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Philanthropy Advisors Newsletter | Q4 2018

How the Holiday Season Beckons Our Need to Give

The holiday season is my favorite time of year! Perhaps it’s the reconnecting with family and friends who remind us to be thankful and take comfort in the blessings we share, or it could be that for many of us the holiday season evokes the need to reflect, pause, and express gratitude. Moonridge Group has much to be grateful for.  My team and I are privileged to work with remarkable family foundations and corporate funders as well as dynamic governmental and community leaders.   Our work to connect philanthropists with extraordinary causes continues to bring us much joy and satisfaction.  Through philanthropy, individuals can and do make a difference in the world.

With the many challenges we face as Americans from the fires in California to the unspeakable acts of gun violence, one fact continues to be true: people are often at their best when times get tough.  Philanthropy provides a platform where the act of giving allows us to feel some semblance of control over what it means to be human today.  On nearly every pressing issue, there are numerous and effective non-profit organizations working locally and globally to provide relief and restore balance.  I am grateful and honored to connect funders with these organizations and consider it a privilege to do the work we do each day. As someone whose professional and personal life is full, I want to remind you that no act of kindness is too small.  Whether your holiday traditions include volunteering at a local charitable organization, adopting a family for holiday gift exchange, or lending a helping hand to another, please take a moment to reflect for what and to whom you are most thankful – it is the underpinning of philanthropy and will open your heart to view giving back as a responsibility we must all share.

Wishing you the warmest of holiday seasons,
Julie Murray
CEO & Principal

7th Annual Walk for Water for One Drop Powered by Moonridge Group

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, Cirque du Soleil’s One Drop Foundation hosted its “fun walk” that took place at the beautiful Las Vegas Springs Preserve with over 1,000 walkers and representatives from 17 local high schools. Participants of all ages walked the two-mile scenic loop that surrounds the Springs Preserve carrying various sizes of buckets of water to experience the plight of women and children throughout the world who must walk each day for water.  Opening ceremonies included remarks from Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Walk for Water Chairman Brian Kunec of KB Home. This highly anticipated event brings individuals of all ages and backgrounds together to walk in unity, pay tribute, and raise awareness about the critical need for access to safe water in developing countries. On average, women and children walk six kilometers (about 4 miles) per day to collect water for their families in vessels called jerry cans, which when filled weigh as much as 55 pounds. The daily journey to collect water takes time. Simply gathering the water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and other needs mean millions of women and girls spend their time traveling to water sources, waiting in line and carrying heavy loads – often several times per day.  This daily fight for survival robs young girls and women the opportunity to attend school, pursue employment, and spend quality time with their families. The Walk for Water event raised over $80,000!  All proceeds from the event directly benefit water conservation, technology, and educational efforts throughout Southern Nevada. Moonridge Group is a proud partner of this exceptional event.

The Greater Good Council Powered by Moonridge Group

The Greater Good Council (GGC) is a collective impact group comprised of individual philanthropists and family foundations that are dedicated to creating a more vibrant community and improving the quality of life in Southern Nevada. Moonridge Group is honored to lead and facilitate the vision of this dynamic group of inspired leaders.  Each year, the GGC identifies a Collective Impact Project recipient following a competitive grant application process.  The 2018 GGC grant recipient is the City of Las Vegas Homeless Resource Center – The Courtyard.  Goals for the Courtyard include:

  • Overcoming geographic barriers to the access of services by bringing resources to a centralized, predictable location

  • Increasing access to housing by providing search and coordination services as well as access to coordinated entry systems

Funding from the GGC will allow The Courtyard to provide clients with temporary housing and supportive services to help them become self-sufficient.  The support provided to The Courtyard by the GGC will provide vital resources to one of our valley’s most at-risk populations. Moonridge Group is proud to play a part in this life-changing resource and is grateful to the members of GGC for their compassion, can-do spirit, and genuine regard for the community of Las Vegas. 



