Every once in a while, someone will criticize SVP or me for not having a little more fun or taking the time to celebrate along the way. They are right, and if you were there Saturday night, are you satisfied for a while now?! 🙂
We celebrated our 15th anniversary. It was a lot of fun and overwhelming to have over 1,000 people RSVP; we filled MOHAI. Two things stood out for me – first, in the last few weeks leading up to March 23rd, the rate of RSVPs almost accelerated, even after we quit promoting.
That isn’t self-laudatory; I think it says something about this movement, engaged philanthropy, the belief that our community’s problems have to get solved by working more and more together, rather than on our own. We’ve never had that many people (from Seattle to Beijing!) sign up for an SVP event and never with that kind of momentum. Citizens and philanthropists wanted to be in a space where they were with like-minded people that collectively believed we could make real change happen. (You can see a bunch of them here: Social Venture Partners 15th Anniversary 2013 – Images by Karen Ducey).
Second, after I threw out the idea that we were just getting started or “tipping off” our work for our kids, youth, and the environment, there was a universal feeling about that idea – many people told me that was how they felt as well, and that we were now ready to really sign up for positive, meaningful change in a way that we haven’t before.
Can we be a part of helping every child, not 2 out of 3, start the first day of kindergarten ready to learn with equal chance to succeed? Believing everyone can live in a healthy, clean environment? And that every young person, not 7 out of 10, will graduate from high school with a very real opportunity to succeed in life? The answer NEEDS to be yes. And we’ve even got a start on how to do that thanks to those of you who visited “Terminal 30.”
I’m not sure we’ll be ready to do THAT big of a get-together again for another 15 years :-), but it was exhilarating, inspiring, and energizing to do it Saturday night and to reaffirm that the work we are engaged in matters … to and for each of us and for the community and world we are a part of. Game on!
P.S. If you didn’t get a chance to sign our “Next 15 Years” b-ball last night, come on by the office and sign it … and sign up for our potential, your potential.