Insider look: How are we centering our values?

SVPI 03/01/2021

“…the agency of movements emanates from within oppressed communities—from their institutions, culture and creativity.”
– Aldon D. Morris

Welcome to part 4 of our five part series with an insider look. (You can click here for parts 12, and 3).

Previously, I shared our evolving strategic direction and how it came to be. Next I want to talk about what this means for our work together in the coming months and years.

Last week, the SVP International Board voted to include SVP Philadelphia in the SVP Network as a full member Affiliate. In their first year, SVP Philadelphia engaged in a community-wide learning agenda that profoundly shaped the development of their organizational structure and strategies. In February they announced a three-year commitment to invest $600k into organizations led by and serving Communities of Color as part of a tangible effort to practice impact and trust based philanthropy.

At SVP Philadelphia, we are committed to understanding the barriers that make eradicating poverty so complex,” said Jen Gleason, Managing Director of SVP Philadelphia. “Our model is designed for SVP Partners to not only invest our time and resources, but to learn as much as we can from the wisdom of the leaders on the ground, and to become champions for their work.”

SVP Philadelphia joins us as a values-aligned Affiliate who is evolving SVP with new approaches to power sharing and equitable giving models. As each of you do this work locally, at the network level we are asking how can we reimagine who sets the agenda? How are we centering grassroots and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color leadership across our work?

Last week we mentioned some of the new funding partners who are helping us launch Reimagine Giving and support this strategic transition of the network. I’m pleased to add that W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded us a planning grant especially focused on the Reimagine Fund and centering the leadership of those who philanthropy has historically left out. Through the support of the the Kellogg Foundation, this year we will begin to engage with movement, philanthropy, and community leaders through an engagement and advisory process to:

  • Help us hone a global analysis of justice
  • Assess the feasibility and investment approach for a global pooled giving and grantmaking fund, and
  • Inform SVP International’s network expansion strategy

We will work with these leaders and SVP leaders to explore how we might resource systems change efforts around the globe at scale via local Affiliates, building on the pilot Reimagine Fund.

In other words, this provides the basis for us to get down to the tangible work of power sharing and relationship building with frontline leaders.

To start, we must engage as co-designers with those who are most-impacted by systems of injustice, those who represent communities left out of philanthropic decision-making, and those who are leading frontline work to co-create a new way forward.

We will use grant funds to resource and engage Black, Indigenous, People of Color and global grassroots leaders to help shape SVP’s future. Even through processes of transformation and learning, as we saw with SVP Philadelphia’s example, we can start to directly invest in and bring co-benefits to communities and leaders.

We look forward to practicing this more equitable way of approaching co-ownership and building together.

How is your organization putting power sharing into practice? What resources and strategy guidance would you need to move forward? I’d love to hear what you’re learning.

Later this week I’ll share how, in addition to this new expansion framework and sustainability plan, Affiliates around the globe can co-create and benefit from Reimagine Giving.


Sudha Nandagopal
SVP International

Part 5: Insider Look: New Possibilities for our Network

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