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SVP Portland Responds to Community Needs

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland
Executive Director

We are living in unprecedented times. COVID-19 is creating an evolving situation with short- and long-term ramifications for our community. Circumstances are rapidly changing and, fortunately, SVP is a highly nimble, responsive, and collaborative organization. Our proximity to leaders on the front lines serving children and families in need uniquely positions us as a trusted resource to help them navigate this crisis.  

At SVP Portland, our entire partnership is affected—from families in quarantine, to essential professionals still working, to nonprofits adapting programmatic delivery and staff management in order to continue to serve their communities. As we reach out to our Partners, the life blood of SVP, we are consistently asked, “What do our Community Partners need, and how can I help?” 

Our Community Partners, like most nonprofits, are facing an increased demand for basic needs and other services while their operations are challenged by social distancing and decreased resources. Additionally, they face the uncertainty of an anticipated economic recession that threatens the sustainability of critical services. 

What are immediate challenges our nonprofit partners face?  

While each Community Partner is unique, there is consistency in the immediate challenges. These include:

  • Decrease in revenue – Many nonprofits have annual fundraising galas in the spring, and canceled fundraising events creates a large dip in the projected revenue. Additionally, organizations anticipate significant drops in personal and institutional giving as the economic crisis deepens, with uncertainty around public funding streams. 
  • Program delivery – Organizations are adjusting how they deliver programs in this time of social distancing, and identifying new guidelines in order to continue supporting families while ensuring the health and safety of all.
  • Staff management – Staff are adjusting to virtual meetings, while leaders are managing and coaching staff remotely. There is an immediate need to identify the right technology to support team collaboration and connection.

SVP Response Opportunities 

Due to our unique relationships with Community Partners, we have been able to connect with organizations individually and identify ways SVP can offer support in the near-term. Here’s where SVP assistance has been requested: 

  • Financial projections and modeling 
  • IT support to facilitate working remotely
  • Curation of relevant and credible resources
  • Communications to donors 
  • Advocacy in support of executive orders and legislation responding to urgent needs of families living in poverty
  • Coaching and guidance to procure CARES Act (stimulus bill) funding

To learn more about what we are hearing from leaders about the greatest community needs and how we are leveraging SVP resources to assist our Community Partners, join us for an SVP Partnership Virtual Gathering on April 9th or April 21st

If you would like to offer your time and expertise to support our Community Partners, please contact matt@svpportland.org

Thank you for your continued support of SVP during this unprecedented time in our history. Our work is all the more critical as we ensure nonprofits not only survive in the short-term, but are strengthened in order to thrive in the long-term.

Be safe. Stay healthy. 

Lauren Johnson

Executive Director

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