Beyond back-to-school, September always feels like an especially busy time. Recognizing that our Partners have (a lot) more than just Social Venture Partners going on in their lives, our Executive Director, Rose Greensides, is here with some words of wisdom to those Partners who feel strapped for time.
I have often heard Partners discount their contribution to Social Venture Partners, telling me, “Rose, I am so sorry, I feel bad that I don’t have more time to get involved.” I am always a little sad to hear this, not because of their level of involvement, but because they feel guilty about it. To me, one of the greatest benefits of being a Social Venture Partner is the flexibility of time.
We have all heard the expression “it takes a village,” and that rings true for Social Venture Partners, too! Part of what makes our model of engaged philanthropy so unique and effective is the fact that it works as a collective, with individuals contributing in different ways.
40% of our Partners are very actively involved and spend time on a committee, volunteer with one of our Investees, attend our community education sessions or socials, or some combination thereof. This cohort of Partners is essential to our model of engaged philanthropy but what perhaps is missed is the extent to which those who do “not have time” benefit our organization and the work we do.
Each individual Partner’s belief and investment in Social Venture Partners makes the organization what it is: a powerful community of those wanting to make a difference. We serve as champions for nonprofits doing important work in the community. We double the return on our financial investments in our Investees because of the ways in which we support them, from long-term project management, to one-off legal counsel.
I’m going to “should” on Partners who feel bad about “only” writing a cheque: you shouldn’t. By trusting in Social Venture Partners, you are trusting in our model, and giving us the resources to continue and grow the impact we are having in the community.
Our Fellowship Program is one new way in which Partners who would like to get more involved but don’t have the time are contributing. It entails current Partners sponsoring new Partners who might not be able to contribute financially to Social Venture Partners, but do have the time, skills and willingness to help the vital work we do. This year we have welcomed 6 new Partners through this program.
Whether it is writing a cheque, connecting an Investee’s Executive Director with someone who could support their work, introducing us to potential Partners, or simply coming to one of our events, Social Venture Partners needs all types of contributors and we are grateful for you all.
– Rose Greensides, Executive Director