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People who join SVP want to give in a way that makes the greatest impact – on them, on nonprofits, on our community.

Through education, peer learning, collective grantmaking, and strategic volunteerism, SVP provides a path for our partners to amplify their giving. Every two years, we evaluate our progress in a biennial survey.*POR-key-findings-share-01

*The numbers above highlight changes among SVP Partners at 13 SVPs and are based on self-reported data from 379 respondents. Read the Full Report >>

It has never been more important to give – your money, your time, your talent – in ways that make the greatest impact.

That’s why we connect those who want to give with people, organizations, and resources that will amplify those gifts.  Through SVP, our Partners pool and stretch their dollars, contributing more than they could alone.

But that’s just the beginning.

After joining SVP, most of our Partners increase their giving even more. They are more strategic, more civically engaged, and many become community leaders – applying much needed resources and skills to solving our community’s most entrenched problems.

This impact is illustrated in bi-annual survey results and in our Partners’ stories.

Photo by Gary Voth from the SVP Global Conference.

“I have the opportunity to be strategic about what I can uniquely bring to nonprofits. I think it would take a lifetime to recreate that without SVP.”

– Mike Cadigan, SVP Partner

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 in 2010, 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.

Read the full story >>

More Partner Stories…


How It All Started

It was 1994, and Paul Brainerd was out of a job. He had just sold his software company, Aldus Corporation to Adobe. PageMaker, the desktop publishing program his company created, had revolutionized printing and publishing – and left him an unexpected millionaire.

At 47, early retirement might have looked attractive to some, but Paul had other ideas.

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Activating Open Spaces with Community

When I first became involved with Cheasty Greenspace in 2014, I was swept up in the movement. Rainy Saturday after rainy Saturday, I joined a community work team to remove invasive species and restore native plants. I built friendships with leaders and participants. We celebrated when we were approved for a $100,000 grant. But what I didn’t realize was not everyone in the community was bought in to the project. A lesson I will not soon forget.

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Finding a Place Under the Big Tent

Jane Harvey and her husband Charlie joined SVP in 2011. But it wasn’t until 2013, the first year of the Northwest Conservation Philanthropy Fellowship, that she set out on what would become a philanthropic journey to say the least. It would lead her to become an early supporter of Front and Centered and a devoted advocate for environmental justice in Washington.

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Capturing Joy

Lisa got the call at 10:30 on a warm July night. Sara was in labor. Caught off-guard, Lisa panicked slightly. She had been out for drinks with friends and didn’t feel safe driving to the hospital. Luckily, the woman on the other end of the line assured her the birth was hours off. Heading straight home, Lisa packed her gear. Tomorrow would be a first.

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Building Capacity Builders, Part 3: The Philanthropist

Up until five years ago, Tanya Anderson’s definition of ‘philanthropy’ was straight forward: to give money. It might have been her career in finance that had something to do with it. After working with the Finance Community of Practice, though, developing an assessment that greatly simplifies financial management for SVP Investees, she had a change of heart.

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More than a website: SVP Partners help tell Team Read's story

“I wanted to do something that was really using my talents,” says SVP Partner Sandra Andrews. “And I literally raised my hand and said ‘is there a project I can be part of?’ And this one came up that was a really great fit.” Hear how Sandra and Team Read Executive Director Maureen Massey leveraged SVP to help tell Team Read’s story through the web.

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Keeping Great Crew on Board: SVP Partner Lends her Skills to Summer Search

A few years ago, Summer Search was struggling with staff retention and they were concerned about the impact it was having on the students they serve. Mentorship is core to their program and turnover interrupted the relationships between students and staff, not to mention the general productivity loss associated with churn. They wanted to change this and reached out to SVP for help. Two years later, they are still reaping the benefits of a single volunteer project.

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North Star found: SVP Partner brings strategic planning skills to Northwest SEED

“I just feel like we have the North Star we’ve been needing and we’re moving together in concert,” says Northwest SEED Executive Director Jennifer Grove. In this short video, Jennifer shares how SVP Partner Tim Schottman guided her organization through strategic planning, turning the overflowing number of opportunities at their fingertips into attainable goals.

