SVP is looking for nonprofits that want to try a different kind of funding relationship. We call it a venture philanthropy partnership.
SVP invests in nonprofits with bold visions and a relentless commitment to continuous improvement. This means they are willing to hang out some dirty laundry, and don’t shy away from the messiness of collaboration. Most of all, they’re ready to take their vital work to the next level.
What We Bring to the Table
Three years of general operating support (up to $25k each year). We know how critical general operating dollars are and believe you’re best positioned to decide where the grant money should be invested.
Tools and support to assess your organizational capacity – aka the strength of all those behind the scenes systems: strategic planning, leadership development, marketing, human resources, financial management, communications, fund development, board governance, etc.
Skilled volunteers to help you develop a clear plan for addressing the operational challenges you identify as critical to achieving your mission, and then invest those professional skills to build your organization’s capacity in these areas.
A commitment to working in partnership. We get that there’s a power dynamic in funding relationships. We will do our best to mitigate that. We will invite your honest feedback, own up to our mistakes, and strive to find a path that works for everyone involved.
What We’ll Ask of You
A willingness to take a hard look at what’s holding your organization back, and to share those weaknesses openly. Once the cards are on the table, we can get to work – together.
Flexibility and openness to working with volunteers who have busy schedules and varied professional backgrounds.
A commitment to calling us out when something’s not working for you. That may be uncomfortable, but our best results come from honest relationships.
An annual work plan and progress report that outlines the capacity building areas you are focused on, how they relate to your mission, and what you have achieved at the end of each year.
We’re not going to lie. We ask a lot of our Investees. And we’re not perfect. Our venture philanthropy model is not right for all organizations, or at all stages of their organizational development. And if the fit and timing is right, these investees say it’s worth every ounce of effort.
Interested? Here’s How to Apply:
#1 Check Your Eligibility
Is your organization:
- A registered 501(c)3?
- Clear of our funding restrictions?
- Located in the Twin Cities seven-country metro area?
- Focused on the social, developmental, or educational needs of under-represented, at-risk teens in the Twin Cities?
- Supported by a full-time executive director and an established Board of Directors?
#2 Check the Deadline
SVP typically has one to two grant cycle(s) per year. To get on the listserv for the notice, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
#3 Submit a Letter of Interest
Nonprofits are invited to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) during each grant cycle. Letters of Interest are evaluated by our investment committee. Download guidelines and Letter of Interest Form.
If you have questions about applying for an SVP grant, please contact email@example.com.