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About Us

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Our Vision

SVP Tucson envisions a community where everyone thrives. We achieve this vision by connecting and investing in our community to enhance social impact. 

Our Mission

SVP Tucson is an ever-expanding community of engaged philanthropists dedicated to building nonprofits’ capacity, strength, and impact in addressing social problems.

We accomplish this through: 

  • Thoughtful and strategic investments and collaborations
  • Our Partners’ engagement and expertise
  • Inspiring and equipping Partners to be more strategic and effective in their giving

Values & Behaviors


We make a greater impact together.

•    Be a passionate ally for one another’s success
•    Listen to learn and understand
•    Cultivate trust at every opportunity 


We explore new ways to align our skills and passion with purpose.

•    Embrace the potential for things yet undreamed
•    Explore the opportunity for learning in every situation
•    Welcome new ideas and opportunities


We leverage unique assets to create positive change.

•    Pursue the greatest potential, not the easiest path.
•    Set goals, develop plans, and celebrate results
•    Always strive to do better


We believe that all people should have the opportunity to succeed.

•    Recognize everyone has something valuable to contribute
•    Be aware of privilege and seek to understand different life experiences
•    Incorporate diverse opinions and perspectives


We take responsibility for our actions.

•    Honor commitments and follow through.
•    Be kind and direct. Facilitate uncomfortable conversations.
•    Assume positive intent. Withhold judgment.

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About SVP Tucson

Established in 2006, Helaine Levy and Steve Alley introduced the SVP model to Tucson and launched SVP Tucson with eight dedicated Partners. SVP Tucson has since delivered more than $2.9 million dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to more than 92 nonprofit organizations in Southern Arizona. SVP Tucson is comprised of volunteers, parents, community leaders, and philanthropists – a global network of local partners connecting passion and purpose. We see the chasm between the challenges we face today as a society and the scale at which we are engaging those challenges. Read more in our 15-year report to learn about how we strengthen organizations.

Reimagine The Future

The History of SVP

In 1994, Paul Brainerd sold his software company, Aldus Corporation, to Adobe. PageMaker, the desktop publishing program his company created, revolutionized printing and publishing, leaving him an unexpected millionaire.

At the age of 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, an environmental nonprofit.

Not long after, Paul realized he was not the only person in his 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 born from the desire to get thousands more highly engaged in philanthropy. These partners would do more than 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 and other business leaders founded Social Venture Partners.

Global Impact

SVP International works to strengthen, connect, and amplify the impact of affiliates by providing tools, resources, and convenings.

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