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Speaking transit: SVP Partner brings White House marketing savvy to TCC

"She approached the problem like she was handling an Obama administration issue,” says Transportation Choices Coalition Executive Director, Shefali Ranganathan. “It was the same level of commitment.” Shefali is referring to SVP Partner, Racquel Russell who volunteered to help TCC hone their communications. Hear about their work together in this short video!

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What’s Democracy Got to Do with It?

David Bangs was all-in on the environment. His experience on SVP’s grant committee inspired more than a decade of giving and angel investing. Then in 2013, David joined the first cohort of SVP's Northwest Conservation Philanthropy Fellows to deepen his impact. What he discovered next surprised him.

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Reflections on Privilege

Race, poverty, privilege, oppression, identity … these concepts have been swirling in my head since I participated in SVP’s Equity Matters Series. It brought up painful childhood memories, many of which were connected to growing up poor. But it also challenged me to reflect on the privilege I experienced as well.

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More Money, More Time, More Energy Channeled for Good

$335 billion dollars. That’s how much was given to charitable causes in the United States in 2013. Roughly three-quarters of that came from individual donors – which is why SVP’s work matters. Through education, collective grantmaking, and strategic volunteerism, SVP strives to cultivate increasingly savvy, generous, and engaged philanthropists. Every two years, we evaluate our progress.

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Lisa Lisa & College Jam

Okay, I’m totally dating myself (and subjecting you to bad puns), but I can’t help it. Whenever Lisa Bontje and Lisa Merrill are on a photo shoot, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam just pops into my head! And while SOME of you might debate the brilliance of 80’s gems like “Lost in Emotion” and “Head to Toe,” you simply cannot miss the vibrancy of the students captured by Lisa and Lisa in a photo shoot with College Access Now!

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Out of the Tunnel

“Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised,” says John O’Halloran. “But I was.”

John drove by Bailey Gatzert Elementary for decades. He worked for the Aldus Corporation, which had offices on the Seattle waterfront. His commute took him down Yesler Way, but in those days it was like driving in a tunnel – he was so focused on work.

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Mike Cadigan Uses His Skills for Good

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.

Read More »

Behind the Lens at Denise Louie

"If you see a gun, don't touch it, even to throw it in the garbage. Run and tell an adult in your house. It's their job to keep you safe."

Looking through my camera at the circle of rapt 4-year-olds at Denise Louie Education Center, I realized yet again how much we ask of our preschools.

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Giving Back: 12,000 Hours and Counting

After leaving Microsoft in 2000, I knew I wasn't ready to retire and I wanted to find meaningful work that gave me satisfaction. Given how fortunate I was for having worked at Microsoft, I was looking for the right opportunity that would allow me to give back to the community.

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SVP Watercooler

Wondering what folks have to say about their experience with Social Venture Partners, but don't have much time? Check out these one-minute snippets from SVP Partners, Investees and volunteers!

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Saturdays Aren’t Just for Cartoons Anymore

A dozen families. Three days. One shared purpose. Armed with a video camera, and alternately: a hairnet, a rain coat, and a pot of soup, we trailed SVP's youngest volunteers.

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Youth on a Mission

It’s Sunday night. The Sullivan’s basement rec room is filled with teenagers. A stack of pizza boxes is piled high, and cookies and snacks litter the coffee table. Chatter fills the room. The topics? Homelessness, public education, family planning, self-esteem, the environment.

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Core or Chore? Carol Ryan on Volunteerism

I was surprised when, upon the invitation to write about the emotional rewards of volunteering, no one moment stood out in my mind. It made me ask myself, why do I volunteer?

The volunteer aspect was a big reason I joined SVP 10 years ago. I was a journalist then, so a natural fit for me was to write articles for the newsletter. I remember interviewing SVP partner Molly Hanlon about why she volunteers. I still think about her response: “It’s how I was raised. It’s just something you do. Sleep, eat, work, go to the gym, volunteer.”

Read More »

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