The problems we face are daunting. They’re complex. It has never been more important to give – your money, your time, your talent – in ways that make the greatest impact.
That’s why we connect those who want to give with people, organizations, and resources that will amplify those gifts.
Through SVP, our Partners pool and stretch their dollars, contributing more than they could alone. But that’s just the beginning. After joining SVP, most of our Partners increase their giving even more. They are more strategic, more civically engaged, and many become community leaders – applying much needed resources and skills to solving our community’s most entrenched problems.
People who join SVP want to give in a way that makes the greatest impact – on them, on nonprofits, on our community.
This takes many forms, and in a biennial survey* we track changes in our Partners’ giving and engagement.
*Results based on self-reported data from our 2011 survey (n=116, 26% of our Partners). Results were confirmed in an independent study published by the University of Southern California.
Lisa Chin joined SVP after retiring from Amazon – exhausted and craving something different. She wasn’t sure what, but she knew it involved giving back.
So she dove deep at SVP. She attended every workshop, accepted every volunteer opportunity, and with her husband Nigel, developed a giving strategy, two words that – as Lisa puts it – “didn’t exist in our vocabulary.”
Lisa also began searching for a career that would make a positive impact in her community, drawing upon her SVP experience to guide her. “The strength of what I learned at SVP was a huge part of my resume,” says Lisa. “It’s better than getting a master’s in nonprofit management.” Today, Lisa is the Executive Director of Year Up Puget Sound – helping urban young adults reach their full professional potential.
Just One Story Among Many
SVP Seattle has …
- 500+ Partners (2700+ internationally) pooling money, time and talent for greater impact
- 50+ Partners serving on boards and in leadership roles at nonprofits and in our community
- Dozens of families and teen philanthropists engaged in service projects and grant making
- 40+ education sessions annually on philanthropy and related topics
- 60+ volunteer opportunities with nonprofits annually, ranging from technology to human resources to financial management projects
More Partner Stories…
It was 1994, and Paul Brainerd was out of a job.
He had just sold his software company, Aldus Corporation to Adobe. PageMaker, the desktop publishing program his company created, had revolutionized printing and publishing – and left him an unexpected millionaire.
At 47, early retirement might have looked attractive to some, but Paul had other ideas.
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Mike Cadigan and his wife Kathy frequently gave to their church, but with three children and business to run, there was little time to volunteer, let alone figure out a strategic giving plan. Then about three years ago, Mike decided to step back from the day-to-day operations of his company and try something different.
It wasn’t that he had mastered everything. On the contrary, Mike would be the first person to say that he has more to learn. He just didn’t want to wait till the end of his career to start giving back.
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"If you see a gun, don't touch it, even to throw it in the garbage. Run and tell an adult in your house. It's their job to keep you safe."
Looking through my camera at the circle of rapt 4-year-olds at Denise Louie Education Center on Beacon Hill, I realized yet again how much we ask of our preschools.
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After leaving Microsoft in 2000, I knew I wasn't ready to retire and I wanted to find meaningful work that gave me satisfaction. Given how fortunate I was for having worked at Microsoft, I was looking for the right opportunity that would allow me to give back to the community.
I heard about Social Venture Partners, and was immediately intrigued by their mission, and the opportunity to volunteer my skills to help local nonprofits. Twelve years later, I’ve volunteered over 12,000 hours of my time, creating database systems and websites for over 25 nonprofits in the Puget Sound area.
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I was surprised when, upon the invitation to write about the emotional rewards of volunteering, no one moment stood out in my mind. It made me ask myself, why do I volunteer?
The volunteer aspect was a big reason I joined SVP 10 years ago. I was a journalist then, so a natural fit for me was to write articles for the newsletter. I remember interviewing SVP partner Molly Hanlon about why she volunteers. I still think about her response: “It’s how I was raised. It’s just something you do. Sleep, eat, work, go to the gym, volunteer.”
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More stories coming soon!