One Night for One Drop Tickets on Sale!
We are excited to announce that ticket sales have opened for the 7th annual One Night for One Drop event scheduled for Friday, March 8, 2019, in the “O” Theatre at the Bellagio Resort & Casino.  To purchase tickets or sponsorships, please contact Tiffany Twohig at

Moonridge Group’s 8th Annual Philanthropy Leaders Summit -  Las Vegas!

Moonridge Group is thrilled to announce the 8th annual Philanthropy Leaders Summit (PLS) which is scheduled for Friday, February 8, 2019! The goal of the Summit is to grow philanthropy and to provide a forum for funders to learn and connect. Attendees represent a healthy mix of corporate funders, philanthropists, and family foundations who are interested in moving the needle of philanthropic giving and collaboration to better our community. The theme for the 8th annual PLS is Transformational Philanthropy 2.0 which will take a deeper dive into the popular concept of transforming the lives of funders and non-profits alike.  

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Philanthropy Spotlight: Diana Bennett – A Remarkable Woman
Diana Bennett_Credit Melanie Dunea3[2].j

Moonridge Group considers it a privilege to work with and support the vision of such an amazing woman, business leader, and philanthropist as Diana Bennett. She exemplifies excellence in all that she does and giving back to the community is no exception. Diana is an elegant, graceful, and no-nonsense leader whose drive and passion to uplift our community knows no bounds. As president of the Bennett Family Foundation, she actively supports many organizations that support youth, women, and food insecure families – to name only a few. Diana was recently named Outstanding Philanthropist by the Las Vegas Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) due to her proven track record of exceptional generosity and outstanding demonstration of civic and charitable responsibility. Diana is a leader’s leader, and when she speaks, others listen as she is able to easily translate her beliefs into action and inspires those around her to do the same.  As co-chair of Moonridge Group’s Greater Good Council (GGC), Diana has championed numerous projects all aimed at improving the lives of others.  Her name has become synonymous with philanthropy due to the many transformational contributions and direct support she has given to numerous organizations. It is clear that Diana’s accomplishments set her apart from others – she is a rare find: the perfect blend of smarts, drive, humor, and genuine regard for mankind.  She is a people-centered agent of change and a one-woman force for good whom we are proud to call our friend.


7 Personal Ways to Give Back

  1. Donate blood

  2. Clean out your closet and donate gently used clothing and shoes

  3. Visit a senior care facility and spend time with a new friend

  4. Do something kind for a stranger, pay it forward by covering their coffee purchase or simply share words of kindness

  5. Volunteer to serve meals at a charitable organization or food bank

  6. Sponsor a family for holiday gift giving

  7. Volunteer or provide unused items to a local shelter


5 Ideas for Companies to Give Back

  1. Take your company holiday party to the next level by offering the opportunity for employees to bring in an item to donate to a local non-profit

  2. Send a care package to the troops

  3. Pool your company resources and make a donation to a local charity

  4. Sign up your company for the City of Las Vegas’ Corporate Challenge, and commit to this excellent team-building exercise

  5. Skip employee gift exchange and purchase gifts for someone in need

Upcoming Events

What: A sold-out grant conference in Reno designed to bring together professionals to provide targeted professional development to increase the capacity for grant awards and compliance.
When: January 11, 2019
Contact: Heather Libonati at


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

When: January 24 & 25, 2019

Time: 9:00am to 5:00pm 
Contact: Kristy Keller at

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

When: February 8, 2019
Time: 8:00am to 11:30pm

Where: Las Vegas City Hall 
Contact: Heather Libonati at


What: A unique one-night-only show imagined by Cirque du Soleil featuring world-renowned guest performers alongside Cirque du Soleil artists. Funds benefit the One Drop Foundation’s global initiatives as well as local water education, conservation, and smart water technology efforts. 
Date: March 8, 2019

Where: Bellagio Resort & Casino 
Tiffany Twohig at


What: 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: March 20, 2019

Contact: Heather Libonati at

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: March 21, 2019 – Las Vegas and March 27, 2019 — Reno
Contact: Heather Libonati at

PLSVegas 2019
Spotlight Diana Bennett
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