Paul Brainerd

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Brainerd in 1986

Paul Brainerd (born 1947) is an American businessman, computer programmer and philanthropist. In 1984, he co-founded the Aldus Corporation, which released Pagemaker, the first consumer-use desktop publishing software. Brainerd has since coined the term "desktop publishing". Since 1995, he has been involved in philanthropic efforts, including the founding of Social Ventures Partners in 1997, a global organization that connects local investors with non-profit community organizations.


Brainerd was born in Medford, Oregon, to Phil and VerNatta Brainerd.[1][2] He attended the University of Oregon, where he received his BA in business administration, followed by an M.S. in journalism from the University of Minnesota.[1][3] He was the editor for the school's paper, the Oregon Daily Emerald.[3] Following graduation, he worked at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.[3][4]

Desktop publishing[edit]

Brainerd co-founded the publishing/printing software company Aldus in 1984.[5] The company subsequently brought PageMaker to the market.[6] Brainerd is also known for having coined the term "desktop publishing".[7][8] He stepped down from his position of president and chief executive of Aldus in 1993, ten years after its founding.[6]


In 1995, Brainerd founded the Brainerd Foundation, a small family foundation that provides innovative grantmaking to Pacific Northwest communities and nonprofits to build a lasting conservation ethic at the local, state, and federal level.[9]

Brainerd founded Social Ventures Partners (SVP) in 1997. The organization works by matching philanthropists, who provide funding and mentorship, with local community organizations.[10][11][12][13] By 2017, the organization consisted of 3,500 venture philanthropists in 43 cities and nine countries.[10] The group's collective investments total more than $63 million in over 800 organizations.[10]

In 2000, Paul Brainerd founded Islandwood, an environmental learning center created to improve access to meaningful, nature-based learning experiences for the region's children. The center is located on Bainbridge Island, Washington.[14][15]

In 2018, Brainerd founded Camp Glenorchy,[16][17] an accommodation provider that operates in Glenorchy, New Zealand. Camp Glenorchy is designed, built, engineered and operated in line with the philosophy and principles of the Living Building Challenge, a sustainability standard for buildings.[18][19] The establishment of the camp was controversial with the local community.[20][21]


  1. ^ a b Anthony Hallett; Diane Hallett (24 October 1997). Entrepreneur magazine encyclopedia of entrepreneurs. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-17536-0.
  2. ^ "VerNetta Brainerd". Mail Tribune. 19 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Paul Brainerd". U. of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. 17 December 2017.
  4. ^ Barber, Putnam (1999). "SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 28 (4): 500–501. doi:10.1177/0899764099284008.
  5. ^ J.K. Petersen (29 May 2002). The Telecommunications Illustrated Dictionary. CRC Press. pp. 124–. ISBN 978-1-4200-4067-8.
  6. ^ a b Fisher, Lawrence M. (31 August 1993). "COMPANY NEWS; Aldus Founder to Give Up Two Jobs" – via
  7. ^ Communication, Department of Typography and Graphic. "The optimism of modernity: recovering modern reasoning in typography". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  8. ^ Gardner, Howard (21 December 2010). Responsibility at Work: How Leading Professionals Act (or Don't Act) Responsibly. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118047507 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "The Brainerd Foundation". Inside Philanthropy.
  10. ^ a b c "To help social entrepreneurial ventures grow, SVP launches in Miami". miamiherald.
  11. ^ Myerson, Allen R. (31 January 1999). "Sharing Their Talents and Their Dollars" – via
  12. ^ "Social Venture Partners to take a deeper dive into social issues". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  13. ^ Jane Wei-Skillern; James E. Austin; Herman Leonard; Howard Stevenson (24 May 2007). Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector. SAGE. pp. 68–. ISBN 978-1-4129-5137-1.
  14. ^ Clark, Tara Weiss and Hannah. "Spreading The Wealth". Forbes.
  15. ^ "Outdoor education center losing about $1 million a year".
  16. ^ Roxburgh, Tracey (2018-03-14). "US couple 'give back' with trailblazing Glenorchy camp ground". Otago Daily Times Online News. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  17. ^ Noted. "Taking the top-of-the-lake road to Glenorchy". Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  18. ^ "How Paul Brainerd's extraordinary career went from revolutionizing publishing to empowering enviros". GeekWire. 29 July 2018.
  19. ^ Roxburgh, Tracey (14 March 2018). "US couple 'give back' with trailblazing Glenorchy camp ground". Otago Daily Times Online News.
  20. ^ "Foreign investment in the South Island: Strangers in Paradise". 1 March 2015 – via
  21. ^ "Glenorchy rift 'ripping the town apart'". Stuff.