Paul Shoemaker, Strengthening the Social Sector

Twitter: @PaulShoeSVP

Paul Shoemaker is the Founding President of Social Venture Partners International—a global network of thousands of social innovators, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and business and community leaders that fund and support social change agents in nearly 40 cities and 8 countries.

With insights from 17 years of this unique vantage point, he is the Northwest’s leading expert on activating social change agents and a global thought leader on how individuals can be the most effective philanthropists.

In 2011 and 2012, Shoemaker was named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential People in the Nonprofit Sector” by The NonProfit Times, and in 2013, was named “Philanthropist of the Year” by Future in Review. Shoemaker has spoken at TEDx and United Nations events and has written for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fortune, and The Huffington Post. His latest book, "Can't Not Do," is a call to action for the social sector.

In this podcast, Paul discusses trends in the social sector, including the social multipliers that amplify the positive impact each person can have, and the connections that they create. Paul lays out a roadmap by which each person can realize their greatest potential to have impact. He explains how the Social Venture Partners model can leverage that impact for even greater good. And he states his case for how social good will be further accelerated in the years ahead, through the powers of technology, and a higher level of consciousness. This is a great interview with one of our leading thinkers and practitioners in the social sector. 


In this interview, we discuss:

  1. Why Social Venture Partners is a great model for people to get involved with their social capital, as well as their human capital (brains and expertise). (2:10)
  2. How SVP has expanded internationally, and some of the challenges, as well as commonalities, that he's discovered along the way. (7:00)
  3. The book, "Can't Not Do," is about helping people find a clear pathway towards a commitment to social good, that will last over the long term. (10:15)
  4. Sometimes what holds us back in philanthropy is focusing on the basics. (21:30)
  5. Changes taking place in the philanthropic sector, and how people approach their giving. (32:00)


"Our chances of making greater progress in the next generation are better than they've ever been."    -Paul Shoemaker


  1. About Paul 
  2. Social Venture Partners
  3. Becoming an Agent of Change in the Seattle Times 
  4. Reconstructing Philanthropy from the Outside In from Stanford Social Innovation Review
  5. Can't Not Do Book (via Amazon)


If you enjoy The Philanthropy Hour, please leave a review or a rating on iTunes. I read every review and it helps to make the podcast better.

Join thousands of others who watch the interviews and receive great fundraising resources...Get inspired!