Social Venture Partners

Social Venture Partners (SVP) is a network of individuals who pool their time and money to impact the capacity of non-profit organizations and to develop their knowledge and skill as philanthropists.

Since the organization was founded in Seattle in 1997 it has expanded to 26 cities around the world with over 2,000 partners, and given $26.5 million and thousands of hours to over 300 non-profit organizations. It is a pioneer in the field of venture philanthropy.

Mission and Principles

Social Venture Partners share a dual mission. They seek to catalyze significant, long-term positive social change in their communities by:
* Educating individuals to be well informed, effective, and engaged philanthropists;
* Investing time, expertise, and money in innovative nonprofits to strengthen these organizations.

How it works

Social Venture Partners brings together grant making, volunteerism, nonprofit capacity building, and philanthropic education.

Partners bring their collective expertise and resources to promising nonprofits (investees). Investees are nonprofit organizations seeking new resources and approaches for addressing issues including environmental protection, youth development, and education.

Capacity building investments made by Social Venture Partners include unrestricted cash grants, skilled volunteers, professional consultants, leadership development and management training opportunities. Partners make an annual contribution of at least $5,000, and together decide how to invest their shared resources. Partners provide volunteer support in areas including marketing, finance, technology, strategic planning, and human resources management.

Results

As a result of involvement with Social Venture Partners, Partners are:

* Increasing their giving: up to 25% median increase annually
* Giving more strategically: writing fewer, larger checks; funding nonprofit infrastructure; using formal processes and research; creating long-term and collaborative funding strategies
* Expanding significantly their volunteer commitment to community causes and programsIncreasing their level of civic engagement: becoming members or leaders of local community groups; participating in legislative advocacy; contacting media; attending public meetings; leveraging resources or volunteers

The organization itself has been studied by many foundations and institutions for its innovative model and approach to philanthropy.

* [http://www.svpi.org/news/studies-and-reports/ Report on Results of SVP Model]

History

The Social Venture Partners model was created in 1997, in Seattle, Washington, the inspiration and vision of Paul Brainerd, Aldus Corporation founder and president, and founding members Scott Oki, Ida Cole, Bill Neukom and Doug and Maggie Walker. Their vision was a philanthropic community that borrowed from venture capital practices and made highly engaged investments of money, resources and business expertise in local nonprofit organizations, with the aim of developing their capacity and sustainability.

At its core, venture philanthropy is aimed at strengthening and supporting the long-term capacity of a nonprofit to fulfill its mission, rather than funding short-term projects or programs.

Venture – or engaged philanthropy – focuses on building stronger management teams and boards, investing in outcome assessment, improving product and service quality and delivery, and other strategic ways to improve effectiveness and increase scale. It requires a high level of involvement from both parties – the philanthropist and the nonprofit. It’s a multi-year financial and human resource commitment and assumes there will be structural and attitudinal change within the nonprofit as a result of the relationship.But Social Venture Partners has added an extra dimension. Just as important is the goal of educating and mobilizing Partners as a community of lifelong, informed, and inspired philanthropists.

As interest in this new approach to philanthropy grew, Social Venture Partners organizations modeled on SVP Seattle began developing throughout North America. By 2001, a loose network had formed, and Social Venture Partners International (SVPI) was created to support and advance this network.

Affiliates

As of mid 2008, there are 26 Social Venture Partner organizations and more than 2,000 Partners in the USA, Canada and Japan, who have contributed $26.5 million in grants to more than 300 nonprofit organizations and countless hours of strategic volunteering contributed to nonprofits.

[http://www.svpseattle.org Seattle SVP] [http://www.svpportland.org Portland SVP] [http://www.svpcalgary.org Calgary SVP] [http://www.svptoronto.org Toronto SVP] [http://www.svpdallas.org Dallas SVP] [http://www.lasvp.org Los Angeles SVP]

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Articles about Social Venture Partners


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