Mike Cadigan and his wife Kathy frequently gave to their church, but with three children and business to run, there was little time to volunteer, let alone figure out a strategic giving plan. Then about three years ago, Mike decided to step back from the day-to-day operations of his company and try something different.
It wasn’t that he had mastered everything. On the contrary, Mike would be the first person to say that he has more to learn. He just didn’t want to wait till the end of his career to start giving back.
“I’ve always wanted to figure out a way to invest my time to benefit other people besides just making money,” explains Mike. “But I wasn’t clear on how I could start that journey until I became acquainted with SVP.”
Since joining SVP, Mike has dramatically increased his giving, of both time and money. As someone who reads nonprofit financials while on vacation in Hawaii — for fun! — Mike has also found a perfect fit for his specific skill set and passion.
Many nonprofit (and for-profit) board members don’t fully understand their organization’s financial state – causing them to miss warning signs, or to be unnecessarily cautious. By creating a simple, visual framework for financial reporting, Mike translates rows of daunting numbers, helping nonprofit boards make more informed decisions.
“I have the opportunity to be strategic about what I can uniquely bring to nonprofits,” says Mike. “I think it would take a lifetime to recreate that without SVP.”
Snapshots from Mike’s Journey
Since joining SVP in 2009, Mike has worn many hats – taking full advantage of the different ways SVP offers to get involved. He’s treated each as an opportunity to learn and improve his work with nonprofits. Here are just a few examples …
Through SVP’s board matching program, Mike was connected to Boyer Children’s Clinic where he
now chairs the Nominating Committee. Networking has never been Mike’s strong suit, so identifying, recruiting, and developing strong board members was a stretch, but one he was willing to make because he is passionate about Boyer’s mission.
“It was good for my development,” Mike says. “I’m not just thinking about what I can do for a particular project, but how to help develop a group of people who will impact Boyer long past my involvement with the organization.”
Mike’s company acquires mid-sized businesses and helps take them to the next level. It’s easy to see the parallel with SVP’s work with nonprofits, but after a few SVP workshops, Mike also recognized some key differences. “In the for-profit environment I would always try to come up with the ‘right’ answer and then convince everyone else,” says Mike.
In his volunteer roles, he now sees that his ideas are not always the best ones, and focuses more on getting everyone engaged in addressing the issue at hand – a lesson he’s applied in his work with small businesses.
Volunteering with Nonprofits
Mike volunteers with a variety of nonprofits, such as the Vietnamese Friendship Association, helping to improve their financial management systems and reporting tools. He also served on SVP’s Portfolio Grant Committee, which oversees all of SVP’s Investee relationships and makes refunding decisions from year to year. The PGC gives him a broad view of local nonprofits and the opportunity to fine tune his financial reporting framework, testing it with his fellow members before rolling it out with the nonprofits (and for-profits) he works with.