Makena Capital Management — Making Charitable Gifts Go Further
October 13, 2021Jim Oswald

Monthly giving is a win-win for both the corporate sector and nonprofits like Meals on Wheels San Francisco.

Corporate giving has significantly changed within the past year as COVID-weary organizations nurse their economic wounds after more than 18 months of being on the pandemic battlefield. Now, instead of giving philanthropically to popular causes in hopes of recognition and ticking off to-do checkboxes, companies like Makena Capital Management are digging deeper to look for meaningful ways to make their charitable gifts go further while connecting their values with the missions of nonprofits that serve vulnerable communities during a time of need.

Dennis Milosky is the Director of Operations for Makena Capital Management which is headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park about 30 miles south of San Francisco. Makena Capital is a global investment firm that helps grow multigenerational capital. In addition to its core business, Makena operates an advisory board (of which Dennis sits) that guides the company’s direct giving practice.

“Our mission is to support organizations that are supporting people in areas where we work and where we live in the community,” Dennis explained via phone. “You [Meals on Wheels] serve a huge need in San Francisco, to a population that can be often overlooked because many of them are shut-in and don’t have the ability to get out and access other services that are available.”

With approximately 75 people on staff, about 30 percent of Makena’s workforce lives in San Francisco. In 2020, Makena chose Meals on Wheels San Francisco, among other charities, for its philanthropic giving – a natural connection and choice for employees that live in the City as well as for Dennis, who lived here in the 80s and was already familiar with Meals on Wheels through a friend who delivered meals weekly to homebound seniors in need.

“I always admired the work that my friends were doing at Meals on Wheels because I realized how many people there are in the City that are unable to get out and really need that kind of home delivery service,” Dennis said.

Monthly donations help Meals on Wheels San Francisco immensely by providing consistent and steady revenue, and in turn, peace of mind for food-insecure seniors who rely on home-delivered meals and other services daily. Makena has stepped up to the plate and has come through for older adults in need by providing steady and consistent financial support. Dennis could not be happier.

“We were certainly aware of the additional impact on seniors that COVID had and their inability to get out to some of the other sources that they had been used to getting their food. So, we just felt like it was a really good fit for us and for the work Meals on Wheels San Francisco does every day.”

In the past, Makena’s corporate giving focus was targeted towards organizations that were personally recommended by employees. But when the pandemic hit, Makena’s management knew they had to do more to help other organizations that were hit hard economically because of the crisis and whose services for people in need grew tremendously. During the height of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels saw a 300% spike in meal requests from elderly San Franciscans.

“We really decided to take the dollars that we had and focus on those things that we consider immediate needs,” Dennis explained. “Food, shelter, housing, those kinds of social services that could make the most direct impact immediately is where we decided to focus our giving dollars.”

Makena Capital also offers an employee matching program that gives staff an opportunity to choose the charities that mean the most to them. Makena is proud to match those contributions which diversify the company’s philanthropic giving portfolio even further.

Monthly giving is a win-win for both the corporate sector and organizations like Meals on Wheels San Francisco. It is a fantastic way for businesses to be able to make a large gift over time without impacting their bottom line and for the nonprofit to be able to make prudent budget forecasting and planning that advances its operations and community initiatives for the future.

Dennis says Makena staff are also looking forward to volunteering again — getting out of the house and office as the pandemic restrictions begin to lift. Recently, a group of Makena employees helped distribute food for Second Harvest Food Bank.

In addition to Meals on Wheels San Francisco, Makena Capital Management supports Samaritan House, Second Harvest Food Bank, and La Casa de las Madres among other charitable organizations whose missions are born in serving and enriching the lives of others.

To learn more about Corporate Engagement opportunities with Meals on Wheels San Francisco – please contact: David Miranda:

To become a monthly donor, please visit:

Did You Know?

  • In 2020, Meals on Wheels San Francisco prepared and delivered 2.4 million meals to more than 5,000 older San Franciscans in need.
  • It’s a new era in corporate giving – San Francisco Business Times, July 30, 2021

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