The 2015 Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region investee program proved to be a huge success.
SHORE Centre, a sexual health education and support organization, has, with the help of SVPWR and all of its partners, excelled and grown during the three years of SVP Waterloo Region investment. Near the end of the term, SVPWR wanted more insight as to the impact they have had on SHORE, and sat down with SHORE Centre’s Executive Director, Lyndsey Butcher.
When asked about the timing of SVPWR’s investment, Lyndsey’s response was that it could not possibly have aligned better with where their organization stood. The charity was struggling with whether it should rebrand and reinvent itself to better fit the current social climate and reflect its actual service provision, and if so, how this process could be executed effectively. “What SVP did was provide us with a professional network of people who could help us, and drive the momentum, so that we could have a rebranding that looked as beautiful as it did. If we did it on our own, we wouldn’t have had access to the professional service that SVP gave us.”
She then explained that SVP Waterloo Region had found someone to donate a new, rebranded, and advanced website for free: an endeavour which would have otherwise cost thousands of dollars. Lyndsey also noted how Partners assisted with communication in the community and with liaising with SHORE’s previous supporters about why they should continue to back the charity throughout and post their rebranding.
Beyond the initial rebranding, SVPWR has continued to assist SHORE Centre, aiming to grow the charity through the help of various Partners and outside expertise. Lyndsey noted that “over the past three years, different partners within SVP have acted as advisers and volunteer consultants on various projects; they’ve helped us with our human resources, they’ve helped us with our financial management and investments, they’ve helped us with all of our communications and events, board governance, and strategic planning.”
Lyndsey elaborated that much of this would have been otherwise impossible and that, “as a small charity, we can’t afford to pay consultants or to bring in other management levels to our organization… we are simply too small. And so, to have access to people who have that level of expertise, who are engaged, and who want to see us do well and volunteer, has made all the difference.” She continued by explaining that because SVPWR’s funding is unrestricted, SHORE was able to put those investments where they knew they were most needed, such as branding or office space.
The conversation was wrapped up by Lyndsey in a statement about SVPWR’s investment approach. “I think what sets SVPWR apart is that they are a true partner. Many funders like to call themselves partners, and they certainly do support us in our work, but Social Venture Partners roll up their sleeves, they get their hands dirty, and they truly want us to succeed.” We decided it would be fitting to incorporate excerpts from this interview into a short video, and to have SHORE Centre’s own words carry our message:
- Blog and video by Marketing & Events Coordinator Michal Rychter