Mark Newhouse spent most of his career developing new products that have generated more than two billion dollars of revenue. After a long tenure with Corning in New York and Shanghai, he and his wife “drove around” the west, eventually choosing Denver as their new home.
“I was not ready to disconnect from urban life and I felt an updraft in Denver,” he says of this vibrant city he’s adopted as his own. He wanted to “put points on the board” in a different way. After exploring the nonprofit space, he jumped in to the fray in two ways: becoming a partner member with SVP Denver and moving his donor-advised fund to The Denver Foundation. “In these two organizations, I have found many great partners,” he says.
Mark focuses on building new ways to attract capital to the nonprofit sector. He been a driving force behind the SVP Denver Social Impact Investor Group (SIIG) and is considered a thought leader in the discipline. In 2016, he orchestrated the first SIIG transaction with an investment by himself, two other SVP Denver partner members and The Denver Foundation, as part of a $1 million transaction to move Hands of the Carpenter to a new location and scale its impact. Hands of the Carpenter benefits single women in need by providing automobile placement, repair and maintenance to help them become and remain economically self-sufficient.
In 2017, Mark was an investor in a first-of-its-kind, private, pay-for-success “code shop” project inside Sen Quentin Prison in California. For the prisoners it instills confidence, provides marketable skills and, they are often released with a six-figure job awaiting them in Silicon Valley. Investors are paid back on a metric tied to the number of paid hours of computer coding prisoners do for third parties.
Mark is now working with the organization that led the San Quentin investment, NPX Advisors, to bring this model to Colorado in the form of a fund to support multiple such projects. The Colorado Donor Impact Fund will be a private pay-for-success donation fund focused on driving upward economic mobility in Colorado.
“This model enables donors to give the dollars only when impact is achieved,” he says. “There is no more ‘pay and pray’ as this model offers a rare opportunity to tie investment return to actual impact.”
We at SVP Denver and The Denver Foundation are grateful for Mark’s passion for helping nonprofits thrive and remain sustainable. In this new era of engaged philanthropy, he makes true impact investments with his philanthropic dollars as well as his time, talent and business acumen.