Board members of non-profits are expected to contribute their smarts and their money and show up to their fundraisers. That is part of the deal. So this week we trekked up to Sonoma to attend the gala for Kids Scoop News. They create a monthly newsletter to distribute to schools that local businesses support, full of great activities and interesting articles to encourage kids in 2-4 grades to read at or above grade level.

When my dear friend, entrepreneur and Kids Scoop News Founder Vicki Whiting got up to speak, she quoted a really scary statistic: only 15% of Sonoma Valley 2nd graders are reading at grade level. She continued: if kids don’t learn to read, they drop out of school early and the type of jobs open to them are not high paying. 60% of the incarcerated are illiterate.

Her presentation struck a chord. Plus, talking to anyone at this event, you could hear their love of reading in the conversation about why they supported Kids Scoop News.

So, how does Sonoma support Kids Scoop News? Each table was hosted by a winery. We sat at the Sangiacomo table and they poured their wines for the 10 of us. We were next to the Sebastiani table, and Blue Farm was on the other side. We had 2 other non-profits at our table and I began to see the web of business and community leaders that were joining together to support each other. This would be like all the studios in LA hosting tables. or the food manufacturers. Or, the tech companies in Silicon valley, or the banks in New York City. It was clear that this was standard practice for competitors to be in the same room supporting their community.

This is a step beyond saying in Vistage that we will build better communities through building better businesses. It puts consistent implementation into practice through local non-profits beyond a one day beach cleanup, or a volunteer day at the local foodbank. So if there is a charity that lights you up a little bit, this week think of a way to connect your organization with them. It is good for business!


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