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SVP Portland Board Update

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland
SVP Portland Board Update

October 1, 2019

Dear Fellow Partners, 

I wanted to provide an update on SVP Portland’s strategic priorities following our Annual Partners Gathering in April and Lauren’s Executive Director update in July. 

The SVP Portland Board of Directors held our annual planning retreat in August to identify intermediate success metrics indicating we are making strong progress toward our goal, as well as priority roles for the next year that position us to maximize our impact. 

SVP Priority Role: Building Community Partner Capacity

The Board unanimously affirmed that this continues to be a priority role, and elevated the critical areas of succession planning, early childhood program codification and business planning to scale as well as financial health. As capacity builders, Partners bring valuable expertise and skills to organizations serving our community. This can be seen in our comprehensive Financial Health Assessment with Latino Network, preschool research and planning with the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization, and Salesforce training with the Black Parent Initiative, just to name a few. 

Over the past year, SVP Partners have also invested their time and expertise to build the capacity of Multnomah County’s Preschool for All Task Force and four work groups that crafted recommendations. Partners helped developed the program and policy structure of Preschool for All, workforce development system, infrastructure plans (i.e., real estate), finance strategy, and administrative framework. One SVP Partner played a key role in the editing and producing the final report itself! Our role as capacity builder for the County’s P4A initiative remains a top priority moving forward. 

For more on how we will evaluate progress, click here

SVP Priority Role: Amplifying Systems Change

  1. We will continue to build community awareness of the importance of early learning and publicly support the Multnomah County Preschool for All initiative. With the recent publication of Multnomah County’s Preschool for All report, there will be ample opportunity for Partners to voice their support of bringing universal preschool to our community. 
  2. Increase the capacity of Community Partners to participate in advocacy initiatives and to grow the number of parent advocates from historically marginalized communities. We did this last April when SVP Partners participated in the Early Childhood Coalition Lobby Day alongside our Community Partners and 142 advocates asking legislators for significant investments in early childhood. Another example includes SVP’s role as fiscal sponsor and lead capacity builder for the Equity Collaborative
  3. Establish formal strategic partnerships with advocacy organizations like Children’s Institute and Children First for Oregon to strengthen SVP’s early childhood policy and advocacy influence.
  4. Coalition building amongst early learning stakeholders, leveraging our cross-sector network and unique position to facilitate connections and build alliances amongst key players with a shared interest in achieving Preschool for All. 

For more on how we will evaluate progress, click here.  

SVP Priority Role: Strengthening SVP Portland 

  1. Finance: We continue to monitor our financial position carefully, with the Board receiving monthly updates from our Finance Committee. At this juncture, we have completed a comprehensive review of the 2018 financial in partnership with our CPA, are in a much more stable position, are on track with our forecasts, and staff working hard to continue improving our financial health. Establishing an operating reserve remains a long-term need that will require that we reevaluate our business model for improved cash flows.
  2. Development: We are currently at 61% of our $300k goal for Partner Additional giving. It is critical that we achieve at least $280k by 12/31 to secure the $20k “closer” pledge by one of our Partners.
  3. Business Partners: We are launching our Business Partnership model with a goal of having 20 Business Partners by the end of 2020. If you know a local business or business owner with whom SVP’s mission might resonate, please email Darren!
  4. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: We continue to invest in our own learning about diversity, equity and inclusion through our partnership with the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI). Staff are participating in monthly workshops, the Board spent half a day last month as part of our retreat, and Partners are attending the quarterly learning opportunities. 
  5. SVP’s Board: We are actively recruiting from the Partnership to further strengthen our Board of Directors! Are you interested, or want to nominate a fellow Partner? In particular, we are seeking: practicing Attorney; secretary role; fundraising & development expertise; marketing & communications expertise; lived experience of our priority populations.

If you would like to learn more about our progress and strategic priorities, Lauren and I would be delighted to speak with you.

Lastly, we have a number of upcoming events, including the annual Holiday Party on December 12th. On behalf of SVP’s Board of Directors, I hope to see you there! 

In partnership, 

Kerry McClenahan

Board Chair

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