In 1994, Paul Brainerd, founder of Aldus Corporation, a desktop publishing company, started Social Venture Partners in Seattle. Brainerd’s vision was to engage small and mid-cap business leaders in philanthropy by the using the venture capitalist approach. There are now 34 SVP International (SVPI) affiliates across the globe in cities such as Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, and Tokyo and there are more than 2,700 partners across the world who have contributed $50 million in grants to more than 300 non-profit organizations.
In 2001, in keeping with its overall mission, the Regional Business Council launched St. Louis SVP to provide an innovative vehicle for philanthropy in St. Louis. The St. Louis SVP’s partnership with the RBC makes it unique among the SVP network. This framework has become a model for new cities considering starting their own Social Venture Partners program.
St. Louis SVP has the unique opportunity to employ the skills and resources of our region's leading business executives to support organizations that provide educational programs for disadvantaged youth. Partner involvement ranges from hands-on work, such as establishing a website or network designing marketing materials offering support in the areas of finance, strategic planning, fundraising, legal, promotions, real estate and more.