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SVP Partner Patsy Hartman: Everything I was looking for and more

We talk to Partner Patsy Hartman about the new skills she developed and new passion she discovered after joining San Diego Social Venture Partners.


How did you become involved in SVP? After 27 years as a pediatric nurse and then helping my husband run a business, we were thinking about retirement. We wanted to make a difference and were thinking of starting a nonprofit. A friend suggested we learn more about how nonprofits work and said he knew just the place to go. He was absolutely right. SVP gave me everything I was looking for and more.

Why should someone consider becoming an SVP partner?

You’re making a difference locally and your impact grows exponentially. You give time, money, and expertise so that a nonprofit becomes three times more efficient and effective. That gives you a huge sense of satisfaction.


What have you learned by being a partner? I joined in 2009 and I feel like I learn something at every opportunity, whether it’s a nonprofit site visit, a small working group, or an educational event. I had no idea how blessed we are in San Diego to have so many nonprofits contributing to our community.

I didn’t have a background in nonprofits or HR or marketing or strategic planning, but I know something about all of those things now. After 11 years working with nonprofits through SVP, I’ve developed more analytical skills and the ability to see the bigger picture. I can help nonprofits analyze their strengths, weaknesses, and challenges and suggest what they might want to do next.


What else have you discovered? Many years ago, one group we were considering investing in was Voices for Children. I had been looking for something that might fit my skill set and I joined them as a volunteer. Now I’m a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for foster children. A lot of Partners learn about nonprofits that they then become passionate about. I would never have heard of the CASA program if not for SVP.


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