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May 20, 2020

For this episode of Nonprofit Architect, Travis sits down with Adrianne Phillips, a USAF veteran who is the founder of Strategic Alliance for Veteran Organization (SAVI). Her mission is to ensure that veterans are adequately served. Adrianne shares brilliant thoughts on how someone can start and manage a nonprofit organization. She highlights that you have to communicate effectively with your volunteers for they are the one who continually powers your organization.

Learn from Adrianne so you can start your nonprofit organization now.

Conversation Highlights

[01:00] Adrianne shares how SAVI was born.

[03:42] The disconnection in the veteran community: the benefits are not utilized and lack of understanding in what they are utilizing.

[04:03] What does SAVI offer?

[05:20] The 4 tracks transition: education, entrepreneurship, retirement, and employment.

[07:23] SAVI’s mission is to clarify VA benefits and provide transition solutions to veterans.

[08:44] Time is valuable for Adrianne.

[10:00] How to convince people to work for free

[10:59] Adrianne’s approach in starting up SAVI is to prove the need for the program before soliciting for finances.

[14:25] How did Adrianne look for the people on the board?

[15:53] Using LinkedIn and Facebook as a powerful tool for veterans

[17:45] You can learn from talking with people.

[18:45] Adrianne’s messages and tips to those who would like to start a nonprofit organization

[25:00] How to get people’s commitment to your cause

[28:12] SAVI made a connection with Google. 

[32:15] Marketing apprentices are a great help for a nonprofit organization.

[33:10] Free courses and resources for nonprofit organizations

[36:30] Adrianne as part of Returning Favors

[38:12] How does fundraising look like in the COVID world?

[41:20] Be creative in connecting with your volunteers.

[41:30] How to connect with Adrianne

[44:22] Adrianne's call: Refer to the organization the veterans that you know

Remarkable Quotes:

[05:12] “Fitting and adapting those benefits to the individual’s needs are our primary focus.”

[08:45] “One thing that is essential for you to be prepared to train your replacement.”

[14:00] “It’s not about anyone person but it’s collective.”

[39:00] “Wherever there’s a challenge, there’s an opportunity.”


Adrianne Phillips is a service-disabled Veteran, who founded Strategic Alliance for Veteran Integration (SAVI) as a reaction to the immense need for support of veterans transitioning to civilian life. After serving in the U.S. Air Force as a combat service-member and Security Forces, Adrianne transitioned out of the military and into civilian life. During this time, she realized that veterans often make the transition with little or no structural support or guidance. This prompted her to spend over 11 years working in the veteran's benefit sector, including working in development, adjudication, training, presenting, quality assurance, and division management. In 2011, she started a corporation focusing on event travel management and corporate business travel. In 2017, she harnessed her experience as a veteran, benefits manager, and entrepreneur to found the Strategic Alliance for Veteran Integration with the goal of supporting every service member’s transition.


Adrianne Phillips

Chairman, Board of Directors

Book a Phone Conference

 Strategic Alliance for Veteran Integration (SAVI)

California Non-Profit Organization

Office: (844) 400-SAVI (7284) Ext. 0
Fax: (844) 400-7284