Debbie Darden has a lot going on–and that may be putting it mildly. Graduations, grandchildren, you name it. In the thick of it all, Debbie managed to somehow act as the lead SVP Charlotte Partner on SEED20 2014. We pinned her down to talk about some of the highlights of her experience and of SEED20.
Debbie: I often hear “I had no idea that these things were going on in Charlotte!” or “These nonprofits give me hope for the future.” The attendees were blown away by the speakers, as well as the entire SEED20 class’s dedication to their individual missions. There is a real high level of energy and enthusiasm created by the event.
SVP: What were some of the other Partners’ impressions?
Debbie: The Partners who work on SEED20 really give the project their all and become the biggest cheerleaders for participating nonprofits. We want them to bring their best through the process, and really feel their successes and their stumbles–just like parents! What I hear most often from nonprofits is appreciation for the supportive nature of the process. Participants, coaches and SVP organizers become a family and an ongoing network for the SEED20.
SVP: How about SEED20 sponsors?
Debbie: At this year’s Sponsor Appreciation Party, one of the sponsors made a bee line for me after the SEED20 introduced themselves. They wanted to meet one of the SEED20 because their organization was such a great fit for the funder. We at SVP love to be connectors, and we are so grateful for our generous community sponsors!
SVP: What do you think some longer-term impacts of SEED20 are or will be?
Debbie: The long term impact is already being felt by the SEED20 who are active in the Alumni Network. The connections they’ve made led to collaborations that will strengthen their organizations. Greater awareness among SEED nonprofits and the larger Charlotte nonprofit community–I’d say that’s a positive impact! There are so many organizations out there doing great work under the radar. My hope is that SEED20 can help shine the spotlight on those organizations to get them the recognition and support they need to continue to improve the lives of the people they serve, and by extension, the Charlotte community.