SAN FRANCISCO (May 4, 2018) — More than 1,000 people joined together for Tipping Point Community’s 12th annual Benefit last night, raising a total of more than $15 million, to support organizations fighting poverty in the Bay Area. The event, that explored connection through a theme of The Common Thread, is the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest in the fight against poverty.
Tipping Point’s Board of Directors funds 100 percent of the organization’s operating costs, so every dollar raised goes directly to the most effective non-profits working to provide support around early childhood development, education, housing, and employment.
Sam Cobbs, Tipping Point’s recently-hired Chief Program Officer, kicked the night off reflecting on the community’s commitment to creating a more equitable Bay Area. “You’re here because despite what you see on the streets every day and despite a feeling that these challenges are overwhelming — you believe, like I do, that we can’t give up.”
The evening featured powerful stories of Tipping Point grantees and Board members:
· Zak Frenet described the key role of human connection, crediting Tipping Point grantee, Larkin Street Youth Services, in helping him get off the streets. Today, Frenet has a full-time job with a surveying company and serves on the San Francisco Youth Commission. “My life experiences are helping me to make a real impact on the lives of young people,” Frenet said.
· Brittney Venter, a client of Tipping Point grantee, SF State Guardian Scholars Program, told her story of the loving and essential support she received from the program that helped her get through college. “I think of what’s possible if we all did more for our community. If we got to know one another, and took care of each other. Together, we could give everyone a second life.” Today, she is a social worker, helping others with similar backgrounds to her own.
· Guests were also treated to a film detailing the life of Macarthur Fellow Lateefah Simon, a Tipping Point Board Member and President of the Akonadi Foundation. As a young parent, Simon was supported by Tipping Point granteeHomeless Prenatal Program, over two decades ago after having her first child and struggling to make ends meet in the region. “I understand the fragility of living in the Bay Area…I believe in people having a community that’s going to support you in your darkest moment and cheer for you in your most proud. That’s what we’re talking about Tipping Point. To make sure folks have exactly what they deserve.”
Daniel Lurie, Tipping Point’s CEO + Founder, offered a reminder of what’s possible when the Bay Area gathers its greatest resources for the benefit of those most in need.
Lurie noted Tipping Point’s capacity to quickly raise $33 million in relief funds after the North Bay fires last fall. “The fires were a reminder of the power in this room to respond in a time of need,” he said. “Natural disasters have that power. But, there is a human made disaster happening here in the Bay Area. We must call what we witness every day what it is… a crisis.”
The program was capped off by Tipping Point Board Chair, Chris James, who announced the 1 Year — 1,000 Homes Pledge, a challenge to mayoral candidates to secure 1,000 units of housing for people who are homeless in San Francisco within their first year in office. Five of the leading candidates have signed the pledge. “Solutions to poverty are complex, but one thing is simple — everyone needs a safe and stable home,” said James. “As part of Tipping Point’s goal of reducing chronic homelessness, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the City to turn this pledge into action.
San Francisco landmarks including City Hall, Coit Tower and the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport were all lit in green — the color of Tipping Point’s logo — in honor of the evening of generosity.
The auction, led by Lydia Fenet of Christie’s, included a VIP suite for the College Football Playoff Championship held in 2019 at Levi’s Stadium. A second auction package featured a private behind-the-scenes tour at video game heavyweight Electronic Arts’ studio in Vancouver. All four guests will create their own digital avatars and one guest’s avatar will make an appearance in an upcoming EA game.
The event was co-chaired by Shipley and Tony Salewski, Lateefah Simon, Charlotte and Alan Waxman, and Angelique and Andrew Wilson.
More than 100 volunteers donated their time to help facilitate the auction and fundraising moment. Last night’s Benefit was one of the first in the country to use cryptocurrency as a payment method for fundraising at the event.
The evening’s decor was created by renowned event designer, Stanlee Gatti. The Benefit menu was created by acclaimed chef, Tyler Florence, and was catered by Paula LeDuc with themed cocktails by Rye, and beer from the San Francisco Brewing Company.
To learn more about Tipping Point, visit www.tippingpoint.org.
About Tipping Point Community
Tipping Point Community works to break the cycle of poverty for individuals and families in the Bay Area. Since 2005, Tipping Point has raised over $200 million to support the 1.3 million people in the Bay Area who are too poor to meet their basic needs. We leverage the resources and expertise of our community to invest in solutions that prevent poverty: a nurturing early childhood, strong education, gainful employment, and secure housing. We are laser focused on metrics and hold our partners and ourselves accountable for results. Our Board covers 100% of our overhead, so every dollar donated goes where it’s needed most. To learn more, visit www.tippingpoint.org.