We are excited to report that the impact of SVP Portland’s Encore Fellows Program has continued at a steady beat despite the pandemic. We recently hit our 2020 goal of matching 16 new Encore Fellows! Throughout the year, we have consistently had more than 25 active Fellows working with nonprofits, including four SVP Community Partners, on their capacity building projects.
In addition, nonprofit leaders have said Fellows’ agility and ability to deal with ambiguity — skills most Fellows possess given their extensive and diverse professional experience — have been a huge benefit during the pandemic. Their competencies with tools like Zoom, utilizing cloud based document systems, and running online meetings helped many nonprofits make the needed changes to stay up and running when everyone went remote.
When asked about the highlights of 2020, the Encore Fellows Program Coordinator, Linda Williams, said, “There are so many! I love it when I’m able to bring in new nonprofits that haven’t benefited from an Encore Fellow in the past. Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust is one of those.” They have Fellow Lorie Wigle whose nonprofit work host, Shawn Morford, said, “Not long after she joined us, the Beachie Creek fire changed all of our lives and Lorie has had to punt on a number of fronts — on one project she has advised us on important privacy/security matters relating to our new cloud-based donor database, both of which are directly related to her expertise and experience and connections arising from her years with Intel. I am grateful to have her strategic counsel and outside perspective.”
Another exciting outcome of the program is when Encore Fellows choose to become SVP Investor Partners. This year we’ve had two Fellows join us as Partners after finishing their Fellowships. Chris Hart did her Fellowship at Catholic Charities Oregon leading organizations and strategic initiatives, and she is now engaged with our investment in Hacienda Community Development Corporation as a Partner. Rob Aslett did his Encore Fellowship at Friends of the Children as an IT Project Manager, and now he is engaged as a Partner with the Center for African Immigrants & Refugees of Oregon (CAIRO), and also serves on our Portfolio Management Team.
Looking toward 2021, we already have seven Intel retirees with their stipends funded and they are on the list to be matched with a nonprofit organization in a role that benefits from their expertise and experience, as well as fuels their passions. The Encore Fellows Program has been and continues to be an important capacity-building resource that SVP Portland can leverage for impact in our community!