In 2009, my wife and I were expecting our first son, and we made the important decision to move to southern Oregon to live with family. Our lives were rapidly changing. I enrolled at Southern Oregon University (SOU) to study business and environmental studies, a decision that would lead me down a path of activism and philanthropy. As a part of my studies, I found my passion around renewable energy and became active in student government. I was appointed the Director of Sustainability, and I began working towards tangible solutions. I realized students had ideas but rarely had the funding to see them manifest. In response, we developed the SOU Green Fund to support student projects related to sustainability. The impact of this fund showed me the power of getting money to leaders, innovators, and thinkers.

Before graduating, I began working with leaders in the community to form Rogue Climate, an organization working to create a faster transition to clean energy. MRG was a natural partner for our new organization. We began collaborating with other groups in our region. I’m inspired by the way we elevate and encourage each other to press the boundaries of our own leadership.

I became an MRG donor because I realized philanthropy is not just about the amount we give but what we do in order to ensure the success of the organizations we believe in. I’m looking forward to supporting MRG and the leaders they empower well into the future.

Shaun Franks
MRG Foundation Donor and Grantmaker

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