Mary Fischer-Nassib, CAP®
Co-Founder and President Sow Good Now
PGCGP member since 2021
Tell us about the work of Sow Good Now.
Founded in July of 2018, Sow Good Now utilizes organized youth sporting activities as a platform for philanthropic education and inspiration, as we partner with sports teams and other nonprofits to increase community collaboration and intentional giving. Sow Good Now aligns each team of athletes with a youth group to teach the fundamentals of philanthropy and engage them in active volunteerism and participatory grantmaking. This is done through Giveback clinics where the athletes act as coaches and mentors spreading the joys of giving their time, talent, and treasure. The outcome is the mentors encourage the next generation of philanthropists at their rudimentary levels.
Roughly 45 million children participate in sports in the U.S. annually and there are less than 500 youth philanthropy programs nationwide. By bringing diverse community members together through the sports they love, and by integrating a spirit of generosity with active volunteerism and participatory grantmaking, a new and sustainable ecosystem of philanthropic giving can be established. Sow Good Now’s model transforms the individual athlete by inspiring passion, providing philanthropic education, and developing leadership skills. Those who donate to the organization are collectively lifting youth voices and applying innovation to address social issues for a better tomorrow.
What responsibilities do you have in your role?
As the co-founder and president of a start-up impact organization, I wear a lot of hats. I am a program director, cheerleader, recruiter, educator, student, researcher, coach, fundraiser, communication specialist, evangelist, and operations specialist. However, my main responsibility is to empower young athletes to share their gifts with others in meaningful ways and grow philanthropy through the sports we love.
What part of your role is most enjoyable?
It thrills me when young people experience an “aha moment” and realize how powerful they are, as they start to fully recognize their potential to make a positive impact on the world. I am moved when our work changes the trajectory of an athlete’s life and the focus shifts from achievement to service. I am inspired when teams come together and collectively share their time, talent, treasures, and ties with others. Their joy inspires our volunteers to continue to achieve our mission.
What is the most impactful gift your organization has received?
At Sow Good Now, we believe every gift is impactful. In effective philanthropy, we need to work as a team, and we believe that the person who holds the key to the gym is equally as important as the person who builds it. Without the whole community’s commitment to service and generosity, we cannot maximize the good that is possible.
What are donors saying about why they choose to support your organization?
When we first started in 2018 and took to the fields, courts, and gyms to teach philanthropy, many donors and volunteers commented that the word “philanthropy” was too hard to use with young players. They suggested we replace it with “community service.” We held fast to our conviction that philanthropy is the love of mankind and that if that was too difficult for them, then maybe they were in the wrong place. Now we commonly hear comments such as “we need more philanthropy!”
How do planned gifts make a difference to your organization?
Since we are a fairly new entity, we are still building our efforts in integrating planned gifts into our fundraising, but we expect them to become a big part of our organization. By educating younger people in philanthropy, we hope to raise generations of givers who have ample time to learn about and understand the tools available to leaving a legacy. They will be better prepared to talk to their families, advisors, and planners about charitable strategies in the future.
How do you benefit from PGCGP membership?
The PGCGP membership provides the Sow Good Now leadership team with a great network of giving experts and a community of diverse philanthropists. We have met so many great people with whom I can share ideas and issues as they arise.
Learn more about Sow Good Now by visiting sowgoodnow.org.