Welcome to the 2nd episode of 'Ask a Nonprofit Director!' As we all know, EDs are excellent problem solvers - that’s why we're paid so well. Hence, 'Ask a Nonprofit Director' is the premiere syndicated advice column on life issues from the perspective of an Executive Director.
What makes a person a Superhero for Washington Families? ParentMap Magazine recently awarded ten individuals this distinguished honor for their work in education, and three of these honorees are SVP Partners! In the final Part III of this series, Bill Henningsgaard takes the award of Change-Maker.
The darkness has abated, the ordeal is over. The Vietnamese Friendship Association annual dinner went off without a hitch! Still, there are some lessons that can be learned to help pull off next year's event with even more pinache.
ParentMap Magazine recently honored ten distinguished individuals as 2013 Superheroes for Washington Families, and three of those honorees are SVP Partners! In Part II of this series, we introduce Mimi Siegel, the Executive Director of Kindering and winner of the Humanitarian award.
What motivates a person toward selfless action? In their quest for answers, ParentMap found several outstanding individuals who have made a significant change in the lives of families and children residing in Washington State - and three of them are SVP Partners! In Part I of this series, meet the Advocate: Janice Deguchi, Executive Director of the Denise Louie Education Center.
Although SVP Seattle has been around for fifteen years, there is so much more room to grow. Paul Shoemaker shares his vision for SVP's future, and why we're just now at the tip-off point. Game on.
SVP started out as Paul Brainerd's idea. Now, that idea has become a global phenomenon that has, for the past 15 years, transformed individuals and communities across the globe. The goal? That this idea will take root in 200 of the world's largest cities by 2025.
SVP's entrepreneurial spirit has done it again - flown across the ocean 8,000 miles away and implanted a small idea in the heart of Bangalore, India. The Managing Partner of SVP India, Arathi Laxman, explains how India, a nation of many contrasts and contradictions, has a great need for SVP's presence, and how true impact can be achieved through a collective voice.
As nonprofits, we live and breathe grant applications. We all know the grantmaking process. Rejections are a normal part of nonprofit life and generally can be taken with a grain of salt or some mimosas. But, sometimes, in the course of one application, we do get a surprise (and not a good one at that).
Powerful Schools, one of our first Investees to be reinvested in by SVP, has grown exponentially in the last five years. From providing their programs to 1,000 students, they have grown to helping 4,000 students in over 18 schools and after-school programs. Here, Executive Director Tre' Maxie talks about the importance of going "under the hood" at SVP's 15th Anniversary.
"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 (DLEC) on Beacon Hill, I realized yet again how much we ask of our preschools.
Whether you served on an SVP committee, volunteered to help strengthen a nonprofit, took part in a project with the Family Service Group, gave time to our Social Innovation Fast Pitch, or made all of this possible with your annual contribution – THANK YOU.
Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness. Learn more about how Earth Day began, and what's happening today on a global scale!
SVP Investee, Summer Search recently announced a study that proves its character-based education program is putting low-income youth on track for college. The study found that 89 percent of Seattle public school students who enrolled in Summer Search for one year were ready for college, compared to 64 percent of their peers.
SVP’s Environment Collective Action Team is pleased to welcome Futurewise as their first Investee! With a grant of $40,000 and capacity building volunteer support, SVP will assist Futurewise to deepen their engagement and leadership in collective action. Specifically, they will focus on Futurewise’s work with Growing Transit Communities, an initiative that engages public and private funders, city and regional government, as well as nonprofits.
My little son arrived on Tuesday, after 13 hours of hard labor that were almost as difficult as some grant application processes. We’re naming him Viet William Prinzing Le. We got lots of good suggestions for names, but the auctioning off the baby’s naming rights mentioned earlier…well, that was actually an April Fool’s joke... !
Then this video is the jackpot. It's impossible not to smile while watching it! With music and videos clips, Dynamic Partners introduces us to the amazing kids and families they get to work with – celebrating what is, and committing to what can be!
Supporting VFA's annual dinner this coming April 20th can provide you with a chance to become immortalized. Faced with the need for more funds and the difficulty in naming his baby, Executive Director, Vu Le and his wife will be auctioning off the naming rights to their son - certain restrictions apply, of course.
