Other Communities We're In:

SVP International

Apply for a Grant

SVP is looking for nonprofits that want to try a different kind of funding relationship.

These groups are willing to hang out some dirty laundry, and don’t shy away from the messiness of collaboration. Most of all, they’re ready to take their vital work to the next level.

What We Bring to the Table

  • Up to three years of general operating support (potentially up to $45,000). We know you’re best positioned to decide where the grant money should be invested.
  • Tools to assess your organizational capacity – aka the strength of all those behind-the-scenes systems: human resources, financial management, communications, board governance, etc.
  • Skilled volunteers who will help build your organization’s capacity in the areas that are keeping you from reaching your full potential.
  • A commitment to working in partnership. We get that there’s a power dynamic in funding relationships. We will do our best to mitigate that. We will invite your honest feedback, own up to our mistakes, and strive to find a path that works for everyone involved.

What We’ll Ask of You

  • A willingness to take a hard look at what’s holding your organization back, and to share those weaknesses openly. Once the cards are on the table, we can get to work – together.
  • Flexibility and openness to working with volunteers who have busy schedules and varied professional backgrounds.
  • A commitment to calling us out when something’s not working for you. That may be uncomfortable, but our best results come from honest relationships.
  • An annual work plan and progress report that outlines the capacity building areas you are focused on, how they relate to your mission, and what you have achieved at the end of each year.

We’re not going to sugar-coat it. We ask a lot of our Investees. And we’re not perfect. Some nonprofits we’ve worked with would say it’s too much work. But there are more that say it’s worth every ounce of effort.


Here’s How to Apply

#1 Check Your Eligibility

SVP Investees must be a registered 501(c)(3). SVP Cleveland considers nonprofits that work in any issue area. Due to our hands-on consulting work, SVP considers the accessibility of an Investee to our Partners in the application process — although there is no requirement for location.

#2 Check the Deadline

Stay tuned for details about our next investment cycle!

#3 Submit an application

Nonprofits are invited to submit applications during each grant cycle. Applications are evaluated by our Investment Team, using criteria outlined in the guidelines below. If you’re interested in becoming an Investee, but need help determining the kind of capacity building your organization needs, please reference the SVP Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool.

#4 Submit a Full Proposal

SVP’s Investment Team reviews the applications, selects three to six organizations, and invites them to submit a full proposal. Proposals are evaluated using similar criteria as outlined for the application.

#5 Host a Site Visit

Members of SVP’s Investment Team will visit your organization. This allows them to see your work in action, get to know your staff and board, and ask questions. It also gives you a chance to ask questions of SVP.

#6 Pitch to the SVP Partnership

Based on the full proposal and site visit, members of SVP’s Investment Team will select two finalist organizations. These organizations will attend an SVP meeting with all Partners and pitch both their organization, and the capacity help they are seeking. Then, the two finalist organizations will be excused and the Investment Team will present its own due diligence to the Partners. Partners will then vote on the next Investee.

Further Questions

Read our FAQ, or contact us.

Are you interested in hearing what the experience was like for others? Read stories from our past Investees here.