Connect the Dots
Paul Shoemaker on philanthropy, nonprofits, and the connections that make SVP.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No hyperbole, our Grand Opening was one of the most unique, exhilarating evenings in my career. In my brief remarks, I offered up the idea that this is not so much a place with an address, but a space with an aspiration for positive change.
Each summer, I take a weekend camping trip with one (or more) of my sons. Just so you know, it’s classic open-the-back-of-the-SUV camping, but it’s still a great experience to get out in the wild and open air with my guys. Last year, I used a reflection from that to draw an analogy to our approach to capacity building with non-profits. Something different stuck with me this year.
I got invited to the White House Forum on Philanthropy Innovation last week. Pretty cool opportunity. Just thought I’d share a couple reflections – It reaffirms that there are people all over this country (and world) giving their lives and everything they’ve got to help making the world a better place for everyone.
For the next two weeks, the SVP staff is “homeless” while we wait to move into our new digs with BGI and the HUB. The potential is awesome, but right now … oh boy. More than once I’ve asked myself the question – so whose great idea was this in the first place?? (Don’t answer that.) I need to remind myself WHY we are moving and hope like heck we get it right.
"That blew my mind. I had no idea that rich people actually cared about poor people, about their community. I had no idea that something like SVP existed.” Those words came from Year Up student, Irving Severino after our last Spring Meeting. I couldn’t get them out of my head. A few days later decided I had to go have a cup of coffee with Irving and try to better understand.
Yep, for the second year running, SVP’s own Paul Shoemaker is named one of The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50! Joining the ranks of philanthropic leaders like Jeff Skoll, Marion Wright Edelman, and Bill Gates, Paul has been recognized as one of the nonprofit sector’s top executives and thinkers.
It's not JUST a new place to work. It’s a new energy and center for connectivity and positive change in our community! SVP is moving down 2nd Ave to co-locate with The HUB Seattle and the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in the historic Masin’s furniture building in Pioneer Square.
In our March newsletter we profiled an Investee with whom we are in our 5th year. That story prompted a long-time Partner and super-volunteer, John Fine, to write back...
Someone on staff had the “audacity” to suggest that maybe we should circle back on some of the blog posts over the last few years that have addressed topics like the need for more cross-silo / connected philanthropy, whether SVP should encourage more competition or collaboration, and some of the daunting challenges involved in taking a “hyper-collaborative” approach and talk about where SVP is today.
I woke up this morning to an email from Chuck Holland at 5:07AM … who the heck is Chuck Holland, right?! Well, here is his inspiring note. Be sure to click on the half-hour interview with Kelly Ramirez, the ED of SVP Rhode Island.
The GEO conference reinforced and extended my ideas about working collaboratively and connectedly. BUT it also mixed things up for me in one significant, and very good, way. I will walk away thinking a lot harder about WHO AND WHAT IS “THE NETWORK” REALLY?
Most of us have heard or seen that name this week. It has raised a wide range of reactions, all over the spectrum. I’m not here to advocate one way or another for the content or cause or how they go about it. What does make me kinda nuts is the criticism that some people have laid out – that Invisible Children doesn’t spend enough money on “programs.”
What do Bellevue and Oakland have in common? I found out the other day when I got an email from a former SVP Partner, Joneil Custodio.
The theme for this year's World Economic Forum is The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models. My position is that we need to focus more on harnessing social and human capital (not just financial capital). What do you think? Given the challenges confronting us in 2012 and beyond, what does the social sector have to do to think -- and be thought of -- differently? How can we rapidly change the "equation for social good"?
Sometimes the connections SVP makes are between new members of grant committees or several Partners that have a common community interest or … life-long friends that haven’t connected for years. Sometimes the connections happen intentionally or as part of a structured group … and sometimes it happens on-the-fly and out of nowhere, like for Cynthia and Meredith.
Last November, 25+ speakers, leaders, artists, innovators, and visionaries spoke at Seattle's TEDx Rainier event. It was a day-long whirlwind of ideas and stories that crossed frontiers, and SVP's own Executive Connector, Paul Shoemaker was invited to speak. Missed the event? Don't worry. You can now catch the presentations online!