We envision a world of global citizens and connected communities, where leaders live, work, and play where they serve — a world in which power is shifted from traditional systems that only benefit a few to collective and collaborative approaches that benefit many.
The Challenges We are Facing
As injustice continues to rise the world over, philanthropy is called on to do more. Yet, with all this money pouring in, why is inequality only getting worse? Why is there a funding gap? Why are leaders who are the most connected to communities constantly under-resourced?
The truth is traditional philanthropy, a system designed to do good at its conception, has struggled to reach hyper-local, emergent solutions needed for meaningful change. Traditional philanthropy has been replicating and reflecting the very problems it’s been trying to solve.
In this world climate, the way we approach giving is falling short. People write checks, they receive thank you notes — and they wonder, “But what else can I be doing?”
Donors around the globe have been hungry for opportunities to do more, to give in ways that disrupt traditional philanthropic funding practices, to connect with one another, and to be a part of movements for change.
Change Needs to Come from the Collective
At SVP International, we have witnessed the power of collective action throughout our SVP network, made up of SVP organizations embedded in communities worldwide. These SVPs have been influencing meaningful change on local and global levels by going against the grain of harmful traditional philanthropic practices.
What they have been doing instead is prioritizing community needs over the agendas of individuals with power. They have been prioritizing social change by shaking off the business-as-usual mentality. They have been innovating in inspiring ways that address complex challenges.
Seeing this made us wonder: What if many more of us all over the world did this? The effects of collective action would be huge!
So, inspired by the good work of SVPs in our network, SVP International has collected wisdom, has started sharing our learnings (and will continue to do so) — and has co-created this playbook so that these efforts will be replicated again and again as our SVP network continues to expand.
WHAT CHANGE LOOKS LIKE
Our Collective Vision
SVP International has undergone a progression of our own. For a long time, our main role has been to oversee and facilitate the growth of our SVP network—bringing new SVPs on board all over the world. While that work was important and we will continue to be stewards of our SVP network, we have come to understand that we need to do more in order to enact meaningful change.
This is why SVP International is also helping to make our SVP network one with a collective vision, one where anyone who is a part of SVP embraces the same philanthropic values.
Together, with shared vision, we will co-create:
Stronger communities, locally and globally
Multi-sector collaborations, understanding, and partnerships
A culture of giving, rooted in community and justice
Authentic resource- and network-sharing between communities
Networks of community leaders and philanthropists, standing shoulder to shoulder, to change systems so they are more just
Wealth-sharing and power-shifting, centered around communities most impacted by injustices
How we will get there
This playbook spells out the Goal Posts we’re all heading towards (as well as the all-important why we’re heading to the goals.) This playbook is part of an ongoing SVP-wide movement to create lasting, authentic, and true social, economic, and power-shifting change for the communities and people who need it the most.
Share and benchmark Goal Posts.
Educate, connect, and share learnings around Goal Posts efforts.
Begin to incubate and demonstrate what Goal Posts look like, in action and in practice, at a global scale.
Inspire and coach SVPs globally in getting to the Goal Posts.
Continue growing the SVP network, with each expansion oriented toward Goal Posts.
Encourage and resource frontline social change-makers; be a leader on philanthropy that is centered on the wisdom of community.
The Steps we will Take
Our Three Goal Posts
We collaborated with those in our community and generated these three Goal Posts as our focuses for the next three to five years. These Goal Posts are designed to be achievable and to set up a good foundation for ongoing work that will change systems.
All SVPs worldwide will be engaging in collective action through raising and granting money.
SVPs will pool resources and money, from individuals with economic power, into funds (local and/or global). We will also partner with leaders to move these funds to communities that are most in need.
80% of the money SVPs move worldwide will focus on funding efforts, organizations, and leaders that traditional philanthropy has historically left out.
SVPs will examine their local communities and context — ask who systems have marginalized and who traditional philanthropy has overlooked — and move resources accordingly. (For example, in the U.S. and Canada, philanthropy has left behind Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. In the Global South, women and rural communities are often under-resourced.) This examination should be ongoing, because the need will vary depending on local context and current conditions.
When making decisions on resourcing, grantmaking, and investing, all SVPs worldwide will include community leaders who are on the frontlines of social change.
SVPs will include and amplify voices that have been historically left out of philanthropic decision-making because we believe that communities that are closest to the issues and who have been most affected by injustices have great expertise.
Beyond the Horizon
Our Next Moves
SVP International knows this is an ongoing process, and we’re excited for how it progresses. Here’s what’s currently on our plates:
- We’re interviewing leaders on the frontlines of social change (also called movement leaders) around the globe to understand what
power-shifting and justice looks like in a global context. And we’re going to be sharing these learnings!
- We’re establishing a process to implement, track, and most importantly of all, inspire all SVPs across the globe in getting to the
- We’re raising the resources and funds needed to kick off and sustain this effort.
- We’re connecting with enthusiastic individuals in the SVP network who want to help us in this work.
Let’s Reimaging Giving, Together
Support us in this work! Change happens collectively. There are various ways to get involved.