New map helps Lake Tahoe donors find meaningful ways to give (Opinion) |

New map helps Lake Tahoe donors find meaningful ways to give (Opinion)

Megan Weiss
Guest column

Since 2005, in partnership with our local paper, the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation has provided the community with a wish list for non-profit organizations throughout the Tahoe Basin.

This year, we’ve gone a step further and created a map that helps you gather in-depth information on more than 100 charitable organizations in our region, allowing donors to make their giving decisions more meaningful.

The Service Network Map, located on our website, provides information on each organization’s mission, the number of people served annually, and contact information for donors to directly connect with the organizations they are passionate about.

The map is searchable by focus area, geographic area, and type of charitable organization, giving donors the chance to learn about new organizations in their interest areas, along with organizations that may be working together to achieve their goals.

As we thought about ways to help our local community members with their year-end giving, we started a conversation about why people give.

A local resident, donor and volunteer, shared her reasons for giving with us.

“Isn’t giving of any kind, whether it’s time or money, a gift rooted from gratitude? We are grateful that we have something to offer someone else. We are grateful that we are so lucky that we can help others. We are grateful that we have been so fortunate to receive gifts from others when we have needed it most. Our giving is a return-in kind of past gifts which we have received.

“As a young Girl Scout, I suppose I was taught to be considerate and serve others at all times. But it wasn’t until I was asked to be a volunteer at the management level when I was a young mother and career person, that I truly experienced the benefits of giving. Any giving of my time or money, genuinely became gifts back to me. I was grateful for the women mentors who guided me and taught me how a truly collaborative organization works. I was grateful that young girls in cities would have outdoor experiences due to my fundraising efforts.

I was grateful for the Girl Scout code of ethics – the Scout Law and Promise, influencing every girl and adult and bringing new volunteers to the organization. This is why, for 30 years, I have been volunteering in various organizations and grateful to give back to my community as long as I am able.”

Whether you are able to give money or time this holiday season, know that your gift will make a difference in someone’s life. We want to know why you give, give back, or volunteer time in your community.

Inspire others by sharing your philanthropic stories with us today on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Here are more comments we received.

“I think it is important to give back to our community because they do so much for us,” said a North Lake Tahoe SOS Outreach program participant.

“It is like a thank you to the community, and saying thank you is important to me, and is even better when I can say thank you with my actions,” said a South Lake Tahoe SOS Outreach program participant.

Megan Weiss is the Director of Programs and Services at the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation and can be reached at

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