Philanthropy Has No Borders. Learning Shouldn’t, Either.

SVPI 10/30/2023
Philanthropic Learning

As Development and Philanthropic Partnerships Manager at SVPI, I believe strongly in the power of relationships across diversity. My drive for collaborative community action was re-energized by seeing on-the-ground work during my visits to SVP Vancouver, SVP Waterloo, and SVP India. Despite cultural and geographic differences, SVP chapters worldwide work hard to engage in accountable and engaged philanthropic partnerships centered in community wisdom. Being a part of a network like SVP lends to exchanging a diversity of tactics and strategies to uplift and build power alongside those most impacted by injustice in their neighborhoods.  Seeing firsthand how knowledge and resource-sharing can create impact re-energized my commitment to ensuring we close the gaps in equity and catalyze resources to the frontline.

Living and working in Vancouver, I’ve attended multiple events with the local chapter here. SVP Vancouver does an excellent job modeling community engagement, relationship building, and power-sharing. SVP Vancouver is notable for moving significant resources—over half a million dollars annually—into the community and building non-traditional funding relationships between philanthropists and the non-profit community, allowing for trust building, collaboration, and bidirectional learning. My experiences with the staff, Partners, and non-profit leaders have shown me the impact of collective action.

I attended the 2022 Fast Pitch event at SVP Waterloo and got the chance to meet participants in SVP Teens, one of the few Affiliate youth programs for young philanthropists looking to get involved and make a difference in their communities. This program exposes youth to accountable, engaged philanthropy where they have the opportunity to fundraise, grant money, and present at SVP events. I found it inspiring to see young people think about giving in new and equitable ways and seeing a future for SVP Waterloo. I see a lot of opportunity in our network for more SVP Teens programs and supporting the sustainability of our network, the sector, and systems change at large. 

Visiting SVP India for their 10-year anniversary celebrations has definitely been a highlight of my time in the network. I learned so much about how philanthropy, giving, and the nonprofit sector functions there, and I met a community of passionate and deeply engaged partners and connected chapters that are growing at an immense and exciting rate. I experienced a lot of people living with an abundance mindset despite the very real issues of scarcity. This was one of the most important learnings for me — collaboration and giving is a mindset, attitude, and responsibility. Shifting power together can really grow our potential for impact. 

These global connections affirm the power of networks to catalyze resources into the hands of communities that are most impacted by injustice. By learning from our vast network of SVP chapters and sharing learnings, strategies, and collaborating across differences, we gain knowledge to strengthen our network. Visiting and supporting our local leaders has been a great privilege, and I look forward to our continued leadership in the sector.

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