Donor Spotlight: John Rogers


John Rogers, taking the plunge for TNDC.

With a level head for business and a philanthropist’s heart, John Rogers was destined to take the plunge as “Tossee” at TNDC’s annual pool party.

“It’s like a dunking booth on steroids!” he reports. The Pool Toss is a high quality, fun event, which lends itself well to peoples’ desire to help out. John wanted to challenge himself by asking friends to support TNDC financially and was ambitious about making the most of his moment in the spotlight. “Being center stage during the auction was a little nerve-wracking, but you take a deep breath, get on stage, and do it. Afterwards, you feel great.”

Now in its 21st year, this “Only-in-San-Francisco” pool party benefits TNDC’s Tenderloin After-School Program and the children and families who call TNDC home. Every year, TNDC invites local known-name celebs from the arts, entertainment and business sectors, local sports teams, socialites, and civic leaders to help raise both funds and awareness by being a Celebrity “Tossee” at the event.

Being involved as a fundraising Board member for six years, the Pool Toss provided the perfect opportunity for John to push himself to help in a big way. Thanks to generous friends and his own ambition, John raised a whopping $25,000 for his leap into the Toss of Fame.

Jumping in the pool at the Phoenix Hotel was a natural extension of his longtime belief in TNDC. “I’ve known Don Falk for 25 years, and he is one of the most capable executives I have ever worked with.” A mutual friend, Cort Gross, helped John reconnect with Don and TNDC just as Cort was concluding his term on the TNDC Board.

During John’s tenure, TNDC has grown from three neighborhoods to having more of a city-wide presence, now housing 3,200 low-income San Franciscans. Serving one of the most densely populated and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the country, TNDC provides one of the few places left in San Francisco where people who earn a modest means can afford to live.

“TNDC is unique. It is delivering real solutions to poverty, at scale. Lots of non-profits organizations talk about that, but TNDC is delivering—serving thousands of families. They are such a well-run organization and their model of building housing, managing properties, and providing social services is the right one to address the needs of low-income neighborhoods. It’s rewarding for me to be part of such a terrific organization.”

John is combining the two sides of his background – the business side, as well as his deep community affiliations – as a Partner at Bridges Ventures, a sustainable growth fund focused on making investments in growing companies that generate both commercial returns and social impact. John is also currently pursuing a doctorate of education at University of Pennsylvania.

John plans to remain involved with TNDC as a donor and advisor. “I am impressed with how TNDC has weathered the recession and even grown. It is a testament to TNDC and to how much the community and donors respect the organization.”

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