The reality is that I have spent most of my adult life chasing my career goals in venture capital. I have talked a good game about trying to do more service for my community - an occasional Christmas gift wrapping exercise for those less fortunate - but the truth of the matter is that my efforts to date have been pretty feeble.
But, sometimes things happen for a reason and serendipity strikes.
A couple years ago, my wife Laura was paired randomly with a new tennis partner. They "hit" it off - no pun intended - and stuck around after the match to talk. The conversation meandered from topic to topic and eventually Nancy - the tennis partner - mentioned a local philanthropic group called SV2 that piqued Laura's interest.
SV2 definitely looked interesting online, but since I'd successfully managed to put off any real philanthropic or community engagement to-date, I figured I'd be able to do the same with SV2.
Yet, as any good husband would do, I'd support my wife and make an obligatory appearance at the upcoming annual meeting, but, in the back of my mind, I was quite confident that, “This too shall pass!”
Well, something happened at the annual meeting. I found something that I honestly did not think existed. It was a perfect confluence of all of the things I could possibly want in an organization: a community of like-minded individuals who have a common sense of purpose to do more with their lives than many of them - including myself - have done to date.
Since that fateful annual meeting, our whole family has become involved in SV2. My wife, a former teacher, loves being involved in allocating grants to Educational nonprofits. My three daughters participate in the SV2 Kids and SV2 Teens programs to see firsthand the impact of social giving - they even hosted a recent service project at our home to assemble goody bags for children staying at the Ronald McDonald House while they get treatment at the hospital.
As for me, I'm a believer in the SV2 model and, having seen it proved out in a variety of markets, I have volunteered to help “take the show on the road,” to find new areas of the country where SV2-like giving circles could flourish.
So, why SV2? To be frank, it's as simple as - it just works for us. SV2 makes it easy and enjoyable for our family to “give back.”