Paul Brainerd is a founding member of Social Venture Partners, described as an effort to encourage professionals to give back to their communities, as well as originating Conservation Strategies, a nonprofit group which has the goal of "build(ing) political capacity within the conservation community in the Northwest. Its goal is to create a pro-conservation majority in key local, state and federal governing bodies."
Brainerd is an active donor to Democratic Party campaigns, giving $5,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2007, as well as to individual Democratic candidates such as Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray, Jim McDermott and others.
Donations to Oregon ballot campaigns
As of mid-August 2007, Brainerd, a resident of Seattle, Washington, has donated $50,000 to Oregon Ballot Measure 49.
Donations to Washington ballot campaigns
Altogether, according to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, since 1998 Brainerd has donated $191,000 to various ballot initiative campaigns in Washington, pro or con.