Social Venture Partners (SVP) Boulder County announces the most recent investee in its multi-year Catapult program. “In our efforts to support local nonprofits with a variety of programs and resources that strengthen strategy and management, the Catapult program matches our experienced Partners with nonprofit leaders to help them achieve their goals for greater organizational impact,” says Joshua Silberstein, CEO of SVP Boulder County. “Impact on Education demonstrates a compelling investment with significant potential for impact in Boulder County and beyond.”
For the past several months, as every year, the SVP Investee Selection Committee learned about applicant nonprofits and developed a well-considered recommendation for new Catapult engagement. The full partnership then voted to approve the committee’s recommendation at SVP’s annual Spring Partner Meeting. Continues Silberstein, further describing the application and selection process, “Through in-person and virtual information sessions, letters of inquiry, and a conversation with each applicant’s Board of Directors – then full proposals and organizational capacity and leadership assessments – our committee members worked diligently to identify opportunities and obstacles for SVP impact.
“We believe strong nonprofits deliver better results, and it’s clear to us that investing in Impact on Education through Catapult – our longest-running initiative – will help them be more efficient, effective, and sustainable over time.”
Agrees SVP Partner Cathleen Kendall, “We started the Catapult selection process before COVID-19,” she says. “Our site visits with a lot of amazing nonprofits shifted to Zoom.
“It was amazing to see how quickly Impact on Education, in particular, was able to pivot in response to the pandemic – not only around education issues, from improving equity to promoting innovation, but also around food access for students in the Boulder Valley School District.
“Impact on Education is an independent, frontline organization that’s uniquely positioned to leverage SVP’s pro bono business consulting program to benefit all BVSD students, with the idea that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’ At a time when we need to rethink and reinvent education – including programs and initiatives for kids who aren’t college-bound – Impact on Education is already piloting projects to eliminate barriers, offer opportunities, and promote best practices.”
Adds SVP Partner, Robert Cutler, who also served on the Investment Selection Committee, “The TRENDS Report of Community Foundation Boulder County lays bare the achievement gap we face. Our committee became very excited about helping an organization that can make a difference in that area.
“We’re incredibly impressed by the enthusiasm and expertise of the Impact on Education staff and board, and how quickly and nimbly they adapted to get both technology and food to local students when the pandemic hit.”
Says Allison Billings, Executive Director of Louisville-based Impact on Education, “We’ve been around almost 40 years, and we have a great track record and lots of loyal supporters.
“We’ve accomplished a lot, but I believe we’re poised for growth – especially now, as the needs of BVSD students just keep piling up. The last few months have been indicative of how essential our organization is in this community, with school closures really highlighting the inequities we work to manage and mitigate.
“We’re a small, lean organization, and we want the bulk of our funding to go directly to our programs. So the chance to work with SVP Boulder County to optimize what we do – how we function, how to better leverage our volunteers, and how to stretch our dollars even further – is a real opportunity for us, which will expand and deepen our impact on the students who rely on us.”
Currently, Impact on Education’s wide-ranging projects and programs impact some 31K students and 4K educators every year.
For more information about SVP Boulder County, the Catapult program, and the impact – and potential – of Impact on Education, contact Joshua Silberstein, Joshua@svpbouldercounty.org, 303.579.1805.