In December, Social Venture Partners (SVP) Boulder County announced renewed Catapult investments in three local nonprofits – Community Food Share, KGNU Community Radio and WOW! Children’s Museum. (SVP’s longest-running initiative, Catapult is a pro bono consulting investment that strengthens local nonprofits from the inside out – from board governance and leadership development to strategy, fundraising, communications, technology and more.)
What follows is the final installment in a series of blogs – one for each renewing nonprofit – sharing a deeper perspective about our work together … and our collective, community-wide impact.
Community Food Share
“The Catapult program has allowed us to align our board and staff with a new strategic plan,” says Michelle Orge, Executive Director of Louisville-based Community Food Share. “As a result, we’re more focused on where we want to go in the next three to five years.
“We’ve always been moving toward a more collaborative approach to our work. With SVP’s help, we’re giving that approach more definition. As well, we’re working toward better community awareness about what we do. People don’t often see us in the community … but they see the results of what we do when we provide free food assistance directly to residents in Boulder and Broomfield counties, and through our network of other local nonprofits.”
Continues Orge, “There are misperceptions about what hunger looks like in our community. It’s not a static thing – people move in and out of food insecurity, and to varying degrees. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. So it’s especially important for us to gain a more sophisticated understanding of how to work with our community partners toward eliminating hunger in our service areas. That means relying on better data and information about the subtleties of our work to achieve the greatest impact. And that’s what SVP is helping us do.
“Continuing to work with SVP through the Catapult program empowers us to better understand the external environment of Boulder and Broomfield counties, which drives us to implement the right activities toward achieving the four outcomes outlined in our strategic plan.”
Agrees Deborah Malden, SVP’s Lead Partner working closely with Community Food Share, “Completion of the new strategic plan – including specific outcomes to optimize the local food distribution network, improve food access, amplify our community’s efforts to eliminate hunger, and develop and manage resources that meet community needs and sustain Community Food Share operations – is a very big deal for this organization. It allows them to dig deeper and understand the broader landscape, beyond simply moving pounds of food.
“The board and staff now have greater alignment and clarity – working together as a fully-functioning team, they’re excited to roll out the plan. As a maturing organization, Community Food Share is already a leader in the field, playing a crucial role as an intermediary to other food providers and services. Now, the organization is poised to achieve its full potential in addressing hunger – a critical need in our community, although it’s not widely-recognized as such.”
Malden further emphasized the “tremendous learning experience” of SVP’s Catapult investment in Community Food Share among all SVP Partners who are also engaged with the organization. Indeed, SVP Partners – local philanthropic changemakers committed to ensure a thriving nonprofit community – both financially contribute and volunteer their time and expertise toward strengthening the confidence and capacity of community nonprofits and their leaders.