The Encore Fellows Program: A Pathway to Effective Philanthropy

by Robyn Lee Aguirre, Social Venture Partners Portland

Social Venture Partners is changing the way we think about philanthropy through Encore Fellows, a community impact program that provides organizations with both a workforce planning and corporate philanthropy solution. The program matches retiring professionals with local social purpose organizations, where they lend their expertise for 1,000 hours for a modest stipend.

Encore Fellows share their skills in finance, HR, IT, marketing, strategic planning and program management to help our non-profits better serve the community across a range of issues, from health care to education and homelessness. More than 350 fellows have supported over 250 non-profit partners in our area since 2011. Sponsored by local businesses, foundations, or the non-profits that host them, Fellows have delivered impressive results – from helping New Avenues for Youth start a t-shirt screen printing business to train and employ at-risk and homeless youth; to driving the partnership strategy for the new state-of-the-art Rockwood Boys & Girls Club facility opening this fall.  

If your organization is interested in partnering with Encore Fellows to support your grant-making or corporate giving program, contact Steve Maser at

Finally, hear from a Fellow about their experience as well as from Executive Directors who have hosted Encore Fellows.