SVP Partner Susan Bloch is an international business coach who has worked with business leaders in a variety of industries for over 25 years. The most noticeable parallel between all of them? The lack of women who sit on the boards of these companies. This is her argument for remedying this "blind spot."
This week, I was asked to speak on a panel to a bunch of social work students on working with refugee and immigrant clients. Panels are like the lunch buffet of information sharing. It is a group of people with knowledge of a certain topic, asked to speak together with the hope that at least one of them will say something interesting. It is a great idea for our attention-deficient culture, but it is often poorly executed, oftentimes due to the panelists themselves.
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, filling MOHAI. It was a lot of fun, and two things stood out for me.
As a soon-to-be father and an ED planning an annual event, both of which will be occurring roughly around the same time, a "terrified" Vu Le is asking which event could be deemed scarier. An objective analysis on several dimensions is required to determine the answer.
When we think of the word "retreat", the image of isolation and introspection comes into mind. Often, when we go on a retreat, we expect to contemplate and plan on how we can better use our skills and resources for those who need them. But maybe, instead of going on a retreat to work with colleagues for the betterment of our community, the more appropriate approach would be a different kind of retreat - one where we join with people from our community and work alongside them to find solutions that can help overcome the challenges we face.
What does upgrading technology systems have to do with ensuring every child has the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential? At Powerful Schools, there’s actually a fairly close connection, and SVP Partner Kevin Phaup was able to help! Executive Director, Tré Maxie explains.
In the nonprofit world, writing a grant can be a challenging experience. At times, the experience can even become excruciating and horrifying. Vu Le, our talented nonprofit storyteller, relates his experience with a recent, infamous grant.
Since 1994, SVP Investee, the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS), has played a vital role in the fight for a cleaner, healthier, and economically thriving Puget Sound. Today, they announce exciting news - their expansion into new areas of King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties! Find out more in their press release why this expansion is so important to the environmental health of Puget Sound.
The Mountains to Sound Greenway is a special place. Evergreen trees still blanket the hillsides and valleys. The air is still fresh; the water is still clean. Cougars still pad through deep woods. Even though millions of people live here, in the hundred miles from Seattle to Ellensburg, these things remain true. How? Not by accident.
In the course of our nonprofit work, we often have to go to a lot of blind meetings. It's just like a regular blind date only these "dates" are work-related. And just like those awkward meetings single people dread, we all need some tips to help make going to one a little bit easier.
SVP's Encore Fellows program allows experienced professionals to utilize their background and skills with other organizations, allowing them to give back to the community and make the world a better place.
We already have a good idea of what needs to be done to create large-scale change. We also already have the funding to create that impact. So, what's missing? In his TEDxBGI talk, Paul Shoemaker shares why we need the big (bad?) corporations to make things happen.
$1 to $11 ROI? Now there’s a great bet! SVP Investee, Communities In Schools is turning $1 into $11.60 in social and economic returns. Stellar results like these recently earned them a place in the the first-ever Social Impact 100 Index, which recognizes top performing evidence-based nonprofits.
You may have caught last December’s film “The Impossible.” But do you know which SVP Partner explored the untold story? What happens to local communities after disaster strikes, after the cameras and donors have come and gone? His short film got a shout out in Vanity Fair and from director Juan Antonio Bayona.
As you may have noticed, SVP has a new look! Our new logo and colors are more than cosmetic, however. They represent a shift in SVP member organizations around the globe. We are coming together under a single unified brand, and by this summer will share a new common website. Another reminder that we are not just 500 Partners here in Washington, but 2500 Partners worldwide!
Over the past few weeks, I have reflected a lot about the lessons learned these last seven years at SVP. A stack of 5x7 notecards sits on my desk capturing phrases of what I’m taking with me. But in the end, it boils down to one key concept – and it’s what I learned when things got really hard for me. When I was feeling “one down” among people who had once felt like my peers.
“If you are ever discouraged or pessimistic, seeing what goes on at the grassroots level will give you hope. Policies, politics, practices and poor funding are major obstacles but passionate, compassionate people are working miracles.” SVP Partner Preston Thompson pretty much says it all. Find out who we met and what we learned during our visit with Team Read at Gatzert Elementary.
