Ever wondered how to increase the impact of your philanthropic efforts? I joined SVP in January of this year because of three things: the people, the model, and the impact.
The people that I have met within SVPMN are a very talented, experienced bunch who are committed to making a difference for at risk youth in our community. Where else would you find the founder of a technology company, a leader in the TED movement, and the founder of a highly successful nonprofit organization combining efforts and resources to benefit an organization that shows great promise? SVP is rich in talent, commitment and passion all of which benefit selected organizations working to positively impact at risk youth.
The model is one that ensures that every dollar committed is matched by consulting time with a market expert. This combination, combined with a capacity building plan, yields organizational growth, sustainability, and impact. Where else can you be sure your investment will provide a return that impact lives today and tomorrow?
The impact on youth is tangible. Whether helping homeless teens find housing and employment, insuring a preschool program has space, inspiring youth to serve their community, helping youth to understand and communicate perspectives other than their own, or insuring that high school youth are admitted to college, SVP partners with nonprofits to make a difference for the youth of our community.
For those of you who read our newsletter and are not partners, I encourage you to consider joining our community. If interested, please contact me at email@example.com. You will find your life enriched beyond your greatest expectations.
For our partners, thank you. Because of you, your efforts and your resources, a significant impact has been made upon at risk youth in the Twin Cities. Our children are the beneficiaries of your care. What could be better than that?
At the end of this month I will be attending the SVP Spring Gathering in Arizona, where the staff and Executive Directors from SVP’s around the world gather to share insights, ideas and build relationships. I am excited to connect with the network and bring back tools and knowledge to apply here in Minnesota.
A little bit about Tom and Laurie:
They’re both from Southern Minnesota. They are college sweethearts with three adult children: Joe, Becca, and Andy. They recently entered their empty nest phase of life with a new house, more time with friends, and more community involvement.
By weekday they:
Work as the Chief Distribution Officer at Allianz Life Insurance Company (Tom)
Volunteer at Risen Christ helping kids improve their reading (Laurie)
By weekend they:
Love to travel, spend as much time with friends and family as possible and exercise.
Tom and Laurie are avid golfers, so you’ll likely catch them on the course if the weather is nice!
Why did they decide to join SVP?
Giving back to the community is important to them and to Allianz Life. Tom chose to dedicate his executive leadership contribution to SVP. Tom and Laurie have known Pam for many years so when she took the helm at SVP, that was all the convincing they needed that SVP was an organization they should invest in.
At SVP MN we are a group of 76 extraordinary people who have come together to help solve our most vexing social problems. Now imagine what could happen if you multiply that. What you may not realize is that we already have. Currently SVP exists in 30 cities in North America, Japan, India and soon China, with over 2,600 partners working collaboratively to solve social problems. We’ve impacted over 550 investees network wide, given over $46.25 million, and invested countless thousands of strategic volunteer hours since 1997. Each affiliate shares best practices, connections and now a unified brand to amplify our impact. Want proof of the impact? Hear it straight from Lance Fors, Board Chair of the SVP Network.
The Global Network and SVP MN Investees
With a network of 2,000 plus partners all applying their skills and connections to solve similar social issues, ideas are shared, built upon and applied in our work with investees. Here are a couple stories of this in action.
It’s 2002 in Houston Texas and a man named Rafael Alvarez has an innovative idea: provide professional IT training to economically challenged high school students who lack the connections and skills to compete in the job market, and place them in high quality corporate internships. With the help of SVP in Texas he was able to create Genesys Works, an organization that does just that. Once the program was established and had proven success, Rafael and SVP looked to expand the program into other cities. Because of the SVP connection, Rafael brought his idea to Minnesota. Our partners decided to support the launch of the program here and the rest is history. An SVP Partner, Jeff Tollefson became the Genesys Twin Cities Executive Director and the program grew from just 11 students in 2008 to 250 students expected in their upcoming class. Learn more about Genesys Works
Urban Debate League
While Minnesota Urban Debate League is our newest investee here in Minnesota, SVP has worked with the Urban Debate League in Boston for years. With SVP’s help Boston Urban Debate League grew their budget to over $1 million. Last Fall SVPMN Partner George Dow visited the Boston SVP and Urban Debate League to learn about their work, their best practices and learn how we can apply similar work here. Already in their first year as an investee Minnesota Urban Debate League is seeing some exciting growth. Read more in the “Investee Spotlight”
It was a cold February night, but that did not stop the group of students from various urban high schools from assembling in the Foss Hall Atrium at Augsburg College with their friends and families. It was their big night, the 4th Annual Minnesota Urban Debate League Banquet, where awards are given to outstanding seniors who have overcome challenges, stepped up as leaders, and are headed on a path to success. It was a night of celebration and they certainly had a lot to celebrate.
Among the students was Ayaan, the first African American women to be in the final round of the state tournament in over 100 years!
It has been an outstanding school year for Mn Urban Debate League, who just secured $100,000 of funding from St. Paul Public Schools over the next two years, and is currently working with SVP Partner and Chief Academic Officer of Minneapolis Public Schools, Emily Puetz, to secure funding from Minneapolis Public Schools as well.
- This year student participation in Mn Urban Debate League increased by 40%.
- 99% of the students who participated in the program are accepted to college.
- 100% of students who participated in Mn Urban Debate League are graduating from high school on time.
- This year eight teams went to state.
- Two students from Humboldt High School and two students from Highland Park High School are NAUDL National Tournament Qualifiers.
To learn more about the impact Mn Urban Debate is having on the lives of youth come to their showcase on March 20th. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet the youth, learn what the organization is working on and how you can get involved. And it will be fun, as we’ll get to watch a live middle school debate round! Event details and RSVP here.
At Monday’s event we honored select partners for their work with SVPMN in the past 10 years.
Carla Pavone was awarded the Fast Start Award for going above and beyond in her first year of service. Carla selflessly dedicated her time to our former investee, the A-List, by stepping into the role of interim Executive Director when they faced serious financial struggles, dedicating 30 hours a week to the organization to ensure it met its commitments to the youth they served.
Phil and Margie Soran were awarded the Partner of the Year Award. Over the past 10 years they have exemplified what it means to be SVP partners. Their service has been extensive, serving on grant teams, working closely with Genesys Works to build their capacity, and directing the SVP Teens Program.
We also honored our partners who have been with us for 5 and 10 years.
5 Year Awards: 10 year Awards:
Marty and Kathy Leestma Steve Bloom
Jennie Olson and Jeff Tollefson Eric and Kim Jackson
John and Mary Anne Mauriel Phil and Margie Soran
Steve and Jane VanTassel
Rob and Carolyn Albright
A huge thank you to all our partners for an impactful 10 years.