Gaskin and Adams celebrate the giving life

Hey, PR people: over-press-released reporters won’t cover your client’s gift to a good cause? Your pro bono nonprofit can’t afford to advertise its event? Breathe deep. Now there’s a magazine devoted entirely to San Francisco’s goodwill.

“Benefit: The Lifestyle of Giving” released its first issue last month, bringing 98 pages of high gloss and capable freelance writers to the responsible yet fashionable world of philanthropy. The title was the brainchild of Editor in Chief Tim Gaskin, who’s well known around The City as an artist and television host, and Publisher Dorian Adams, a magazine advertising veteran.

“Philanthropy is a $260 billion sector of the economy and we’re the first and only magazine to cover it,” Adams said.

As a gay man, Gaskin said his lifestyle has long included fundraising for AIDS-related causes, and he felt challenged to do more to increase charitable giving in San Francisco.

“Our goal is to inspire people,” Gaskin said. “We’re in a way a guidebook through good example.”

Gaskin said the point is to celebrate the lifestyle while giving voice to underserved charities and helping people better plan their giving.

Aiming to be a major city lifestyle magazine catering to a high-end demographic, it offers all the usual departments — food, fashion, travel, people profiles, society photos, news — but looks at them through a charitable lens.

Don’t expect frequent exposés of nonprofit scandal, though the premiere issue’s profile of the Moore Foundation by Chris Barnett doesn’t

shirk from digging up old issues as it chronicles the foundation’s changes.

Benefit also offers an unusual form of advertising, in which “patrons” purchase a full-page advertisement, most of which goes to the charity of their choice.

The first issue was sent to some 40,000 major donors to local nonprofit groups, from a list maintained by the nonprofits and sent directly to a bonded mailhouse, Adams said. The next issue is slated to be 132 pages.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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