By John Guastaferro, CFRE
OC AiP featured Mark Thomas as the speaker at our lunchtime program at the Center Club on February 25, 2018. Mark shared wisdom from his 33 years of developing a client-base at KPMG and important stories of working numerous top-tier clients. The program was sponsored by Brown & Streza, LLC.
Mark framed his message around three categories: People and places; work and mission; and complexity.
People and Places
Mark Thomas’ journey has led him to work with such notable clients as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The J. Paul Getty Trust, and World Vision International. Thomas described conversations that stemmed from the boardroom to the public. These were more than just clients; they were partners. In this respect, relationships are key in truly understanding the donor intention, the compelling need at hand, and the strategic, and often creative, solution.
Work and Mission
Thomas shared extensively of his interactions with Bill Gates, particularly in how work and mission come together. For example, Gates insured donated dollars to give donors the guarantee that donations would be directed and allocated as intended. On a personal level, Thomas also shared how he connected his own family to mission by directly volunteering to help those in poverty.
Thomas also shared some of the more complex and creative solutions to address causes. Examples include:
“The beauty of philanthropy is its mind-blowing diversity.”
– Bill Gates