SVP Pittsburgh was recently mentioned in an article published in Kiplinger’s Retirement Report 2016 titled “Charitable Giving with an Impact.” The article details ways you can help ensure your donations are being put to good use.
Read the interview with SVP Pittsburgh’s director, Elizabeth Visnic, below.
You may be able find a similar collaborative organization in your city through Social Venture Partners (www.socialventurepartners.org). Several of its 39 programs are overseas, but most are in cities in the U.S., including Austin, Charlotte, Cleveland and Seattle.
In Pittsburgh, Pa., the 40 “partners” each donate $4,000 a year to a grant-making pool for nonprofits that focus on at-risk youth. The donors select a couple of nonprofits after intensive review and then work with the nonprofits for 18 months.
One year when the group decided to focus on childhood obesity, partners were each given $50 and told to assume they were single parents buying food for three children in a low-income area of the city, says Elizabeth Visnic, director of the Pittsburgh SVP. There were only convenience stores to make their purchases, which were evaluated by a nutritionist. When the Pittsburgh nonprofits that sought to address this problem made their pitches for help, Visnic says, the partners were “more versed on the causes, impact and potential solutions to addressing this risk for children.”
The partners also work with the nonprofits to develop business plans, Web sites and fund-raising capabilities. “People want to plug in their professional skills and life experience in a meaningful way,” Visnic says.