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Philanthropy Advisors Newsletter | Q3 2017

To Give is Good; To Give with Purpose is Great

Most people want to do good in the world and to right a wrong whenever possible by championing causes that make a positive impact. It’s the nature and inner drive of the human experience to help others. We need only reflect on the daily acts of kindness that have been so routinely practiced, they are now part of our social mores. Consider how often we hold doors open for others, say thank you, relinquish our place in line, offer a shoulder to cry on, listen, pick up dropped items, and in general lend a helping hand. For those with the means and desire to do more, a common belief is shared: to whom much is given, much is expected. For giving to be truly meaningful, it is critical to understand the Why, What, and How of giving.

The Why of giving helps individuals understand what it is that actually motivates and sparks their giving spirit. Tuning into the inner voice and actively listening allows the basis for specific goals and objectives to be defined. The What of giving speaks to an individual’s desire to make an impact and addresses the essence of the end-goal. The How of giving is the process by which donors are advised on the various alternatives in giving and identifies the strategy involved with getting the greatest return on their investment. Ultimately, the desire to give is an extremely personal decision that coupled with purpose and planning, will ensure a person’s motives and desires are respectfully managed with care. The Moonridge Team and I are proud to provide such guidance and consider it a privilege to be philanthropic advisors to a diverse and charitable client base.

Warm Regards,
Julie Murray
CEO & Principal

Donor Stewardship and Trust – Vital to Building Long-Term Donor Relationships

Have you ever wondered why some non-profits are extremely successful in building their Rolodex of loyal supporters and why other non-profits continuously struggle?  The difference lies in the non-profit leaders’ ability to tactfully and strategically steward their donors. Donor stewardship is often the forgotten step to ensuring the sustainability of non-profits, and if remembered is occasionally done in haste with little regard for truly understanding the donor.  Active donor stewardship pays equal time and respect to the contribution and the relationship.

Building trust with donors begins with listening. As obvious as it may seem, many non-profit leaders simply do not understand how to listen to their donors effectively. It is critical that non-profit leaders become proficient at processing what is important to the donor and to be able to summarize and respond back what was heard using their words but with the donor’s message.

In other words, treating a donor as a valued member of the team will build solid, long-lasting relationships.  Equally important as listening to the donor is the art of connecting donors and re-connecting them to the mission and goals of the non-profit.  Donors want and need to know how their giving has contributed to the milestones of a non-profit’s success. Successful donor stewardship cannot be accomplished in a single event. Spending the time to consistently share the precise ways by which the donor’s contribution matters will convey to the donor that they are valued, appreciated, and an equal part of the overall team. Lastly, expressing personal gratitude will yield meaningful dividends for both the donor and the non-profit: tell and show donors repeatedly how their gift has made a difference. A simple “you made my day by believing in our work” will foster trust, good will, and respect.

Moonridge in Mexico: Collective Impact in Action

Julie Murray’s long-time friendship with Cindy and Carlos Santana was the basis for an annual volunteer trip led by Moonridge Group to Carlos’ hometown of Autlan, Mexico which is home to 60,000 people, many of whom do not have access to healthcare and dental services. However, the TIOPA Santuario de Luz medical clinic founded by Carols and Dr. martin Sandoval 11 years ago is a thriving place of hope and care for over 2,000 people annually. In order to achieve the greatest social impact, Moonridge Group recruits the volunteer services annually from extraordinary Las Vegas doctors and dentists who spend time together in Autlan delivering life-saving services. 


This summer marked the 4th annual Healthcare Volunteer Trip which included UNLV Dental School dentists, and Nevada State College Nurses to provide health and dental care to the children and families in Autlan. As a result, many lives were uplifted and plans for further collaboration between the UNLV Dental School of Medicine and the Nevada State College of Nursing School are underway. Also, plans to help raise funds for a cafeteria to be built are also underway as many of Autlan’s children have limited access to healthy food. The greatest social impact occurs when done collectively. Contact the Moonridge Group at in you’re interested in helping to raise funds for the cafeteria or to join the annual volunteer trip.

