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Becoming a sponsor of an event should be like joining the board of a company. As a director of a company, you are partly responsible for the success of that company.

Three years ago, Silvergate Bank became the title sponsor of the UCSD Cancer Center Luau & Longboard Invitational, an event we had been involved with for several years. We realized that we had access to a large number of people that might also want to help the luau raise money for cancer research.

We worked to devise a system where our clients, partners and friends could make donations to the Luau through our Web site. We also provided a link to the luau Web site so that our customers could learn more.

We did the same thing for Windansea Surf Club's Kids Day at the Beach, an event that provides children confronted with major challenges in their lives a day to just be kids playing at the beach, enjoying a barbeque and taking surf lessons.

One of the most effective ways in which an organization can raise funds is through creating an online donation system. By setting up a 401(c)3 tax deductible bank account, we were able to set up an online donation account and receive contributions via the Internet.

In our supersized society, we need to help shed the image of greedy corporations and use our businesses for the benefit of our communities. These partnerships between charity organizations and businesses are vital in our communities to provide the services and support people need.

Submitted by Dennis Frank, chairman and CEO of Silvergate Bank

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