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Takeaway from the Fall Meeting

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At our Fall Meeting last Tuesday night, it was a blast like it always is. As I was driving home, there were two things I blurted out that really stuck in my (tired) head …

… The first, something along the lines of “one of the coolest things about SVP is that each person is here to define their individual journey and vision, but by being connected to the network, each person’s vision always grows the vision of the whole SVP community.” I hope that doesn’t sound too ethereal because it’s very real. One person has an idea and there are undoubtedly like-minded collaborators within the network. Another Partner has a problem and there is no doubt someone has an answer. And yet another person hears or sees what one Partner is doing and it provides the inspiration for them to take their own “philanthropic game” to the next level or gives them a clearer sense of their own direction. I can’t tell you how many times each of those scenarios truly happens. And the only frustrating thing is I know there are ten times more connections to be made. That’s part of the exponential potential (say that 5 times fast) for SVP’s future.

We plan some of what happens, but a lot of what happens, some of the best stuff, is what we don’t plan.

The other related comment I made, towards the end of the evening, was that we had covered a lot of ground, Partners involved in a lot of different work, so many different things going on inside and people using SVP as a platform for making great things happen outside SVP. And it might have almost felt confusing, so many vectors, and yet, that is part of what makes us what we uniquely are. We plan some of what happens, but a lot of what happens, some of the best stuff, is what we don’t plan – Social Venture Kids, Social Innovation Fast Pitch, Family Service Groups, Partners starting their own new endeavors … I could go on and on.

I just drove him feeling like we are reaching a new level of impact in our work, but knowing that our potential is growing at an even faster pace. By definition, that is what happens in a growing, connected network like SVP. I can’t wait to see what the agenda for the Spring Meeting will be – I have no doubt at least part of that agenda will be something we don’t even know about today. That probably sounds a little corny, but it’s a whole lotta cool.

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