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2020 Annual Partner Survey Results

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland

2020 was a year like no other. Despite all the chaos, challenges, and changes, the SVP Portland Partnership has thrived. We both collaborated for tremendous community impact, while simultaneously building internal strength.

As is our custom, we asked Partners for their feedback through our Annual Partner Survey. Thirty-eight Partners shared their “why SVP?”, thoughts about their engagement, offered opinions about our communications, and highlighted their most meaningful and proud SVP moments.

What’s the best part of being a Partner?
“Working with talented, smart, generous people to effect lasting change.”

SVP’s venture philanthropy model is the top reason that Partners join (79%) and that they will continue investing (77%), indicating that we have a compelling purpose for attracting and retaining Partners. In addition, 76% say their investment in SVP enables them to give more strategically. Although our model of collective giving and leveraged investment is sometimes a bit complicated to explain, it is a key benefit for Partners who understand the transformative potential of venture philanthropy.

What impact are you most proud of or inspired by?
“The focus on one thing and backing the nonprofits during tough times.”

A noteworthy finding is that 71% join our Partnership to engage in the skills-based volunteerism that truly makes SVP unique and powerful. In a notable increase from 2019, 92% of Partners are satisfied with their level of engagement, a nearly 20-point improvement. Additionally, 14% more Partners are actively engaged in 2020 than in 2019.

What’s the best part of being a Partner?
“Being able to use my skills to the benefit of organizations that need them, in order to help those organizations make a bigger difference.”

This increase is aligned with what we see in practice — 95% of the new Partners who joined in 2020 are enthusiastically engaged with both our Community Partners and internal teams/committees. These increases are likely fueled by our new onboarding program, strong mentorship from experienced Partners, and the Partner Experience “buddy” team that has supplemented staff stewardship.

What is the most meaningful experience you’ve had as a Partner?
“Helping focus on how best to assure successful implementation of Preschool for All.”

Also noteworthy, the secondary reason for renewing SVP partnership is a close tie between our equity, diversity & inclusion work, and our focus on early childhood impact. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that 92% of Partners feel that SVP resonates with their overall sense of purpose, 71% say it gives them an opportunity to create meaningful interpersonal relationships, and 74% feel like a part of a community where they belong — all of these are double-digit increases from 2019.

What impact are you most proud of or inspired by?
“I also really appreciate [our] efforts to expose the Partnership to diversity and equity education – not easy I’m sure, but very important.”

Feedback indicates that Partners bringing friends and business into the Partnership remains a challenge. One Partner specifically shared, “I wouldn’t know how to approach the subject.” Since we recognize that our primary success in recruitment is through existing relationships, a 2021 priority is building the capacity of current Partners to tell the SVP story to friends, colleagues, and family. We are working on assembling materials needed for any Partner to successfully talk about SVP with a friend or colleague, and open the door for a warm handoff to Matt.

We begin 2021 feeling distraught about recent events in our country, but simultaneously hopeful knowing that we have demonstrated resilience through very difficult times. We did this by leaning on each other and uniting as a Partnership to mobilize talent, money, and influence for tremendous impact in our community. For that, we thank you for your part in making 2020 an exceptional year for SVP Portland, and we look forward together to our important work ahead!

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