The Dickson Community Fund is growing its involvement to continue giving back in Reno and supporting the community we love. To accomplish this, we’ve expanded our efforts— both internally and externally—with new fundraising and donation incentives. We couldn’t be more excited to share them with you, and hopefully, we can address the community’s greatest needs together. 

As a proud partner of the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, the Dickson Community Fund donates to community members and organizations in need. I sat down with Nancy Fennell, our CEO, and Chris Galli, our Vice President of Relocation who is also spearheading our efforts in this arena. We discussed some of our most recent accomplishments, what’s next, and what issues are at the center of our attention. 

Community Leaders Talk About Giving Back In Reno and Addressing Important Issues  

In what ways has the community fund helped Northern Nevada in the last few months? 

  • Chris says: We’re constantly searching for innovative ways to serve and support our community. The COVID-19 pandemic brought light to many of the community’s greatest needs and helped us determine where deficiencies were. With students and children in mind, the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows was our first recipient and has received $5,000 in donations thus far. We also donated $1,000 to the Student Emergency Fund for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno, to help students buy textbooks or meet basic needs for food and living expenses during a challenging time.
  • Nancy says: This has been a crucial year for the Dickson Community Fund. After the shutdown, we wanted to help provide resources and funds to organizations that ensure the safety of our youth. The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, the Student Emergency Fund, and Camp Curiosity make a considerable difference in bolstering student involvement. 

What are you looking forward to accomplishing next?

  • Chris says: Right now, we’re focused on fundraising and growing our community fund advisory board. Dickson is exceptionally team-oriented, so we want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to get involved. The advisory committee will review requests and make recommendations to Dickson leadership on where the funds can benefit the community best. It will also encourage agents to donate some of the proceeds of each closing. This should generate more funds for future philanthropic endeavors. We plan on accomplishing this in three different phases. First, our efforts will be directed internally toward educating our agents. Secondly, we’d like to promote the community fund to our clients and the public. Then, we’d like to create a landing page to make the donation process more accessible.
  • Nancy says: Some of our partner companies are also helping to raise awareness. For example, our partner Synergy Home Mortgage has raised $500 toward the community fund so far. 

What are the top five issues you’d like to address this year? 

  • Nancy says: When it comes to giving back in Reno, we’re looking for something universal. The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada has helped us pinpoint some of the top issues in the community. It’s crucial to have these discussions to decide how we can make a difference together. We are active members of our community, and if there is a need, we want to address it. Every great city has a thriving arts community, and Reno is on the international stage. However, we need more funding for education. Everything is interconnected. The initiatives set forth by the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada also provide excellent ideas on how to give back and move forward. As a collaborative process, we help bring people together to address problems and achieve real solutions. We hope to learn more about the different quality of life issues people experience in our community.
  • Chris says: Homelessness and affordable housing are significant concerns right now. Education is also underfunded in our area, so I’d like to see that change. Reno has a thriving art scene, which is one reason why people and businesses are choosing to move here. However, the pandemic impacted the arts particularly hard. I believe art is a crucial part of our community, culture, and economy.

Top Five Community Issues

  1. Homelessness and affordable housing

  2. Education

  3. Arts

  4. Community Foundation of Northern Nevada Initiatives

  5. Quality of life issues

What about the Dickson Community Fund makes you most proud?

  • Chris says: I’m proud of our agent involvement. Many of our real estate agents are heavily involved with various community organizations and care about making a difference. We all have individual interests and life projects, but at the end of the day, we work together to create a significant impact. Dickson Realty talks the talk and walks the walk. We’re truly one big family.
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