Paul Brainerd

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 coined the term "desktop publishing". Since 1995 he has been involved in philanthropic efforts, including the founding in 1997 of Social Ventures Partners, 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 a 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, the first ever desktop publishing application, 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 which 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. Islandwood is located on Bainbridge Island, Washington.[14][15]

In 2018, Brainerd founded Camp Glenorchy, 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.[16][17] The establishment of the camp was controversial with the local community.[18][19]


  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. ^ "How Paul Brainerd's extraordinary career went from revolutionizing publishing to empowering enviros". GeekWire. 29 July 2018.
  17. ^ Roxburgh, Tracey (14 March 2018). "US couple 'give back' with trailblazing Glenorchy camp ground". Otago Daily Times Online News.
  18. ^ "Foreign investment in the South Island: Strangers in Paradise". 1 March 2015 – via
  19. ^ "Glenorchy rift 'ripping the town apart'". Stuff.