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Project Update: 1st Quarter Success At Big Brothers Big Sisters

Picture1In the first quarter of 2015, eight (8) Big Brothers Big Sisters were matched with Littles in Northern San Luis Obispo County. This exceeds the matches that were made in ALL OF 2014. As part of this process, there were 17 Big Brother Big Sister inquiries (vs 1 in the same time period as last year). These inquiries and matches came as a result of first quarter goals being met:

  • Opened an office in the North County
  • Hired a full time Community Based Coordinator and integrated her in a team approach with the San Luis Obispo office
  • Gave 8 presentations and 15 network meetings to community service groups
  • Held 56 one-on-one or small group informational meetings
  • Had 17 print and/or radio events

What do we still need to match even more Littles?  Big Brothers Big Sisters is seeking more mentors in the North County, as well as fill Board of Director positions.  Now is the time to transform your community with must! charities!


Meet Morgan

Sarah's Daughter (2)This is Morgan, a daughter of one of the Food Bank of SLO’s staffers. She was so excited about the Children’s Farmer’s Market program – especially the broccoli! Morgan’s family has only lived in North County for a couple years. Since their move and being in a different environment and getting exposed to healthy foods, Morgan and her siblings eat, request, and prefer better food! All of our efforts are working!

Hope Golf Tournament Raises $14,000 for must! charities

Hope Family Wines brought back a Wine Festival tradition this year and what a success it was!  The Golf Tournament brought together foursomes from the community for a day of birdies and well maybe a few bogies, but more importantly players raised $14,000 for must! charities.

FullSizeRenderMike Giese, Brand Manager for Hope Family Wines said, “We were absolutely thrilled with the turnout for the first annual Golf Tournament. Despite the little bit of weather that came through, everyone was in good spirits and had a great time. For us here at Hope Family Wines, it was a natural fit to partner with must! and that was evident in the turnout. There were so many friends and other members of the local community who came out to play because they all believe in what must! is doing. These are all people who live and work in our area and see firsthand what kind of an impact must is having on the community. With all of the positive feedback we’ve received, we will definitely be making this an annual event and look forward to next year’s Golf Tournament being bigger and better, so save the date, Thursday May 19th.”

Whether it’s a “buck a bottle” or events like these, our community is helping to foster long-term change in our community. must! Executive Director, Becky Gray, says, “It is with partner investors like Hope Family Wines, that allows us to do what we do best. In just a few short years we have been able to invest over $700K into the North County of San Luis Obispo. We are so grateful for these partners and their willingness to partner with us!”


Unless Someone Like You A Cares a Whole Lot…

Unless someone like you cares a whole


Forbes Top 5 Most Promising Trends in Philanthropy

What a great article in Forbes listing The Top Five Most Promising Trends in Philanthropy – must! charities hits all 5 on Forbes list:

  • Impact Investing
  • Collaborative Philanthropy
  • Sharing of Data, Best Practices, Needs & Skills
  • Addressing Root Causes
  • Venture Philanthropy

1. Impact investing is seen as the most promising trend by most philanthropists, 52%, worldwide, according to the BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index 2015. While not strictly philanthropy, impact investing, which prioritizes social and environmental returns before financial returns, is exciting to many people who care about philanthropy and social change. It offers the potential of unleashing a huge base of capital to fund sustainable market solutions. By investing in companies that actively contribute to society, impact investing is contrasted with socially responsible investing, which aims to avoid certain companies, sectors or regions.

One of the most vocal evangelists of impact investing is Austrian-born U.S. technology entrepreneur, Charly Kleissner. He stresses that financial returns vary by mission: currently, for instance, it’s more difficult to make money investing in projects promoting social justice than it is investing in ecological ventures. He also points out that impact investing is not an asset class but an approach that can be carried through many different classes, such as impact bonds.

Kleissner and his wife Lisa created the KL Felicitas Foundation, which blends grant making with impact investing. The Kleissners are also tirelessly traveling the world, rallying investors to impact investing. “We are not the only ones anymore, It’s a global groundswell,” says Kleissner.They now have some 50 asset owners committed to their 100% Impact Network, which demands that investors make a commitment to put 100% of the investable assets of one of their leading invest- ment vehicles into impact investments. The total amount of money committed by the 100% Impact Network members is around $4 billion. The Kleissners’ goal for the next decade: to get from $4 billion to $400 billion.

2 & 3 Collaborative philanthropy (51%) and Sharing of data, best practices, needs and skills (51%) closely follow impact investing as promising trends. This is understandable considering the large number of organizations and the resulting fragmentation of the sector. Collaboration is one way to make it effective. “I don’t have a problem with the large number of organizations as long as they talk to each other,” says Gerry Salole, chief executive of the European Foundation Centre.

Although many philanthropists see this area as important, the ability to collaborate is an Achilles heel for many foundations, according to Salole. As autonomous and independent entities, they are not naturally designed to collaborate. Fortunately, many in the sector are beginning to see the light, as several consortia (e.g., On Disability, Historical Cities Alliance and the Accessible Cities Alliance) have begun to work together more regularly as part of the Network of European Foundations.

Many of the philanthropists Forbes Insights spoke with point to collaboration with governments as the ultimate scaling up of their activities. They are hoping to incubate innovative ideas and get state funding.

4. Addressing root causes of social problems rather than treating the symptoms of those problems, is the fourth most promising trend (48%). As an example, a philanthropist who is concerned about homelessness might provide direct services, such as contributing to shelters and food programs. In contrast, a systems change approach would look at what’s causing people to become homeless in the first place and how to impact social systems so that that does not happen.

Interestingly, the Middle East stands out by giving the highest ranking to philanthropy aimed at eliminating the root cause of a problem instead of alleviating symptoms. This may be due to the long-term and patient approach that Middle Easterners display toward philanthropy. The 2014 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index revealed that philanthropists from the Middle East are willing to wait the longest to see the results of their philanthropy.

Aaron Dorfman, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy organization, believes that many philanthropists underinvest in the highly leveraged strategies of advocacy, civic engagement and systems-change work. NCRP conducted a series of studies to help show the return on investment for funding of those strategies, and found a return of 115 to 1, which is far higher than for funding direct services.

While systems-change philanthropy is growing in popularity, Dorfman thinks that the sector is still underfunded, a state of affairs that he attributes to an inability to show direct impact. “Our research was designed to add clarity and counteract that fuzziness. But I think that still persists to some degree,” he says.

5. Venture philanthropy, the type of giving that melds philanthropy with a venture capital structure, is ranked as the fifth most promising trend worlwide (45%). It is ranked the highest in the United States (53%) where it comes in second. This type of philanthropy can be very effective in certain areas, such as highly capital intensive medical research. It is allowing Debra Miller, founder of CureDuchenne, to accelerate medical research and clinical trials, and to bring to market medication to cure a terminal illness that afflicts her son and 300,000 other boys worldwide.


$1 a Bottle for Thursday Give Back

Parrish Family Vineyard is kicking off summer with Thursday Give Back – yes, they are donating a buck a bottle Thursdays this summer’s in their tasting room.

“I’ve been looking for a special to do for must! and I thought, what better way than on Thursdays in the summer. Concerts in the Park will be in the evenings for this year, which is about our local community coming together, so why not make a day of it!” –Cecily Parrish, General Manager

A buck a bottle folks – head on over to their tasting room at 1220 Park Street in Paso Robles for Thursday Give Back!