I became a partner/member of San Diego Social Venture Partners in 2008 after discovering that retirement and the empty nest were just not as fulfilling as I would have liked. Through SDSVP, I have not only met some of the nicest people one could hope to know, but I have had an opportunity to learn and grow both as a professional and a philanthropist. As one of our partners says: "it's better than an MBA". It's probably the best investment of both time and money that I have ever made, and that's saying something. Check it out - you'll be glad you did.
The San Diego Social Venture Partners has been instrumental in helping us become better philanthropists. In addition, we have made dozens friends through the network.
I joined San Diego Social Venture Partners as a way of giving back to my community. Having started my career as a county mental health program director, I continued to want to help those where I could. San Diego Social Venture Partners has been a transformative experience for me. It has allowed me to use and share my professional expertise with nonprofits in such a way that I can actually see the impact of my efforts. This is very personally gratifying. Anyone interesting in working with nonprofits by using their professional expertise would do well to consider joining a Social Venture Partners chapter. There are 26 of them across the country and we are 400 strong here in California.
When I started looking for a meaningful volunteer experience after I retired, I found that most non-profits offered few opportunities that would allow me to contribute my professional expertise. Finally, I discovered San Diego Social Venture Partners and it has allowed me to help non-profits grow and develop in ways that have been extraordinarily satisfying. Along with funding non-profits, SDSVP partners with these agencies in capacity building help from its partners. It has been a joy for me to assist our investees (the agencies we fund for 3 years) to achieve extraordinary results -- which they do! Plus I have had the opportunity to work with the group of fabulous, fun and committed individuals -- the partners of SDSVP
I have been a Partner with SDSVP since 2004. I joined because I was convinced that the money donated was well spent. I don't like to give money to organizations because of emotion. I like to give because the money provides measurable improvements. SDSVP Partners are always focused on measurable improvements.
Getting involved with Social Venture Partners opened a whole new world of philanthropy for me in San Diego. I've met great people, both inside SVP and in the nonprofits we've worked with, and learned a ton about the charitable efforts going on in San Diego. And the best part is that we're helping nonprofits succeed. No checkwriting philanthropy here, this is about getting involved in the community and doing some good, growing the capacity of the local philanthropic sector.
Throughout my life, I have had a long history of involvement with numerous charitable organizations. I was frustrated,wanting a higher level of participation rather than just giving money. In 2001 my wife, Louarn and I, became founding members of San Diego Social Venture Partners (SDSVP). We consider ourselves "activist" investors, not "passive" donors are looking for both a social return on ourr investment (SROI) and a higher level of engagement with the causes we fund. SDSVP partners leverage our financial contribution by providing additional value through assistance with strategic and outcome planning, busness operations, marketing & public relations, board development & governance, fund development and IT support. We are asking tougher questions and demanding more rigorous, verifiable outcomes from the causes we support. Many of our partners are entrepreneurs and we understood the importance of building a solid management team just as we had done in the companies we have started. Our model of effective, engaged giving provides money, time and effort. Our involvement produces measurable results,and what is even more amazing is that our partners feel they get more out of the process than the recipient of their support.