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Friday, August 16th, 2013

Innovation for Good: Tim Rohrer Partner Profile

A research scientist, academic and entrepreneur, Tim Rohrer was a longtime donor to environmental non-profits and professional organizations. But, he reflects, “I’d arrived at a point in my career and life where I was interested in building something within the community.” Looking around Boulder County, he saw many intriguing organizations focused on social problems, and wanted to find a way to help.

When Community Foundation Serving Boulder County President Josie Heath recommended SVP to Foundation Board member and Tim’s wife, Randi Grassgreen, Tim and Randi were curious. After learning about SVP’s ‘venture philanthropy’ model and attending a Partner Meeting, they liked what they saw. Tim notes, “We were impressed with what we heard and who we met; the kinds of organizations SVP invested in and the transformations SVP brought about. There were notable changes that took place once SVP got involved.”

Once a Partner, Tim served on the Grants committee before taking on a three-year run as Lead Partner for The Wellness Initiative. With their SVP engagement, TWI “became an organization positioned to grow in a sustainable way; now their model is more realistic.” He adds, “As an entrepreneur, you learn you can’t solve every problem alone. SVP’s venture effort model allows us to pool the talents of a team to do something none of us could otherwise accomplish alone [for an organization]. That’s what I find provocative and effective, and that’s why we stay involved.”

Tim sees a bright future for SVP’s next chapter. “Now, I’ve got a deeper understanding of the role non-profits play in Boulder County. SVP is a well-led, risk-taking, caring organization that really does build the community. We’re uniquely positioned to take on high-risk, high-reward challenges to create non-profits that are radically different…and really exciting.”

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