Building a Resort and a Community: Moonridge Group Leads the Way in Vancouver with Parq’s CSR

As strategic advisors, the Moonridge Group has been fortunate to have guided several businesses and foundations about engaging their workforce and the local community towards an optimum return on charitable and community investment. The relationships and trust built over the past decades have paved the way for Moonridge Group to partner with Paragon Gaming’s newest venture, Parq Vancouver. Our experience with guiding previous hotel and resort properties set the stage for Moonridge Group to create a distinctive charitable giving and community investment campaign. Moreover, the extraordinary vision of Dianne Bennett and Scott Menke to develop a world-class property in the heart of British Columbia that leads with community investment at its core resulted in a unique collaboration.


Developing giving guidelines and community engagement practices typically evolve as an organization or property establishes its foothold in a community. The grand opening of Paragon Gaming’s Parq Vancouver Hotel & Casino in British Columbia not only includes a series of world class opening events, but a charitable alignment with the volunteer movement which provides a distinct advantage of opening with a sound Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan right from the start.

The Parq CSR will support the establishment of the hotel’s brand while clearly expressing to the community its values, core beliefs, and priorities.  In addition, Moonridge Group’s leadership of Parq’s Community Engagement Committee will provide ongoing governance to ensure future philanthropic events align with strategic community investments. Under the tactful leadership of our very own Julie Murray in conjunction with Ross Miller and the Parq Vancouver team that includes Yasmine Roulleau, Tamara Hicks, Amy Rossetti and Jasmine Marchant, Moonridge Group is thrilled to have navigated the Parq team in translating their commitment to being good corporate citizens to compatible and actionable community investment and stakeholder relations. The following Bloomberg Business News link click here captures the essence of Parq: Moonridge Group is honored to have played a part.

Philanthropy Spotlight:  A Cut Above: Mr. Tom Thomas

As with his passion and goal to reach the top of all 7 summits, Tom Thomas is a cut above who soars to great heights on and off mountain tops through his generosity and charitable giving. Moonridge Group is proud to recognize Mr. Tom Thomas for the 3rd Quarter 2017 Philanthropy Spotlight.

After completing his legal studies in 1986, Tom joined the Valley Bank of Nevada as vice president and chief legal counsel. Following his career in banking, he joined the Thomas & Mack Corporation to oversee the real estate and wealth management operations of the organization. For over two decades, Tom has been intimately involved with numerous charitable organizations. He has chaired the UNLV Presidents Associates, the Opportunity Village Foundation Board, the Board of Governors of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and served as President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club and Moonridge Group’s Greater Good Council. He is active in Rotary, and was also instrumental in establishing the Thomas & Mack legal clinic and the Thomas & Mack Moot Court Facility, both at the UNLV  Boyd School of Law. In addition to serving as chairman of the capital campaign for the Englestad Campus of Opportunity Village, he serves on numerous boards including Southwest Gas Corporation. However, one of the reasons he is viewed as a success is because of the extraordinary work he does in philanthropy and his love of family.


Congratulations, Tom! 

 Tom at Mt. Vinson

Upcoming Events

What: Join us and learn how philanthropy can positively impact your business, employees and customers.

Date: Friday, September 15, 2017

Time: 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Location: Nevada Museum of Art - 160 W Liberty St, Reno, NV 89501

Contact: Melody Zita 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 current needs of Las Vegas.

Quarterly Meetings: Third Quarter Meeting on September 19, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
: Melody Zita at


Quarter 3: Friday, September 22, 2017
Time: 9:00am to 12:00pm – Lunch 1:00-2:00pm
Location: The Center – 401 S. Maryland Parkway
Contact: Kristy Keller 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 28, 2017

Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Contact: Melody Zita at


What: Please join us for ONE DROP’s Walk for Water at Springs Preserve and pay tribute to the millions of women and children who spend hours a day collecting water as well as raising funds and awareness for local youth education and conservation. 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.  Sign up on keyword ONE DROP

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Location: The Smith Center to the Springs Preserve
Contact: Tiffany Twohig at

Donor Stewardship
Moonridge in Mexico
Building a Resort
Philanthropy Spotlight
Upcoming Events

Images Courtesy: Parq Vancouver

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