Mixing and matching local charities and Henderson businesses

Henderson Chamber event fosters philanthropic connections

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Steve Marcus

Volunteers work in the community kitchen at Three Square food bank’s north campus in March. Three Square was among the 30 organizations represented at a Henderson Chamber of Commerce mixer Tuesday to match businesses with charities.

Thu, Oct 27, 2016 (2 a.m.)

An early episode of Aaron Sorkin’s short-lived “Sports Night” features a wealthy sportscaster agonizing over finding the right charity to help when his producer shuts down the debate.

“Get in the game,” she admonishes, teaching him that picking the perfect charity is not as important as simply helping anyone in need.

Henderson business owners looking to get in the game joined charitable organizations from throughout the valley at a networking event Tuesday night at the Eastside Cannery. The Henderson Chamber of Commerce put together the mixer to connect charities in need with business owners seeking to make a bigger impact in giving, especially as the holiday season nears.

“I don’t know that there’s often a good congregating point for our 501(c)3’s to get their message out,” Henderson Chamber President and CEO Scott Muelrath said.

Nevada sits in the middle of the pack in terms of charitable giving, ranking 28th in the nation according to a 2015 study by WalletHub. The same study painted two different pictures of the state with regard to charity.

Nevada placed in the bottom five states in volunteer rate, people who donate time, people who donate money and charities per capita. From 2006 to 2012, however, the state experienced the highest growth in the rate of charitable giving anywhere in the nation.

“Our member businesses are often looking for nonprofit organizations that they can support at the holidays and throughout the year,” Muelrath said. “And as the nonprofit segment is one of the largest of our membership, this event made perfect sense to us to host.”

Thirty local charities attended the event and educated local business owners about opportunities to help that go beyond the usual donations. For Henderson-based HopeLink, donated professional services such as legal counseling are needed to help the charity reduce overhead costs.

“It’s more than just writing a check,” said Aaron Sheets, director of client services for HopeLink of Southern Nevada.

Three Square promoted not only its traditional volunteer and donation opportunities, but a new revenue stream as well. The food bank recently launched Succeed & Feed, a program which teaches communication styles and collaboration that is targeted to businesses searching for team-building activities.

“There are so many ways to get involved with our mission,” said Anders Hansen, leadership and team building coordinator for Three Square.

Charity representatives stressed that businesses not in a position to give financially could still be of great assistance by organizing team volunteer activities and supply donation drives.

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