for Good, Northcap, NS8, PKWY Tavern, Larson Zirzow Kaplan, Umbrella Bookkeeping, Rossetti Public Relations, Pink Kitty Creative, and Evel Pie. The partnership between the El Cortez Hotel & Casino and Moonridge Foundation has been going strong since 2011 to bring much-needed support and renovation to non-profit organizations in downtown Las Vegas. A special thank you to the volunteers who rolled up their sleeves, exercised their green thumbs and channeled their inner artists to bring a sense of home and pride to the club!

VGK Day of Service for The Mayor’s Fund Las Vegas LIFE Initiative
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Moonridge Group is honored to support the facilitation of Mayor Goodman’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE. As part of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE initiative that includes a partnership between corporate and philanthropic partners to improve the quality of life of for all Las Vegans, an event held on Friday, June 14th captured the essence and purpose of the Mayor’s Fund. Employees of the Vegas Golden Knights (VGK) partnered with the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE to serve as summertime “camp counselors” at Doolittle Community Center. VGK staffers worked with more than 100 children, ages 5 to 14, in a variety of activities that included crafts, art projects, and games that concluded with a pizza lunch for all! The half-day event not only brought joy and smiles to the faces of 100 children but illustrated the goodwill and possibilities that exist when leaders come together. The fund was established in September 2018 to target specific community needs in the area of Livability, Innovation, Future, and Education (LIFE). To date, The Mayor’s Fund has received more than $700,000 from the private sector and is on its way to meet the first-year goal to raise $1 million dollars in donations. Moonridge Group is honored to work alongside city leaders to facilitate the Mayor’s Fund and thanks to the Vegas Golden Knights for their partnership. To learn more about the Mayor’s Fund, visit

Moonridge Group Leads Philanthropy Day at the Legislature!

In partnership with Nevada leaders and philanthropists, the Moonridge Group team steered the initiative to proclaim May 9, 2019, as the official day of philanthropy in Nevada! The event was held as a way to celebrate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, and to honor some of Nevada’s key philanthropists. This special day at the Nevada Legislature highlighted and celebrated the excellent work being done by funders in the Nevada Corporate Giving Council and Greater Good Council. These individuals are philanthropic leaders focused on transforming Nevada through community engagement and corporate philanthropy. They find ways to improve the quality of life for society at large by collaborating with each other, their employees, their families, and their local communities. The following tenets were officially proclaimed:



WHEREAS, The act of philanthropy by individuals or groups to aid in the well-being of humanity is often responsible for uplifting the lives of many Nevadans; and

WHEREAS, Individuals, family foundations, and corporations, in partnership with charitable organizations, share an in-depth understanding of the issues that affect and contribute to the character of their communities and state; and


WHEREAS, Coordinating strategic social investments not only changes the lives of individuals, but ensures a more connected and thriving community, and allows deeper relationships to form between companies and individuals in attaining their objectives; and


WHEREAS, The history of philanthropy in our state is filled with names of the earliest Nevadans whose efforts helped create institutions and programs that include educational programs, food banks, performing arts centers, and universities and more; and


WHEREAS, In 2017, the Nevada Corporate Giving Report cited that Nevada companies donated an estimated $167.3 million in monetary and in-kind donations, representing an increase of 24.7 percent from the previous year; and


WHEREAS, Philanthropy is most effective and sustainable when it is connected to engaged donors and socially responsible corporations that adjust giving strategies using available metrics and data; and


WHEREAS, The vibrancy and legacy of Nevada relies on philanthropic public and private partnerships to help guide the futures of arts and culture, economic development, education, environment, health and human services in our communities; and 


WHEREAS, A committed group of individuals and corporate donors who are united together can forever change the landscape and quality of life in Nevada; now, therefore, be it


PROCLAIMED, That all Nevadans are encouraged to recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations that have helped improve communities across our state; and be it further


PROCLAIMED, That the benevolent actions of these individuals and organizations are acknowledged today as we observe Philanthropy Day at the Legislature.


DATED this 9th day of May 2019.

