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SVP International

2020 Year in Review

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland
2020 SVP Portland Year in Review

At SVP Portland, we mobilize human, financial, and social capital for investment in nonprofits, collaborations, and initiatives, with the shared goal of ensuring that all children—regardless of ethnicity, wealth, religion, gender, or zip code—have access to high-quality, culturally-relevant early learning experiences. We are committed to continuous learning and improvement in order to successfully build community capacity for solving problems together. To this end, we collect data to understand the impact of our investments, and hold ourselves accountable for continuous improvement.

By the Numbers

Talent – 6,704 Skilled Volunteer Hours

SVP Partners bring decades of expertise to build the capacity of our Community Partners as well as our internal operations.

This year’s total is record-breaking, and not by a little bit: 6,704 volunteer hours makes 2020 the highest year, beating the prior record by 23%.

Contributed hours are valued at $100 per hour. Therefore, the Partnership contributed more than $670,000 in volunteer talent.

Money – $206,600 in Grants to Community Partners

Community Partners are the organizations, collaborations, and initiatives in which we invest. They share in our goal of ensuring that all children have access to high-quality, culturally-relevant early learning experiences.

This year, we granted a total of $206,600 to our Community Partners. Of that total, $100,000 were direct capacity building grants from SVP, and $106,600 were passthru grants we helped secure, as fiscal coordinator and capacity builder for the Equity Collaborative.

Influence – Leveraged Funds Totaling $6,807,010*

We are more than grantmakers. Engaging our human and social capital in concert with funding multiplies our impact.

Our networks, relationships, and influence help attract additional financial resources for our Community Partners. These resources are what we term leveraged funds — the sum total of indirect dollars that flowed to our Community Partners due to our connections, fundraising help, and/or direct donations from Partners. This is the multiplier effect of our venture philanthropy model, and is part of what makes SVP’s impact so transformational.

There are two ways to put this record-breaking number in context. First, for every dollar SVP Portland invested in direct financial grants to our Community Partners, we helped realize $76 in total impact. Second, for every dollar a Partner invested in SVP Portland, $8 in financial impact was realized with our Community Partners. Any way you slice it, we achieve an exceptionally high return on investment.

*This does not include any funds from Multnomah County Preschool for All. These will be tracked as funds are disbursed in the coming years.

Direct Impact – 1,550 Children Served by Programs of our Community Partners

In order to work toward more equitable access to resources and ultimately community-level outcomes, we request annual data on children served by our Community Partners, disaggregated by race, poverty, and English as primary home language.

The total number of children served in 2020 represents a drop from 2019. The biggest reason is that we completed our capacity building partnership with Albina Head Start  — and they were serving nearly 1,300 children. This being said, the year-over-year increase for Community Partners still in our portfolio was 69%, on average.

It’s also important to acknowledge that only seven of our 12 Community Partners serve children directly through their early learning programs. The other five impact many thousands of children indirectly through their policy & advocacy work, Preschool for All being a prime example.

Impact Highlights

Strategic Priority #1: Amplify Systems Change

  • Preschool for All Initiative

    • In January 2020, we were proud to support Phase II of the Preschool for All initiative by investing an additional $5,000, along with the expertise and influence of our Partners. We helped with coalition building, finance strategy, early childhood program development, infrastructure planning (e.g. real estate), and campaign support.
    • We built a Policy & Advocacy Team to fully leverage our voice, network, and influence to help ensure passage of the Preschool for All ballot measure.
    • In July 2020, the Preschool for All Initiative made a huge leap forward with a finalized plan for universal preschool in Multnomah County.
    • In August, we took another giant step toward our goal of securing public funding with referral of the ballot measure.
    • In November, VICTORY! Our community secured financial resources necessary to fund quality, universal preschool for Multnomah County’s 3 and 4 year olds.
  • The Equity Collaborative
    • In July, our long-time support of the Student Success Act saw its first major payoff with $4.6M from the Equity Fund heading to our current and former Community Partners. This represents just the first round of grants that will total $200 million in new state funding to support early childhood learning.
    • In our role as fiscal coordinator and capacity builder for the Collaborative, we supported the group to secure $357,200 in new grants from the Oregon Community Foundation, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, and Health Share.

