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Guest Blog: Partner Jill Bernaciak

Posted by cleveland

We asked Partners to share their experiences with SVP by guest blogging on our site and explaining what being a part of Social Venture Partners Cleveland means to them. Below is our first submission written by Partner Jill Bernaciak.


I came to SVP after discovering it on YouTube while researching pitch samples for my Social Entrepreneurship students at John Carroll University. An effective blend of creativity and business sense came across in those bigBANG! videos and I enlisted four of my John Carroll colleagues to attend bigBANG! 2014 with me.

I quickly saw that bigBANG! showcases the metrics and best practices developed by SVP – national and local – that are really alive in our community.

Many boomers like me are seeking meaning that runs across our life roles — business and personal.  It’s not an easy quest. The specific meaning of the popular terms “Social Return on Investment” and “Triple Bottom Line” elude the social business scholars. Some of the return has to be qualitative and built on personal testimonials of value.

So let me speak to that. Although I’m relatively new (and may be a little sentimental), SVP feels like a home for me. The collaboration of SVP Partners is spirited, congenial, and respectful. Partners and staff instinctually make newcomers welcome. There is no “take it or leave it” agenda. Everyone can find a way to give on their own schedule and in their own way.

Most importantly, working beside my SVP friends provides me with the assurance — a sanity AND gut check — that I seek in my “giving portfolio.” And I believe that I’m just representative of so many others who want the same thing.

Oh, and I shouldn’t neglect to mention that SVP is also FUN!