Being an SVP Partner has helped me clarify the approach that I want to take to philanthropy and to helping our community. It’s reinforced a hypothesis that I had for myself: I want to impact community through community. Meaning, I don’t want to go it alone. I don’t want to be an isolated donor.
For me, volunteering is great. But I feel like the impact is more significant when I can do it with a community like the SVP partnership. I think it allows me to be a better philanthropist when I can learn from other people and create and identify new opportunities with them. It’s really helped me to zero in on how I want to give back.
In the past, I’ve started a nonprofit. I’ve been on boards. I’ve been a volunteer. And that’s all fine. But for me personally, being an SVP Partner has helped to create a kind of a new hybrid role which allows me to be very strategic with other people. I can be hands on—which I was when I was a Lead Partner with Home Repair Resource Center and now as SVP’s board president and co-chair of its Real-Time Strategic Planning (RTSP) initiative. And I think the combination of all these facets of engagement makes me feel like I am getting the benefits of all the different things that can happen with people who get involved with the community to make an impact.
When I started as a Partner, I jumped onto the Education Team—the E-Team. That was kind of my first thing. We had a grant to do some events and my level of engagement, in addition to giving, was coming up with education events for the Partners. It was a good way to start meeting partners, but when I joined the Investment Team—the I-Team—and began participating in SVP’s Investee-selection process, it all started to click.
Joining the I-Team is when I felt like I really started to learn more through the SVP experience. I began to more deeply examine nonprofits and see what experienced Partners recognized that I was missing. It truly opened my eyes.
Now, as the president of the SVP board and RTSP co-chair, I feel—every day and every meeting—I am still learning so much from my fellow Partners and the nonprofits we serve.