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SVP International

David Spurr

What is your profession?  How do you spend your days?
I work in private wealth management, working with individuals and family offices to help them pursue their financial goals.   After many years advising companies and governments on investment banking transactions, I enjoy spending time with people helping them in their personal financial situations.  Aside from that, I spend time cycling, hiking, coaching baseball and driving the swim taxi.

What has inspired you to be an engaged philanthropist?
My wife and I recently moved to the Portland area from the East Coast.  SVPs “engaged philanthropy” model seems to be a way to allow us to learn about, and become more actively engaged in, the broader community.

What do you want to accomplish in your next decade?
Over the next decade I’d like to set up the infrastructure in my life to have a lasting positive impact.  I hope to fulfill that by giving back to the community and in providing an example for my children who will be entering young adulthood over this period of time.  I’d also like to explore the outdoors of Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer.

What criteria do you use in deciding where to focus your philanthropy?
My focus falls into two broad buckets — causes/institutions to which I feel an affinity from past involvement, such as schools, teams, or community groups, and areas about which I feel passionate, such as environmental protection, and social injustice and inequality.   For this latter group, which is expansive and fragmented, I think about where and how my time and / or contribution will have the greatest impact.

Describe the most meaningful charitable gift of time or money you have made and why you made the gift.
As part of the ceremony of becoming a bat mitzvah (a ceremony welcoming a girl into the Jewish community as an adult), our daughter created a fundraising campaign to help fund family services at our local YMCA, to which we contributed a gift.  Aside from the worthy merits of the cause, helping our daughter with her goal and watching her learn the value and importance of charitable giving made that contribution stand out.