“Who,” I would say in a low voice that would reverberate through the restaurant, “who would make the program happen then? Elves?! UNICORNS?!!!” In Vu Le's latest blog post, he shares some of his not-so-sweet experiences in navigating the complex maze of nonprofit restrictions.
This is the last in a series of blog posts by SVP Partner Linda Wagener, principal of Marigold Associates. In this installment, Linda tackles the problem of forming children’s attitudes toward money and work, values rarely shaped simply by education. They are rooted in the basic practices and habits of family life.
This past grey and cloudy Tuesday evening, we wished Sofia well into her next big career adventure. After nearly seven years with SVP, our long-term Director of Philanthropy Development has accepted an exciting position at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as Senior Program Officer – Giving Partnerships. Here are some photos and well-wishes from the evening!
Kids typically don’t pick up basic life skills through osmosis. They have to be taught how to clean a bathroom, check the oil in their car, and manage their money. In this second installment of three blog posts, SVP Partner Linda Wagener explains how a good financial education can provide a wonderful foundation for your child as he/she learns to manage wealth on his/her own.
Financial wealth can have a profound impact on individuals and families, and most importantly for parents, the use of their wealth can have unintended impacts on their children. SVP Partner Linda Wagener, principal of Marigold Associates, has put together this series of three blog posts as an introduction to parents about the potential impact of wealth and ways to mitigate those impacts. First up: what parents need to know.
It's easy to understand how wealth makes life easier, but just how does it make life more difficult? SVP Partner Linda Wagener discusses her experience working with highly successful clients through her firm, Marigold Associates, in this series of blog posts.
Today’s post explores how we can use feng shui, which means “wind water,” to optimize the energy in our work space, not just so that we feel good while at work, but also so that our space attracts funding for our organizations. Now, I do not claim to be a feng shui expert, so keep that in mind while you read the tips below. If it makes you feel better, I did do some light Googling during commercials of Iron Chef while writing this post.
Last November's TEDxRainier event featured not one, but FOUR members of our SVP community: Eleuthera Lisch, Lisa Chin, Jessie Woolley-Wilson and CJ Liu. From ending the disease of violence to closing the opportunity gap, these women stayed true to the TED Talks mantra. They shared ideas worth spreading.
Less than 50% of Washington kids enter kindergarten ready to succeed – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Of the students that Powerful Schools serves, more than 85% meet or exceed readiness goals, and they are just one of the groups SVP partners with. Last year, we turned $1.00 of grant funds into $1.40 of support for nonprofits like Powerful Schools. Find out how in our Impact Report.
The term “cultural competency” has been thrown around a lot. For instance: “We must be more culturally competent in our outreach efforts in order to synergistically shift the paradigm for collective impact.” And also: “Stop being so culturally incompetent! In many cultures, staff are expected to make the Executive Director a mango lemonade while he naps!”
Is your organization focused on the environment? Are you ready to take that work to the next level? Maybe we can help! SVP is now accepting letters of inquiry for our 2013 Environment Grant Cycle!
On Friday night of our SVP Conference, we sat and listened to the aspirations and dreams of the SVP founders in India and China-to-be. It was stimulating, very exciting, and … just a little bit overwhelming. If you’d have heard them, you’d think they were sort of channeling that evening in 1997. They really “get it,” even though they are halfway around the world, living in cultures and countries very different from North America.
There is so much to celebrate as we look back at 2012! From the awesome work of our Investees and Partners, to the kids and natural places thriving because of their work. (Not to mention the invention of the bike-powered blender, which we test-rode at the SVP conference!) Check out our flashback in this short video.
Are you coming early to an SVP meeting? Need a change of scene to get some work done? Want a place to meet downtown? Why not use the Hub – for free?! SVP has four roving Hub memberships for SVP Partners. Just stop in, say hi to Marlene, sign out a pass and head downstairs to the Hub's co-working space.
Our SVP family is full of people who are out there doing great things for our community, and today we wanted to give a shout out to four women in particular. From early literacy to education innovation – SVP'ers Jessie Woolley-Wilson, Julie Pham, CiKeithia Pugh, and Maggie Walker have recently been recognized in publications like Forbes and the Puget Sound Business Journal.