Philanthropy is about more than just writing checks.
That has been the lesson of this year’s giving season — and a timely lesson it is.
With the economy on the mend, there are more resources available to nonprofits and more opportunities for disadvantaged residents, creative types, veterans and the homeless to find work and become self-sufficient.
Which makes volunteers even more important. After all, it is volunteers who put a human face on community outreach and who add the spark of innovation and optimism to our efforts. As Marissa Nall writes in the current edition of the Business Times, the Association of Fundraising Professionals made recognizing volunteer efforts a key theme at this year’s awards luncheon.
How many programs on the South Coast would be less exciting without the efforts of Volunteer of the Year Gerd Jordano? How much poorer would Ventura County’s institutions be without the presence of Volunteer of the Year Joanie Young?
Amid the rush to provide holiday meals, donations and other forms of relief for those truly in need, it is easy to overlook the other ways that our working professionals contribute.
In 2015, Montecito Bank & Trust employees donated more than 1,800 hours by serving on boards, offering financial expertise, fundraising and volunteering.
“While Community Dividends is the largest and most prominent part of our community support, our corporate philosophy extends well beyond this, both in terms of donations and the volunteerism of our staff,” said Montecito Bank & Trust Chairman Michael Towbes at the bank’s 13th annual Community Dividends luncheon, where 184 organizations from across the region received a total of $1 million.
Many organizations are beginning to recognize that they have considerable expertise to share. Bankers can provide financial literacy lessons to families that just need a little extra information to pass through the portal of dependency. Many nonprofits could benefit from the advice of our bankers, accountants and attorneys to operate in a more sustainable way.
At the Business Times, we support a truly broad range of nonprofits with volunteer efforts. We devote hundreds of hours to support Red Cross, United Way, outreach efforts of our major universities and programs that broadly support our business community. We also make dozens of less formal efforts, helping out with girls’ volleyball, mentoring young people and providing assistance whenever we can.
We know we are just one of hundreds of organizations in the Tri-Counties trying to do what we can to support our communities. We particularly want to applaud the efforts of organizations like Global Energy Supply in Ventura and Cannon Engineering in San Luis Obispo, which have made support for veterans a priority.
On the fast track
There are plenty of major cities in the country that can’t match what the Tri-Counties has achieved when it comes to hatching fast-growth companies.
Recently, the global accounting and consulting firm Deloitte Technology recognized five companies from the Tri-Counties on its Fast 500 list. This year’s list is headlined by a Ventura company,
The Trade Desk. It broke into the top 10 with a No. 7 ranking after posting nearly 7,000 percent revenue growth from 2011 to 2014.
Also on this year’s list was Invoca, BioIQ and Ontraport in Santa Barbara and Inogen in Goleta. Well done!