Dan Kinsella, #20storiesfor20years

“I’m retired. I followed a pretty traditional accounting career, then I was CFO for a number of tech companies in the Twin Cities. Seven years ago, my wife and I were looking at different ways to give back. We went to an SVP Minnesota informational breakfast and heard their message of ‘engaged philanthropy.’ That interested us, as well as the focus on youth, so we ended up joining. We each made a financial contribution which allowed us to be called a ‘partner.’ Then we were invited to all the different ways in which SVP helps organizations. One of those ways is to hear the pitches that the nonprofits make so that they can be part of the program. My role is to do the due diligence on the organizations that are trying to come into our SVP portfolio and to be part of the impact teams. I’m part of the team here at 30,000 Feet.< We sit down with the organization’s leadership and talk about what’s important to them. We come up with a goal and then we figure out how we can help both as individual consultants and with our network of SVP partners. So somebody might have a lot of experience with diversity training, which I don’t. And somebody else might have expertise in marketing. Somebody else might in sales. So I can bring other partners in for select projects. But we have a main team that stays with the organization for two to three years. Usually, we don’t do too much of the hands-on work. It’s more opening doors for them, providing past learnings, and just trying to help them save time and keep from running into a brick wall that they don’t see coming, especially with growth. Here at 30,000 Feet, they burn with passion for what they’re doing, and it’s super fun for me to be a part of that. It keeps me pulled back into reality. So if George Floyd’s murder was a catalyst for a lot of people, including me, to really learn a lot more, this keeps me in it day-to-day, week-to-week where I’m talking to people who are fighting for change that otherwise I’d be a lot more segregated from. And frankly, sometimes the monthly one-on-one meetings with the EDs are just a mental health hour. They come in all frustrated and burned out and they go, ‘My month’s been terrible and here’s what’s going on.’ And maybe we don’t solve anything, but they have a chance to talk to a trusted partner who has no other purpose for being there than to help them with their core purpose. Here I am, after forty years in the workplace, and I’ve accumulated all these skills. Do I just retire and let all my learnings go nowhere? I can putter and do a million things. I’ve got a list that will last forever. But this forces me to carve time out and step out of myself. And when you force yourself to step out, you have growth as an individual. We’re called to love and to express love of neighbor, of community. I want to try and bring what I can, especially at my age. And hopefully it makes a difference.” Dan Kinsella SVP MN Partner Photo and Story Credit:  Humans of Minneapolis, Inc

Apply Now!

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