PEERS Network

Mentoring organization guides nonprofits to new heights

Posted on August 22, 2019

With great success comes great power — the power to help others. For ten years, PEERS Network has been a venerable group of highly successful local businesspeople. They’re drawn together with a shared mission of empowering others through mentoring, education, and financial support. Itself a nonprofit, the group provides members with invaluable peer-to-peer mentoring, while also working throughout the year to identify worthy local charities that will benefit from PEERS’ backing.

The group’s current president, Tim Callan, first joined four years ago with encouragement from his brother, Trevor, who co-founded PEERS Network in 2009. Though his career is demanding — Tim is co-founder and managing partner at wealth management firm Callan Capital — he says he was compelled to make a difference outside the workplace. “I think it’s important that people focus on giving back to the community that’s made us all successful,” says Tim. “It’s a community that’s done right by me and everybody else in the organization. I think it’s appropriate that we spend time to give back to the same community that helped us thrive. That’s how I look at it.”

The roughly 15 members meet six times a year, when they invite area nonprofit leaders to speak to the membership about their organization. In turn, the PEERS members evaluate the nonprofits to determine who might most benefit from their assistance. If selected, the organization receives not only mentoring, but a full scholarship for the Harvard nonprofit management certificate for its director and, most significantly, it is named the primary beneficiary of the PEERS Network’s annual gala. To date, the organization has raised more than $1 million for its charitable partners.

Humble Design San Diego

On September 21, the PEERS Network will host its tenth annual gala, Casino Royale. The event will take place at a spectacular $25 million blufftop home in Point Loma. Its beneficiary is a new one on the local charitable landscape: Humble Design San Diego. Based in National City (national headquarters is in Saginaw, Michigan), the nonprofit uses donated household goods to help furnish homes for people emerging from homelessness. With an estimated annual cost of $250,000 to furnish 50 homes in San Diego, Humble Design director Estee Alias says PEERS Network’s partnership will help them to reach that 50-home annual goal and facilitate their work to reduce homelessness in our community. “We’re really grateful at Humble Design San Diego to be chosen as the PEERS beneficiary,” says Alias. “We are new to the community, so to see this outpouring of support really means the world to us.”

The evening benefit will feature casino gaming, food, entertainment, a live auction, and a presentation from Humble Design. However, the format eschews the traditional sit-down dinner in favor of a more casual, social environment. This encourages guests to just relax and have a great time. This, says Tim, also makes for a high rate of return attendance. As he says, “We want to balance the fundraising with the fun.” peersnetwork.org, humbledesign.org/sandiego   Deanna Murphy