Saving, Investing & Returning Value
Saving, Investing & Returning Value (SIRV) builds upon SEO’s mission of preparing young people of color to lead, not just in their careers, but equally in their communities. Through seminars, donor-advised funds, and related programming, the SIRV initiative helps SEO alumni and other professionals of color explore a broad range of strategic philanthropic activity. Participants come to understand and seek out roles they can play through volunteering and nonprofit board service, as well as monetary philanthropy. At the same time, SIRV recognizes that many people need to learn methods to stabilize and manage their individual finances in order to engage in sustained giving. Therefore, SIRV’s comprehensive approach includes an integrated focus on wealth creation, not as an end unto itself, but as another means of encouraging an individual’s commitment to giving.
The SIRV Speakers Series has exposed hundreds of young professionals of color to a variety of personal finance, investing and philanthropy topics. In 2006 and 2007, the Legends in Business, Leaders in Philanthropy series brought mid-career and more advanced alumni together to hear from exemplary leaders on their inspirational stories of business success and philanthropic involvement, and also learn about the opportunity to establish their own donor-advised funds through SEO’s partnership with the Tides Foundation.
Since 2002, grantmaking initiatives like the Community Assistance Fund, Donor-advised Pooled Fund and Career Program Class Gift have given SEO alumni and students hands-on experience with collaborative philanthropy, while helping them learn about needs in their communities. To date, these projects have directed more than $830,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations.
SIRV’s creation and expansion was made possible by grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the F.B. Heron Foundation, the Edwin Gould Foundation and the Merrill Lynch Foundation, and through in-kind support from J.P. Morgan.