{jcomments on} 

Gary Yurkovich
  • https://www.facebook.com/seechangemagazine
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • StumbleUpon
As a business person, you tend to be head down, focused on the business that you are responsible for and taking care of your family. Periodically, someone knocks on your door and asks you to contribute to their particular worthy cause. You either say no (“I gave at the office”) or write them a cheque and send them on their way. Either way, you can’t help but wonder where your money goes and if it actually does any good. And weren’t you just let off easy – writing a cheque and not really doing anything?

A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to BC Social Venture Partners (BC SVP), a network of like-minded business people who contribute their time and money to make a difference in our communities. It isn’t about just writing a cheque and shutting the door. It’s about using the skills and experience that you have built as a business person to help a carefully selected group of nonprofit organizations.

As an executive and member of several boards of high tech companies, I am very familiar with the well-established Venture Capital (VC) model to fund growing technology companies. BC SVP uses a similar approach in the nonprofit sector. The individual partners pool their funds and carefully select one or two worthy nonprofits to work with. Individual SVP partners then work with the grantees to coach and develop their capacity to better deliver goods and services to their clients. It is actually partner knowledge and experience that is so valuable to these groups. Personally, I find this approach much more appealing than the “cheque at the door” or a nameless contribution to a huge charity. You and your SVP partners contribute your own money and, as a team, you participate in where it goes, how it is spent and reap the rewards of seeing the results at the end of the day.

Business people deal with problem-solving all day. But when you look at the complex problems in our society, it can be overwhelming. However, as we do in business, the problems can be addressed and results monitored when we work as a team. By applying the same business processes and skills to the nonprofit sector, we are helping to change the traditional charity model while creating a new way of doing business and delivering charitable services.

On a personal note, I have found the Social Venture Partners to be a great network of people who have tremendous business skills and desire to make a difference in our community. They are good people to have as part of your social conscience network. The experience I have gained with the exposure to the nonprofit sector has allowed me to become a more effective philanthropist.

Most important, the people I’ve had the opportunity to meet, coach, and learn from, has been a most gratifying experience. As business people, we look for good return on investment of our capital and energy. Learning about and engaging with our nonprofit community through an organization like BC SVP has delivered a stunning return on my investment of time and money.

Mr. Yurkovich has more than 25 years of senior executive experience in the technology industry. He was Vice President, Sales and Corporate Development of Brightside Technologies, which was purchased by Dolby Labs in 2007. Previously, Mr. Yurkovich served as the Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Service for Creo Products, helping to grow the company from $6M to more than $125M in revenue over a three-year period prior to being purchased by Kodak for $1B in 2005. He also served as COO of Resolution Health in San Jose, which was purchased by Wellpoint in 2008. He is a BCIT graduate in Electronics and has a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Genetics from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Yurkovich is currently the Managing Partner of Espresso Capital, Chairman of Rapid Electric Vehicles, Board Director at Clevest Solutions, Lead Board Director of Wolf Medical, and serves on the Board of Directors at BC Social Venture Partners, a provider of capital and business expertise to nonprofit organizations.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This