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Spencer Downing reflects on addressing our community’s greatest needs

Posted by jennifer

By Sabine Kortals Stein

As SVP Boulder County’s Program + Volunteer Officer since 2018, Spencer Downing recently shared with us his reflections on the successes and opportunities of SVP programs in the last few years; the crucial role of SVP Partners in our community; and the impact of SVP’s nonprofit clients, countywide.

“When I came on board, I was profoundly influenced by Jennie’s vision,” recalls Spencer, referring to former CEO Jennie Arbogash. “She found ways for more Partners to interact with more nonprofits for an overall greater impact in our community.”

Continues Spencer, who recently resigned from SVP to serve as Executive Director of Boulder Treasures, an organization that works to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities: “When Joshua came in as CEO, and when COVID hit, the SVP vision really came to bear.

“While many people and organizations responded by burrowing down and playing it safe, a number of our Partners responded from the perspective that crises teach us who we really are – and that, more than ever, SVP needed to step up and do good things for Boulder County.

“What I found particularly compelling was how SVP Partners felt value and fulfillment interacting with more nonprofits, and developing effective ways to respond to immediate and longer term community concerns – while also enjoying more interaction with one another. I loved seeing Partners become increasingly engaged and energized by doing the work, and working together.”


In his role with SVP, Spencer was especially gratified in matching Partners’ skill-sets with the challenges faced by local nonprofits. “In many ways, my role was about creating space,” he explains. “Space for Partners to thrive, to come together, and to strategically identify what capacities SVP can bring to address the greatest needs of our community’s nonprofit sector.”

Specifically, Spencer notes SVP’s Resource Teams created around such strength-based specialties as board development, organizational capacity, development, technology, and more.

“We’ve become better about articulating what we do, empowering Partners, and building awareness that we’re the go-to resource for the nonprofit sector,” concludes Spencer. “The mission of SVP is so important, and it’s been great to be a part of that…and to see Partners become more knowledgeable and supportive of nonprofits, working alongside them to make Boulder County better.

“SVP has also taught me a lot about leadership, best practices, and how to ask for help – I hope to carry those lessons forward.”

Thank you for service, Spencer, and best wishes in your new endeavors!

One Comment:

  1. Rodney Cummings

    I’m glad to see that Dr. Spencer Downing is doing very well. I was a student in his American History Since 1960 class at UCF back in 2005. His class was really informative and I really learned a lot. He was by no means an easy professor. He was tough but fair. He is one of my all-time favorite and most memorable professors in college. I decided to look him up online because I heard that he was no longer teaching at UCF, and I remember his very last lecture where he stated that we don’t know how the war in Afghanistan will turn out for the United States. Sixteen years later we finally have our answer. If you are able to read this Dr. Downing I just want to say “Thank You” for such a great experience. I also still have your class notes, books, and reading materials from class which I still cherish to this day. Thanks again for everything!

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