In February 2018, one of the nonprofits we fund was having their annual fundraiser where Dak Prescott and Jason Witten (two notable Dallas Cowboys) were the guest speakers.

I thought attending this gala would be a great opportunity for the Junior Board to represent the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation while being able to meet two local celebrities. Unfortunately,  the fundraising gala had been cancelled.

That left us with a disappointed Junior Board and an open Saturday night.

That is when I came up with the idea of a Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation “Meet and Greet.”

All the Executive Directors in the Laredo community are relatively familiar with us, however, few Board Members have the opportunity to engage with us regularly.  We shake the hands of staff members during site visits, but never get the chance to really get to know them. The Junior Board has been doing collaborative grantmaking for two years, but the community didn’t know them very well. This would be the perfect opening to let the world of philanthropy in Laredo gather on a larger scale.

Approximately 75 people from numerous nonprofits we fund came to our “Meet and Greet.”  Several had discussions and began collaborating. The event was scheduled from 6-8 pm, but people didn’t start to disperse until after 10 pm.

I heard so many stories about my great aunt and great uncle from those who knew them when they were alive.  It was a surreal moment because the younger generations were taking a big step to assure the community that we are as invested in it as they are.  They got to know us in a casual, open setting, rather than in a meeting, closed within four walls.  It was as if the night was meant to be.

Read the full article about next generation philanthropists by Ana Gonzales at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.