Strategic Priority #2: Build Capacity of Organizations, Collaborations & Initiatives

  • In March, as COVID-19 struck with full force, our entire Partnership was 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 reached out to our Investor Partners, resounding support came in return and we deepened our support to our Community Partners.
  • In April, we added our first new Community Partner of 2020, Portland Children’s Museum. Through this new partnership, SVP is helping Portland Children’s Museum expand its capacity to become part of the solution for ensuring that all children in the Portland metro area have access to high-quality, culturally-responsive, and affordable preschool.
  • Also in April, SVP helped Community Partners secure more than $3.3M in CARES Act Paycheck Protection Plan funds.
  • In May, we saw significant progress with three of our Community Partners:
    • The culmination of a multi-year project with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) resulted in an application for public funds to launch their first center-based preschool.
    • We supported a leadership transition at the Black Parent Initiative (BPI), which now has a strong Executive Director and Board of Directors in place and is poised to re-brand and grow its community impact.
    • We extended our long-time partnership with Latino Network, which continued to utilize SVP support through a transition in leadership, while simultaneously ensuring long-term organizational health in light of the COVID pandemic.
  • In July, we were asked by the community to serve as the fiscal coordinator and project manager through the critical start-up period of the Child Care Shared Services Alliance, which became our second new Community Partner of 2020.
  • Also in July, we reinvested in the Threads of Justice Collective to support its merger with a new backbone organization. This included a $10,000 grant.
  • In August, our Portfolio Management Team committed $20k each to reinvestments in the Center for African Immigrants and Refugee Organization (CAIRO) and Latino Network.
  • In November, the Portfolio Management Team approved a $20,000 grant to our third new Community Partner of 2020, Hacienda Community Development Corporation, along with an investment of Partner skills and expertise to help achieve capacity building goals.
  • Also in November, the Portfolio Management Team approved a $17,700 investment in an evaluation project to analyze and document the Preschool for All policy development process, such that it can be replicated elsewhere.
  • Throughout 2020, the Encore Fellows program continued to serve as a powerful capacity-building resource. We placed 17 Fellows at area nonprofits, including at four of our Community Partners.
  • Throughout the year, we led key projects and teams to support Partners in their capacity building efforts with Community Partners. Our Financial Partner Team developed and implemented new tools to support organizations in their financial health and management systems. Additionally, a newly-formed coaching team launched a workshop series for Partners engaged in community work, to support them in leading critical conversations with our Community Partners.

Strategic Priority #3: Strengthen SVP Portland

  • In March, we recommitted to our unique partnership with the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI). Building upon accomplishments made during the first year, we continued to provide human capital in areas of expertise that help CEI achieve its social mission. In exchange, CEI continued to engage with us as they would one of their clients, investing to advance our equity work by providing training, coaching, and tools for implementation.
  • We have evolved our Equity Committee to form an “Equity Team” (aka E-team) with broad representation of race, gender, age, and experience. Our goal is to continue down the path of becoming an anti-racist organization… evolving from solely reflecting and learning to doing and becoming, and more deeply integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of SVP’s identity, our community engagement models, and venture philanthropy itself.
  • We were proud to welcome three new Partners to our Board of Directors in May. Each of these Partners brings specific skills and expertise that lend strength as well as passion for our mission and current goal. We are grateful for the service of three Board members that completed their terms — we thank them for their leadership and dedication to our mission.
  • In 2020, we grew our resources — human and financial — by successfully recruiting two dozen new Partners. More than 80% of those are already working with Community Partners and/or serving on SVP teams/committees.
  • The increased stability of our financial position from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020 is remarkable. Our days of cash have greatly increased, giving us the sure footing that is so critical to our long-term viability during these uncertain times.

In spite of the numerous hurdles our Community Partners faced in 2020, they responded with resourcefulness and resilience. We were humbled by the dedication to their missions, inspired by their creativity, and honored to walk hand-in-hand with them to help navigate challenging times. Our Partnership stepped up in response to increased community needs and, together, we developed innovative solutions and accomplished remarkable impact. We look back on 2020 with many mixed emotions: gratitude, anger, inspiration, grief, compassion. In the spirit of resilience and hope we look forward to continuing our journey together, as a partnership of changemakers, in 2021.

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