Giving along the philanthropic spectrum: Moonsail North’s philanthropic activities


Philanthropy blog (2)

By Sedora Tantraphol

There are many ways to practice acts of giving along a philanthropic spectrum–from donating knowledge, time, or money to building the capacity of grantmaking organizations–and we at Moonsail North try to make an impact at different points along the scale.

#TeamMoonsail believes that success is best experienced when shared. It’s why we’ve baked it into our business model–from annual nonprofit event sponsorships to our birthday tradition of donating to a charity of choice. It’s why Rose and I volunteer as nonprofit board members. And it’s why we’ve loved working on a soup-to-nuts branding development project for a Silicon Valley foundation, including launching its website. We’re still a young start-up, but since day 1 of our launch, we’ve been committed to investing a portion of our firm’s earnings back into high-impact organizations making a difference in the areas we care about personally.

Success shared (philanthropy)

Like all donors, we are each motivated to give for different reasons. For my part, I hail from a nonprofit professional fundraising background, so I know what it’s like to be in the trenches, stressed out and fighting to keep programs afloat and staff positions funded. When I transitioned from working inside the nonprofit world to working with the nonprofit world, it was important to me to give back in any way that I could.

Here’s a look at some recent #TeamMoonsail philanthropic efforts that we’re particularly proud of.

Annual Nonprofit Event Sponsorships and Fundraisers

Nonprofit events are a great way to build community, raise awareness of issues and the nonprofit’s impact, and allow donors and sponsors to support causes meaningful to them. This year, Moonsail North will proudly sponsor:

  • The Greater Lansing Food Bank’s Annual Empty Plate Strolling Dinner & Auction for the second year. Rose serves on the board of this Michigan-based nonprofit that distributes 7.5 million pounds of emergency food each year to individuals and families in need.  
  • The Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance’s Farm to Chopsticks event, which celebrates the organization’s Asian-farmer sourced Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) through cooking demos by local L.A. chefs. Sedora sits on the board of this California-based nonprofit that empowers healthier communities by encouraging access to healthy food, greater physical activity, and education and advocacy.

Because we believe in the work of our clients, we also contribute to fundraisers as well, such as innovative early learning school’s Educare California at Silicon Valley’s participation in #SVGives (a one-day philanthropic drive in Silicon Valley in California).

Birthday Donation Tradition

On each team member’s birthday, they get to choose a charity to donate to. Moonsail North donates $25 (or the age of the person, their choice!) to the charity in honor of that team member. It’s a great way to learn more about each other through the causes we care about, and it’s a great way to learn about issues and organizations outside of your own sphere of knowledge. Here are some of the organizations Moonsail North has donated to as part of our charity-driven birthday tradition:

This tradition is so much better than cake in the break room. That’s especially true for us, since we’re located in different states–this activity is a perfect way to celebrate while bonding as a team as well.

(I’ve also seen this work as a “Secret Santa” during the holidays–instead of pulling names and getting your coworker a gift, you each submit a nonprofit of your choice, pull someone else’s nonprofit, and donate an agreed-upon amount in honor of your coworker. It achieves the same goal of learning about your coworker and about other organizations.)

The Scott Foundation

For the past few months, we’ve been geeked to collaborate with The Scott Foundation, a private family foundation that empowers local Bay Area children to achieve their personal best, to develop its logo and branding and launch its social media and website. Helping to raise awareness in the community so eligible nonprofits can apply has been so rewarding because it represents philanthropic giving on the other end of the spectrum. Talk about impact–The Scott Foundation has donated $2 million since launching in 2014!

Tips to Start Donating with Your Team

If your company is interested in adopting an intentional giving practice, we recommend that you discuss the parameters and process as a team, and codify it by implementing a policy around your giving practice. This way, you establish a criteria and budget an agreed-upon amount to be allocated for donations. It also helps if you appoint one person to handle the processing and track donations.

What are some effective philanthropic practices you’re involved with? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!