A vision for a more connected Calgary

SVP Calgary 2025 is our vision for a more connected Calgary, a city with high levels of social sector awareness and engagement. As we have done since 2000, we will facilitate access and connections to people with ideas, talent, knowledge, funding, and opportunities by reaching across social boundaries. We will enable greater collaboration through our strong and growing Partner network and community connections. And we will measure our impact through a lens that includes social sector awareness and engagement measures, as well as our traditional granting, project, and volunteer metrics.

The pillars of SVP Calgary 2025 include:

Convening and Networking

Attend an event. Have conversations. And have fun.

Ideas and Learning

Formulate and submit ideas. Learn about innovation and the social sector.

Projects and Grants

Get support for your nonprofit. Work with our collaborators and Partners.

Building on a remarkable history

The SVP Network

The year was 1997. Paul Brainerd had just sold his software company, Aldus Corporation, and was ready for his next journey. Drawing on a life-long passion for the environment, Paul invited colleagues, friends, and community members in his hometown of Seattle to discuss his new idea to get thousands more people highly engaged in philanthropy. These people would not just write cheques. They would work shoulder-to-shoulder with nonprofits, using their professional skills to tackle Seattle’s most pressing problems. Soon after, the SVP model and the engaged philanthropy movement was set in motion.

By 2001, 18 SVPs had sprung up organically. The SVP Network Office was born and serves as a hub for information, guidance, and connection.

SVP Calgary

Calgarians Brad and Tanya Zumwalt met Paul Brainerd through business connections. Excited about SVP’s unique model of supporting the community, the Zumwalts launched Social Venture Partners Calgary, the first SVP in Canada, in the fall of 2000. Since its inception, SVP Calgary has raised more than $2 million for direct investment into our community and provided thousands of hours of volunteer time and expertise to support social sector organizations.

Evolution and Impact

SVP Calgary has always been driven to innovate – to address Calgary’s challenges by transforming ideas into action. We have done this through our long-running Fast Pitch events, through long-term project engagements with nonprofit organizations, and through learning and networking within our Partner community. While our programs have shifted to adjust to current needs, our commitment has been consistent: invest in community and help build a stronger, more innovative social sector. Along the way, we have learned and adapted, and adopted best practices from the SVP International network to address the needs of the Calgary community.

As we approach 2025, we recognize that the needs of our community are transforming faster than ever. And together with our supporters, collaborators, Partners, and investees, we will transform to meet the challenges we face. Connection between social sector organizations, between sectors, between citizens, and connection to ideas is more important than ever. And connection starts here.

Connect with us

Join the conversation

If you’re a nonprofit curious about how to develop and submit your idea for feedback, a community member curious about innovation and the social sector, or an SVP Calgary Partner looking for in-depth social sector knowledge, you can begin your journey here:

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