The Art of Philanthropy

THIS IS NOT SELF CONGRATULATION! This is about being socially responsible and creative marketing. We really just lucked into this philanthropic marketing gig, but it has worked out well. I remember working seven days a week for nine months straight building Ono Sushi; Then opening the doors and working 21 days without ever looking up. thats when Big Mike showed up and asked if we would be interested in participating in Ordinary Miracles. Instead of saying what I wanted to which was your “kidding right”?  I said, “sure I’d love to”. It was the list of charities that the program was benefitting that really did it for me. That year Ordinary miracles dispersed $75,000 to about 15 worthy causes. Not bad for a bunch of bartenders and service people. I mean my tiredness and inherent cynisism about the state of the world just faded when I compared it to the people’s problems who that money benefitted. I would have had to have been a pretty cold human being to have said no. Out of pocket expenses for that event were less than $400 and some time.

The business benefits were immediately realized. let me reiterate this had nothing to do with the reason for doing it in the first place. I really don’t look that far ahead. The idea that I’ll do that because this will happen are beyond my intuitive powers. I don’t plan things out. People who had never been to the restaurant came in and said we’re here because we saw you at the Ordinary Miracles benefit. It just cemented doing the right thing.

Since those first days I have been on the board of two non profits and participated in countless charity events. I have met hundreds of wonderful people, raised thousands of dollars and exposed the restaurant in a really positive light to thousands and thousands of people. I say that charitable giving does not have to be limited to large corporations. I encourage you, especially if you are just starting out, to look around your community and find something that you can help with. No effort is to small. For the cost of some goods that you are already producing you can make a huge difference in peoples lives while promoting your business. Sean and I even said to our family and friends, in Lou of gifts please donate to this 501c for our wedding. I never asked how much they recieved I just know I didn’t need another %&#@!$? toaster.

We have some events coming up in april that I’m really excited about. We’ve been involved in DIG Development In Gardening for awhile now, but this year will be hosting the entire event @onosushi. DIG is a charity started by a friend that goes to the poorest nations and teaches people how to garden for increased nutrition and revenue. It has been recognized by, and received a grant from the UN. Then I am participating in an event that benefits the council on literacy at the Sushi theatre in San Diego on April 28th.

3 Responses to “The Art of Philanthropy”
  1. [...] Published The Art of Philanthropy. [...]

  2. rich 20 April 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Type your comment here…

  3. rich 20 April 2010 at 9:05 am #

    hey man. i randomly came across your website. it caught my eye. I’m a local acupuncturist of the anarchist persuasion. I also help run a community garden that grows medicinal herbs. you know, working to get us off the pharmaceutical smack. if you identify as an anarchist you might want to think about being really strategic with your philanthropic activity. There is a small foundation here in town that does awesome work and their politics are really good. its called the san diego foundation for change. well..i’m sure we will cross paths one of these days. cheers.


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