David Landis, trusty LCI president here.
Today’s headline is a reference to an upcoming San Francisco charity fundraiser — and one of my annual favorites. It’s the “Celebrity Pool Toss,” which takes place October 5 for the benefit of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC). TNDC is an organization which raises money so children and families can afford to live in the increasingly expensive City that is San Francisco.
Not only is TNDC one of the region’s most worthwhile charities, but the work they do is admirable: it’s not a handout to the less fortunate. Rather, they fundraise to buy buildings and rent them out to hard-working families at below-market rates. Those who live in these buildings must be dedicated, have jobs, pay their rent on time, budget appropriately and more. The model works and it insures that people take responsibility but receive a little help along the way. Read more here: www.tndc.org.
TNDC’s biggest fundraiser was the brainchild of a San Francisco businessman I’ve long admired (but alas never met), Chip Conley. Chip is the owner of the Joie de Vivre hotel chain. One of his first hotels, The Phoenix, is located in the Tenderloin. It has become a major stop for all sorts of celebrities visiting San Francisco. And smack dab in the middle of the hotel’s courtyard is its famous pool with an artsy design – where local “celebrities” (like yours truly – who knew I was a celebrity?) are thrown in the pool once a year for TNDC. What could be better? Both your friends and your enemies want to see you dunked!
It occurred to me while thinking about this fundraiser how important it is to be involved in one’s own community – and how that is also good for business. Not only is it altruistic, but one connects with the community in a different way when one is truly doing something for someone else. Needless to say, numerous introductions ensue. We have a client now who served with me on a Board 10 years ago – the client remembered our agency and now we’re working together. When LCI did pro-bono work for the renovation of Union Square (San Francisco’s major shopping district), it resulted in a major retailer knocking on our door.
Getting involved is easier than ever. President Obama has taken up the mantle of volunteerism and brought it together with 21st century technology – so more and more people can get involved in their communities. I think that’s admirable. Check it out here: www.allforgood.org.
I’m not suggesting – ever – that the reason one should be involved in the community is for business connections; however, it is definitely a side benefit. Most importantly, one should do it because it’s the right thing to do.
Oh, and if you want to support a great cause, just click here and let them know you’d like to see David Landis dunked: www.tndc.org.
Here are some other great charities in the Bay Area (and some just happen to be LCI clients):
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation
San Francisco Symphony
California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design
American Craft Council
Planned Parenthood Golden Gate
Project Open Hand (delivering meals to people with critical illnesses)
San Francisco’s modern dance company
Coral Reef Alliance
Saving the world’s coral reefs
Blind Babies Foundation