Earlier this year the Board and staff here at Social Venture Partners participated in a strategic planning session. It was time to formally assess where we are, where we want to be, and how we’re going to get there. The process provided us with the momentum we needed to make the most of 2017 and set the tone for the next few years to come.
It was an impressive occasion to think back about what lead us to the undertaking: the last several years have provided SVP with remarkable growth which has increased our impact in the community. Our two-year recruitment campaign wrapped up this year, with 13 new Partner units. Welcome, new Partners! Building on 2016, our Partnership has grown by 67% in the past two years, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped by making connections, referrals, or sponsored new Partners. Our growth speaks volumes about the success of the work we are doing in the community, but more than that, it will allow us to take it even further.
Since we formed in 2010, we have granted over $380,000 and thousands of hours to our Investees. To break down how that impacts a nonprofit organization, I’ll use SHORE Centre (our 2015 Investee) as an example. Since partnering with them three years ago, we have provided over $50,000 in cash donations, supplemented by an additional $105,000 in private donations from SVP Partners. Our Partners’ connections and referrals helped them secure the development of their Online Portal, Choice Connect, for free ($40,000 value) and free website redesign ($10,000 value). Having the support of SVP gave them an edge in grant applications to other foundations, resulting in by SHORE’s estimation, an additional $65,000 of funding. And our Partners have, over the past three years, donated 400 hours of their time. Our investment of $50,000 has translated to over $315,000 of value for SHORE Centre. If that’s not impact, I don’t know what is!
As Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region has grown, the organization as a whole has also evolved, and we took the opportunity of strategic planning to fine-tune what our work as an organization really is. Through this process we developed a new mission and vision to accurately reflect our values and goals, and to inform our direction over the coming years.
Our new mission:
Together, we strengthen our Region’s not-for-profit sector by engaging a local community of active donors
And our new vision:
A collaboration of engaged donors and strong not-for-profits in a vibrant Waterloo Region
Rose has identified four strategic focus areas to help strengthen our work over the coming years, including implementing a formal evaluation strategy to evaluate our impact and identify how we can improve; continuing to strengthen our partnership; enhancing our program offerings; and optimizing our marketing strategy.
I am personally looking forward to what where this strategic plan guides us in 2018 and beyond. It seems to me that Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region is entering a new stage of maturity, and with growth comes change. As I indicated a year ago, as of December 31st, I will be stepping down after serving as Board Chair for the past seven years. I want to thank those of you who have been on this journey from the early days. You took a huge leap of faith joining a new organization and have stuck with us as we learned and iterated along the way. I also want to thank Jacqui Murphy who co-founded SVPWR. Jacqui is a “doer” and very simply, SVPWR would not exist today had she not been my partner in this initiative.
It’s been impressive and humbling to see how far we’ve come, and I look forward to seeing where we go next. I am thrilled that Ginny Dybenko agreed to take on the role of Board Chair. She brings an astute business and marketing sense to this position, and a knowledge and appreciation of the networks and community relationships informing Waterloo Region. Ginny will be an enthusiastic leader to help put Social Venture Partners’ name on the map, fine-tune our brand, and grow the community’s awareness of what we do.
On behalf of the entire board, I’d like to thank you, our Partners, for your ongoing support of Social Venture Partners and our investees. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season.