MEF and Economic Development
Since coming onboard as the CEO of Marin Economic Forum, I’ve had a number of people ask me what is meant by “economic development.” Many view it as an abstract concept. Others see it as being strictly pro-business without regard to workers, the community or the environment. Historically speaking, economic development was based around creating and/or retaining jobs, and growing the tax base and income of a region, which in turn would positively benefit the well-being of the region.
But over the past decade, the practice of economic development has expanded beyond this location and firm-based approach to encompass the development of human capital, the arts, and the environment. Human capital can be defined as those sets of skills, knowledge and value that are contributed by the workforce and populace in the community. In this way, economic development organizations are working closer with the communities in which they operate to highlight and promote the “quality of life” that will entice not only employers, but also showcase the skills and talents of the local workforce.
This is why Marin Economic Form works with its stakeholders to promote the “economic vitality” of Marin. Whether you are an employer, an entrepreneur, an employee, a student or a citizen in Marin, we want to be of assistance to you. We can do this in several ways. Marin Economic Forum’s Board of Directors represents the regions and industries and organizations of Marin, and are a great source for information. MEF is a resource for the County, municipalities and communities of Marin to help their small and medium size businesses take advantage of available federal, state, local and nonprofit economic development resources. MEF can help Marin businesses connect with programs offered through the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz). MEF can articulate how public policy issues affect and impact the business community in Marin, and how proposed business projects will affect the community, its people and its environment.
As the primary economic vitality organization in Marin, MEF serves as the face of economic development to the North Bay, the San Francisco Bay area, and beyond. We work to educate Bay Area business leaders, organizations and the media of Marin’s successes. By highlighting the wonderful lifestyle and communities of Marin, tied with the lower cost of doing business compared to other San Francisco Bay areas, MEF is working to attract new businesses to Marin.
The Marin Economic Forum is here to be your resource. Your resource for information, for analysis, and for connections both inside Marin, and across the region and state.
Philanthropic Arm of Marin Economic Forum:
Supporting our Communities Non Profit Organizations
By Nina H. Gardner
CORE President, Partner Filice Insurance, and Marin Economic Forum Board Member
100MARIN is Marin County’s premier giving circle. Founded in 2015 by members of a local professional group, CORE, the group’s mission is to exponentially expand the giving power of its members in order to benefit local non-profits. To date, 100MARIN has given away over $60K to deserving Marin County non-profits, and is now the official philanthropic outreach arm of the Marin Economic Forum.
100MARIN was founded to make impact giving accessible to a large swath of the community, thus helping to further connect the business and non-profit communities in Marin. One of the founder’s wives, Erin Leidy, suggested bringing the giving circle model to Marin, having heard of similar groups in other counties. However, the members of CORE put their own spin on the format, making it a not only a powerful way to support local charities, but a fun party as well.
The format is simple: 100+ people convene, each of whom has committed to donate $100. Five non-profit organizations each give 4-minute presentations during which they share their mission, vision, need, and impact in Marin. All attendees are then asked to vote for their favorite presentation, at which point the votes are tallied, and the winner of the pot of $100 donations is announced. CORE sponsors the party, so that 100% of attendees’ donations go directly to the winning non-profit.
The first party was held in January ’15, and was an instant success, raising over $20,000 for the non-profit winner, North Bay Children’s Center. In addition, 100MARIN Charter Member, Melissa Prandi, sponsored $1,000 consolation prizes for the 4 runners-up. Both North Bay Business Journal and MarinScope featured 100MARIN in follow-up pieces.
The partnership with Marin Economic Forum was announced at the group’s second event (Summer ’15), where over $40,000 was raised for a combination of the winner and the runners-up. The IJ and Marin Magazine both wrote articles about the second party, and more than $40,000 were donated.
100MARIN’s goal is engage and inspire as many people as possible in crowd-sourced philanthropy while benefiting the many deserving non-profits in Marin County.
100MARIN’s next event takes place on Thursday, March 10, 2016, 6:00pm—8:00PM at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato. Please visit: www.100MARIN.org to register.
The presenting non-profits are as follow:
||Marin Bicycle Coalition
||Marin County School Volunteers
Guests mingle before and after the presentations while enjoying delicious fare from Il Davide Cucina Italiana, along with wines from several boutique producers.
It’s a wonderful evening of Food, Wine, and Philanthropy. We hope you will join us!