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Volume 6, Number 2: February 2, 2006
This archived newsletter is from Harbinger Partners, before it
joined forces with the Corporate Volunteer Network to become Common Impact.
I am delighted to support Harbinger Partners in their efforts to bring together the resources of great corporate partners with nonprofits so in need of their expertise. Harbinger Partners is both the catalyst and the bridge, and through them, great things happen that benefit all.
-- Charlotte Wagner, Harbinger Partners supporter
This issue of Views From the Bridge is dedicated to all of our supporters. Your commitment to a high performing social sector not only supports the work of Harbinger Partners, but inspires us all. We couldn't do it without you!
So far this year, we have been supported by 60 individuals and five foundations. Since our founding in 2000, we have seen an average annual growth of almost 170 percent.
So many wonderful people have come together to make Harbinger Partners. We rely on the support of all of our friends out there, and we marvel at their capacity to help us out when we need it most.
Q&A with Jim Matheson
Jim Matheson, General Partner at Flagship Ventures and brand new Board of Directors Member is the perfect example. Weston Smith, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, checked in with Jim this week to introduce him to the Views from the Bridge readership. Here is what he had to say:
WS: How did you first meet Harbinger Partners?
JM: I met Harbinger Partners at the very beginning, nearly 6 years ago, back when the idea was embodied only in Theresa Ellis' vision, passion and enormous potential. Flagship Ventures is a very early stage venture capital firm and as such, we strive to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs in the formative stages of their projects and work together to make the dream a reality. With Harbinger Partners, it was the same thing, except it was a nonprofit. We partnered with Theresa, provided an incubation space and whatever time, resources and wisdom we could muster. Not surprisingly, the challenges and excitement have been the same as with our other start-ups.
WS: You have been a really incredible supporter over the years. Why are you so devoted to Harbinger Partners?
JM: I am a huge believer in the mission and the model, and most especially, I have the greatest respect for Theresa and the entire Harbinger Partners Team; their professionalism, passion and dedication to the important mission. It's also a lot of fun!
WS: And how did you come to join the board?
JM: As is apparent already, I have been engaged with Harbinger Partners in a variety of ways over the past several years, so as Theresa was looking to expand the Board, it seemed a natural next step for my relationship with her and with the organization. I am honored to join the Board and look forward to working with the team in this new capacity.
WS: Do you have a favorite Harbinger Partners moment?
JM: I have many fond memories, but the most pivotal is the time that Theresa, Frode Eilertsen (like Theresa, a Dartmouth Alum and the person initially responsible for connecting Theresa to Flagship) and I spent the better part of a day in a Starbucks dissecting the Harbinger Partners model and setting the baseline for the current operational strategy. We drank lots of coffee, asked each other lots of hard questions and out of that intense session came a few key and, thus far, enduring precepts.
WS: Now these are the hard questions: If Harbinger Partners were a candy, what candy would we be?
JM: For the first four years of our partnership, Flagship and Harbinger Partners shared an office together at our old location near Alewife. I am prone to wander about the office to unwind, think and socialize whenever I have a rare free moment. I would pop into Harbinger Partners' office and announce my presence by partaking noisily of the M&M dispenser -- it was always great to grab a few sweets and to catch up with the team (really only a couple people in those early days). So for that reason, I can't but think of M&M's when Harbinger Partners comes to mind. Also, I am sure there is probably a deeper metaphorical connection about plain versus peanuts M&M's, but I will have to think about that!
WS: And if you had a bucket full of Harbinger Partners M&Ms, who would you share them with?
JM: Our office has a nice tradition of sharing sweets (bad for the waistline, good for culture) so of course I would share with my colleagues. I would also set up a dispenser outside my house on a nice spring day and hopefully our neighborhood kids would put down their video games and come out of their houses to enjoy a few M&Ms -- it amazes me how few kids actually play outside anymore, so perhaps we could start to reverse that trend with some strategically placed treats.
WS: Thanks, Jim! It just so happens that we planning an M&M-based capacity building intervention program. I can't reveal the details, but if you hear that distinctive candy jar rattle around town you'll know that good things are happening.
New and Newsworthy
SIMply Wonderful News
The Boston chapter of the Society of Information Management (SIM), an association of senior IT executives and other IT thought leaders, has selected Harbinger Partners to be one of three charity partners. We will be piloting two new initiatives with SIM and past Harbinger Partners clients. In one, Harbinger Partners will place SIM members on the technology advisory boards of Boston area nonprofits. In the other, SIM members will volunteer their technology expertise to guide a nonprofit through a large technology purchase. Both of these programs help the volunteers utilize their unique skill sets for a great cause, and help the nonprofits continue to improve their technology systems after finishing their work with Harbinger Partners!
Harbinger Partners is delighted to welcome two new members to the Board of Directors: Jim Matheson of Flagship Ventures and Pamela Paton of State Street Corporation. Jim, who you met above, got his start in the Navy, and continues to serve as a Commander in the US Naval Reserves. Welcome on board, Jim!
Pamela is a Senior Vice President at State Street Corporation. During her
23-year career with State Street, she has worked in a variety of business, technology,
customer-support, and sales organizations. In 2001 and 2002, she chaired two
of the most successful State Street United Way Campaigns, which raised over
$2 million each year. For the last two years, she has also chaired State Street's
Professional Women's Network and is actively mentoring other women colleagues.
We are very excited to work with her in this new capacity!
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The Small Print
Thank you for reading the quarterly newsletter of Common Impact! We welcome your comments and contributions. Please send all inquiries to:
Space With A Soul
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Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 492-3105