Connect Philanthropists.
Strengthen Nonprofits.
Invest in Collaborative Solutions.

We believe in engaged philanthropy - a hands-on approach to investment in community. SVP Partners contribute their time, talent and resources to build the capacity of youth-serving organizations in the Twin Cities seven county metro area.This unique combination of financial grants PLUS human capital leads to meaningful engagement, stronger relationships, deeper understanding of social sector issues, and amplifies the impact of youth-serving organizations.

The History of SVP

It was 1994, and Paul Brainerd was out of a job. He 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, the University of Minnesota graduate had other ideas than to take an early retirement. Drawing on a life-long passion for the environment, he toured the Pacific Northwest, interviewing dozens of leaders in the field to figure out where he could have the greatest impact. A year later, Paul founded the Brainerd Foundation, as well as an environmental nonprofit.

Not long after that, Paul realized he was not the only person in his particular situation. The dot-com boom was in full swing, and Seattle was brimming with young, retired professionals who wanted to give back, but didn’t quite know how.

“This is a more engaged giving style. If it’s done right, both sides end up with more in the end.”~ Paul Brainerd

Paul invited colleagues, friends, and community members to discuss another idea – this one borne of the desire to get thousands more people highly engaged in philanthropy. These people would do more than just write checks. They would work shoulder-to-shoulder with nonprofits – using their professional skills to tackle Seattle’s most pressing problems.

“It’s not about charity,” Paul told Susan Byrnes of The Seattle Times. “This is a more engaged giving style. If it’s done right, both sides end up with more in the end.” More than a hundred people showed up for that first meeting, and in 1997 Paul – along with other business leaders – founded Social Venture Partners

The History of SVP Minnesota

It was 2001, and Steve Bloom was looking for something new. Active in his church and serving on nonprofit boards, he grew frustrated. He was passionate about serving underprivileged youth, but despite giving a lot of time, he felt he wasn’t making the impact he wanted.

At the time, Steve was doing work for Fraser Community Services. They just received a grant from Yokomoto Moss to find the next generation of givers: what were they doing with their money and where were they giving their time and energy? During this process, the folks at Yokomoto Moss introduced Steve to Tim Morin.

Steve met with Tim Morin, Jeff Dekko, Eric Jackson and others to create a new model of giving. They came up with a model of engaged philanthropy – giving more than a check, by also investing their time, talent and connections in organizations. With some research, they found this model in the form of SVP Seattle.

With support from The Minneapolis Foundation, SVP Minnesota launched in 2002. Since then, we’ve grown in numbers and approach. As an organization committed to engaged philanthropy, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of innovative nonprofits in the Twin Cities metro area and to be responsive to the issues impacting youth today.

SVP is now a global movement with affiliates in 9 countries, spanning 40+ cities around the world and our international network is more than 3500 people strong!

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is open!
All applications due July 20th at 5 PM.