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Network of Partners

With more than 3,200 Partners from Boston to Bangalore, SVP is the world’s largest network of engaged donors. 

They range from filmmakers to financial managers, from nonprofit leaders to corporate veterans, and from foundation executives to people just beginning their giving journey.

If you want to make a difference – and a bigger difference then you could alone – you’ll want to meet these folks.

Priscilla Hill-Ardoin launched a foundation to combat sickle cell disease. Lisa Merrill and Lisa Bontje help nonprofits tell their story through compelling photography. Jeff Tollefson was recognized as Champion of Change by the White House for his work to break the cycle of poverty. And the list goes on.

Every story is different, but each is fueled by a series of connections. That’s the beauty of the SVP network. You never know who will take your impact to the next level. Check out some of our Partners’ stories below.

Photo by Gary Voth of SVP Partner Jeff Tollefson.

How It All Started

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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Notes from India: Think 10-Fold

Naren cited an Indian proverb: “Inside every seed there is a forest.” His paradigm for every individual, every investee is: How do we help it grow? Across SVP affiliates I observed this same strong belief in the worth and potential of every human, regardless of caste, gender, education or level of poverty.

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The Anti-Retirement

“I didn’t have a philanthropic bone in my body,” says SVP Portland Partner Larry Fox. “And when I retired, my goal was to squeeze every ounce of self-indulgence that I could endure. Then, one night when I was going to bed, I pulled back the sheets and I thought – I was just here. And I have nothing to show for it.”

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There is Always Something to Give

While Harriet talked across the table, Priscilla Hill-Ardoin pulled the book toward her and began to read the first pages. She was jolted. "There is a reason, a power, in why they all said something like can’t not do. These people have found a cause that grabbed them and won’t let go," she read. Before the end of lunch, she committed to being one of SVP San Antonio's first partners.

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A Head for Numbers, a Heart for Change

Up until five years ago, Tanya Anderson’s definition of ‘philanthropy’ was straight forward: to give money. It might have been her career in finance that had something to do with it. But after working with SVP Seattle's Finance Community of Practice, she had a change of heart.

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Speaking Transit

"She approached the problem like she was handling an Obama administration issue,” says Transportation Choices Coalition Executive Director, Shefali Ranganathan. “It was the same level of commitment.” Shefali is referring to SVP Partner, Racquel Russell who volunteered to help TCC hone their communications. Hear about their work together in this short video!

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Lisa Lisa & College Jam

Okay, I’m totally dating myself (and subjecting you to bad puns), but I can’t help it. Whenever Lisa Bontje and Lisa Merrill are on a photo shoot, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam just pops into my head! And while SOME of you might debate the brilliance of 80’s gems like “Lost in Emotion” and “Head to Toe,” you simply cannot miss the vibrancy of the students captured by Lisa and Lisa in a photo shoot with College Access Now!

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White House Honors SVP Partner Jeff Tollefson as a Champion of Change

SVP Minnesota Partner and Social Venture Partners International Board Member, Jeff Tollefson was honored by the White House as a "Champion of Change," for his leadership at Genesys Works. The Champions of Change program was created to honor ordinary Americans who are doing great work in their communities

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