As Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of this global media platform, I was delighted to be introduced to Effie Santos, Chair, Centre Club Community Philanthropy Council and Nonprofit Relationship Manager, ServisFirst Bank. Effie brings to the table an unparalleled commitment to nonprofits on an everyday basis, positively impacting the Tampa Bay community. This wonderful introduction came to us via Beth Ross, Founder & Executive Director of Blanket Tampa Bay. Now grab a coffee, sit back – and enjoy our inspired Interview below ⤵︎
We’d like to hear about your professional journey before taking the reins as Chair of the Philanthropy Council.
I have been working in the banking industry for the past 25 years. Starting out with Barnett Bank in retail banking for several years, moving into business and commercial banking. Within my career, I have served on many nonprofit boards, committees and created a banking vertical working with nonprofits. This is truly where my passion lies, in supporting nonprofits and consulting them to run their organizations as a business to ensure they have sustainable funding and growth to fulfill their mission not only today but for the future. Strategically partnering companies to causes which creates impact within our community.
Tell us about the Philanthropy Council and the inspiration behind it.
The mission of the Philanthropy Committee is to increase the impact and awareness of Tampa Bay area non-profits by serving as a collaborative fundraising partner.
Who else is a Member of the Council?
We are lucky to have a solid committee with individuals that want to make an impact within our community. Our Committee members, which are also members of the Centre Club are:
- Alan Gorlick
- Beth Socoski
- Don Reising
- Ken Young
- Karen Koch
- Karla Mastracchio
- Kristen Dahlquist
- Lynette Reynolds
- Mark Coyle
- Sara MacQueen
- Tommy Pate
Tell us about the Helping Hands Happy Hour (e.g. purpose, participants, etc.).
HHHH is a monthly event, last Tuesday of each month from 5:30pm-7: 00 pm. The Centre Club provides an in-kind donation of the venue, heavy appetizers and a drink for each attendee. There is a $20 minimum donation for each attendee and 100% of those funds are directed to the nonprofit being hosted that month. This is such a great opportunity for the nonprofit beneficiary to share their mission, vision and make their “ask” in a beautiful venue, while guests are networking and learning more about our community.
This is a collaboration between our monthly nonprofit beneficiary and the Centre Club to bring awareness and invite guests to each HHHH. Inviting guests to HHHH is an effort between the Philanthropy Council, the Centre Club reaching out to their Members and the Board of Directors at the Club. The nonprofit also takes an opportunity to invite their Board Members, Ambassadors, and Donors. As we work all together for a success HHHH there is typically 75-100 attendees at each one.
What’s a typical day for you in your role as Chair?
As I meet with clients, prospects and business partners each day, I keep philanthropy top of mind. I share and educate in what we are doing, why we are doing and inviting them to connect.
Any noteworthy surprises or “A-ha” moments so far?
So many companies and individuals want to be connected and do good within our community and so many just do not know how to start. HHHH is a powerful way to connect companies and individuals to causes.
What about the “social impact” of what you do as Nonprofit Relationship Manager and as Council Chair?
My years of experience in this space, on the company side and on the cause side has been able to connect these two sectors…strategically and meaningfully…this cause social impact.
What’s the next big thing/on the horizon for the Council?
Continue to grow, share and root in great causes. Giving them a venue, audience and extra voice to share their mission and needs.
As a business professional, what’s non-negotiable for you?
Integrity and authenticity.
How can we all learn more about and/or participate in the Council and/or Council Events?