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 the Moonridge Foundation 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 14 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 6th annual Healthcare Volunteer Trip which included Nevada State College Nurses, Dr. Farnaz Norozian, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Dr. Rudy Manthei to provide much-needed healthcare to the children and families in Autlan.  Many lives are being uplifted and plans are already underway for the summer of 2020! The greatest social impact occurs when done collectively. Contact the Moonridge Foundation 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.

Philanthropy Spotlight: Dr. Gard Jameson – A Man of Vision & Compassion

It has been our pleasure at Moonridge Group for the past several years to help Dr. Gard Jameson translate his beliefs into action. He is a man of complete substance and integrity whose compassion for others is fueled by his recognition that every life is precious and unique. He embodies the spirit of what “love thy neighbor” truly means and recognized years ago that when we unite collectively to address a community need, we are much more powerful. Six years ago, Gard created the Jameson Fellowship whereby leaders in the health and human services, arts & culture, education, natural & built environment, law enforcement, and jobs & economy sectors come together each year to connect with one another to build trust and to strengthen relationships between and among one another. To date, over 150 Fellows representing six cohorts have participated in the Fellowship.


Recently, Gard announced his inaugural $25K Jameson Fellowship Collective Impact Grant designed to support partnerships between leaders in each sector who come together to address a community need. In addition, Gard serves on several boards and supports initiatives for children’s advocacy, homelessness, healthcare, nutrition, the environment, and many other initiatives. Moreover, he and his wife Dr. Florence Jameson started the Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada (VMSN) clinics to ensure the under-insured have access to quality healthcare. Simply stated: Gard is a remarkable human being who brings light and love to all those who know him. He is a silent hero whose philanthropy brings comfort and joy to many. And although he may never meet the children and families he has helped, they will know the generosity and beauty of his heart.

Employee Engagement Matters


Read about it in our recent blog post


Forbes' 5 Habits of Powerful Philanthropists


Effective Philanthropists:

Acquire & Maintain Expertise
Effective philanthropists get to know the community they serve OR they partner with a team that can do the research to provide guidance and strategy for them.

Are life-long learners who understand that giving back leads to discovery and growth. Effective philanthropists allow the communities they serve to have a voice and participate in shared decision making. When affected communities participate, they make better use of awarded grant allocations.

Play to their strengths and act boldly while thinking long-term. They take risks and are prepared to do things that are untested perhaps even unpopular; they are brave.

Understand the strategy of grant-making. The best philanthropists don’t give money as a reward but instead use money strategically to generate desired outcomes. They know how to move an idea forward. 

Upcoming Events

Walk for Water for One Drop

Save the Date 9-21-19!
Please mark your calendars and join us for the 8th annual Walk for Water event on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at the beautiful Springs Preserve! Help us eradicate the need for women and children in developing countries to walk extremely long distances twice daily to collect this life-saving resource.


What: A council of corporate funders in Reno who meet quarterly to network and share best practices in corporate giving. For more information on joining this group, please contact Heather Libonati.

When: Quarter 3 event, September 4, 2019 — Reno

Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Contact: Heather Libonati at

What: A gathering of Jameson Fellows to come together to conduct Circles of Trust
When: Quarter 3 event, Friday, September 13, 2019

Time: 9:00am to 12:30pm – Lunch 1:00-2:00pm
Contact: Kristy Keller at


What: Annual gathering of funders at the Nevada Museum of Art with the goal to inspire, connect, and inform attendees. Learn from inspirational speakers about best practices and trends in giving.

When: September 13, 2019

Location: The Nevada Museum of Art. Join us and learn how philanthropy can positively impact your business, employees, and customers. For more information, CLICK HERE
Contact: Heather Libonati at


What: Moonridge Group will facilitate a Quarter 3 event with the Nevada Corporate Giving Council
When: Quarter 3 event, September 26, 2019 — Las Vegas
Contact: Heather Libonati at

What: Please join us for the 8th 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 take place at Springs Preserve and will include live music and entertainment, food, carnival games and much more. 
When: Saturday, September 21, 2019
Contact: Tiffany Twohig at or call 1.844.33WATER

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.
When: October 2, 2019

Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM 
Contact: Heather Libonati at

Downtown Cares
Vegas Golden Knights
Day at Legislature
Gard Jameson
No Borders
Community Engagement/Forbes'
Upcoming Events
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