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A Taste of Last Week’s Spring Meeting

Posted by Zach Grossnickle

On Thursday, SVP held its annual Spring Meeting to bring Partners, Investees and community members together to celebrate successes and address some changes that occurred throughout the past year.

Before I share highlights from our evening’s event, I want to (re)introduce myself for those who may not yet know me. I am Aaron Jacobs and I will be serving as SVP Seattle’s Interim Executive Director while we prepare the organization for our long-term leader. I worked at SVP for eight years as one of the organization’s first employees and I feel fortunate to be back to help build for the future. I look forward to getting to know some of you for the first time and reconnecting with others so please feel free to connect with me at aaronj@svpseattle.org.

New Investee

I am excited to announce that our Kindergarten Ready Grant Committee just wrapped up their work and at the Spring Meeting announced United Indians of All Tribes Foundation (UIATF) as the next multi-year SVP Investee!

Growing out of the social activism around Native and Indigenous rights in the 1970s, UIATF is a multi-service agency that provides educational, cultural and social services that reconnect Indigenous people in the Puget Sound region to their heritage by strengthening their sense of belonging and significance as Native people.

SVP could not be more excited to work with them in the coming years!

State of the Partnership

I want to share some abridged comments made during the Spring Meeting by me and by SVP’s Board Chair, Bob Woods. We recognize that in a time of leadership transition, there can be  uncertainty about the direction of the organization. I want to take a moment and honor our past work and gain clarity about our direction ahead.

For the past two decades, SVP has gone past traditional philanthropy. We recognize that a strong nonprofit sector is vital to building a region where everyone thrives regardless of income or race. SVP exists because of the belief that there is more to be gained if we work together to support nonprofits that have the potential to make important positive changes in our community. We will continue to support these nonprofit organizations by providing multi-year general operating funding that allows them to invest in their internal health, so they can grow and thrive. Over the past several years, SVP has increasingly focused on racial equity, the disparities that exist in our communities, and the responsibility that people of privilege have to create a more equitable society.

All of this is made possible by the continued investments of our Partners. We will continue to provide networking opportunities, learning experiences, and challenges for our Partners to stretch their own thinking and build their skills to make a positive difference in our region. None of this, of course, can be done in isolation – we will also continue to partner with other organizations, funders, and community leaders.

Since much of SVP’s work is centered on helping nonprofit organizations navigate obstacles and build resiliency in turbulent times, I would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the transitions we have been facing ourselves the past few years.  Since SVP’s founding executive director left we have had two wonderful CEOs who contributed significantly to the future of the organization, and had to leave SVP due to life circumstances and new opportunities. Just as our investees do in their annual review with SVP, our Board has had us ‘take our own medicine’ and assessed where SVP was as an organization and began to make investments in our own capacity. We took a fresh look at our programs, the ways we engage our Partners and the internal infrastructure that is required for us to succeed in the years ahead. Last August, we brought in expertise to help us refresh many of our practices. We are building a committed, energetic team that has been working diligently to increase our own organizational capacity and position SVP to continue strengthening investee organizations, activating and influencing individual philanthropists and leveraging the power of the collective to do more together than we can do alone.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the Partners again. You are the heartbeat of SVP. It is the pooled resources of your time, talent, and treasure that fuel this work and on behalf of the board, staff, and our community thank you for your investments.

Thank you for reading –

Aaron Jacobs

Interim Executive Director


SVP Fall Meeting, October 1st, 2019

This Fall we will begin our program year with an opportunity for us all to come together, build relationships and get excited about all the incredible work ahead.
We hope you will join us for the Fall Meeting to kick-off the program year on October 1st – please be sure to save the date or early RSVP here.

We are also excited to share news about past SVP Investees.

Recompose – Washington is the first state in the nation to legalize composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains, offering “natural organic reduction” including composting. Pegged as a greener method of burial than caskets or cremation, supporters say the option could find a foothold in the $20 billion funeral industry. (Link)

Mountains to Sound Greenway – Washington’s Mountains to Sound Greenway has been named a National Heritage Area by Congress. It is also exploring funding opportunities through private and public Partnerships. (Link)

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