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SVP International

Making Lasting Impact as a Community of Practice

Posted by Rebecca Stephens
Photo by Lisa Bontje

Just three years ago, SVP introduced an initiative to expand our communities of practice (CP), and last month you learned about Dave Thompson, Kevin Phaup and the launch of the Tech Community of Practice. The group’s approach to their work has been true to SVP style: engaging in a consultative manner and asking questions to understand investees’ challenges before working collaboratively to create solutions that meet their unique needs.

With that top of mind, I had to share a short and powerful note we received from Dr. Judy Margrath, the director of organizational expansion at SVP Investee Team Read.

The SVP Tech Community of Practice spent time getting to know what we’re using and what we see our needs being going forward. Their good questions helped us get clearer about our system requirements, and then they put us in touch with Kevin Phaup, who helped us finish the plan and has guided us through the implementation. We still have a couple more phases to go, but Kevin has been right there beside us all the way and his responsiveness to questions is superb! – Dr. Judy Margrath, Director of Organizational Expansion, Team Read

These comments are particularly special to me, as it showcases how a network of partners — approaching projects with thoughtful curiosity and consistent, genuine commitment to the organizations we support — adds up to the power of SVP.

Judy explained that this philosophy has been instrumental in helping the organization identify opportunities for efficiency. In the short time the Tech CP has partnered with Team Read, the group has secured and set up new Office 365 licenses for all staff, established new document sharing and storage systems and protocols, and made recommendations for using and upgrading Salesforce.

Team Read connects teen mentors with elementary students to help them achieve reading success. Like many organizations, they invest heavily in superb programmatic delivery, leaving less financial capacity and staff bandwidth for technology advancements. With the technology in a self-described haphazard state, their team is thrilled by what they’ve been able to implement in partnership with SVP!

This is a huge advancement for Team Read and will help us continue to maximize our use of technology! – Judy Magrath, Director of Organizational Expansion, Team Read

CP’s highlight key strengths SVP brings to bare in the world of philanthropy – they create community and build a stronger network of volunteers, provide a platform to turn best practices into tools and templates that we can quickly deploy to investee projects, and serve as a space for SVP Partners to learn and further develop their skills.

I can’t say enough how inspired I am by the many SVP Partners who have made this advancement possible and who continue pushing SVP to learn, grow and evolve!

Rebecca Stephens website photo

Rebecca Stephens is SVP’s director of partner engagement, helping individuals realize the greater impact they can make with their giving. In her free time, she loves planning events, cooking for friends, hiking and Husky football games.

Learn more about Rebecca here.

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