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SVP International

2021 Year in Review

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland

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 – 5,043 Skilled Volunteer Hours

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

This year, 66 Partners invested more than 5,000 hours, nearly 2,200 of those with our 12 Community Partners. The average engaged Partner volunteered 76 hours and 15 had more than 100 hours each in total.

Partner hours are valued at a conservative $100 per hour. As such, the Partnership contributed more than $500,000 in volunteer talent.

Money – $536,300 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 $536,300 to our Community Partners. Of that total, $117,600 were direct capacity building grants from SVP, and $418,700 were passthru grants we facilitated, as fiscal coordinator and capacity builder, for the Equity Collaborative and Child Care Shared Services Alliance.

Influence – Leveraged Funds Totaling $5,102,554

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 (for a second year!) number in context. First, for every dollar SVP Portland invested as an organization in direct financial grants to our Community Partners, we helped realize $46 in total impact. Second, for every dollar Partners invested in SVP Portland, eight times the financial impact was realized with our Community Partners. Any way you slice it, we achieve an exceptionally high return on investment.

Encore Fellows – 38 Professionals at Nonprofits

As part of SVP Portland, the Encore Fellows program provides a source of expertise for nonprofit organizations, helps individuals (Fellows) transition from their careers into social-purpose work, and gives corporations a new way to positively impact their communities. Encore Fellows who have retired from a career are matched with host nonprofit organizations based on their passions, talents, and experience.

In 2021, 16 new Fellows joined 22 whose fellowships were already in progress. Each helped to build the capacity of organizations throughout Oregon over the course of a 1000-hour engagement.

Impact Highlights

Amplifying Systems Change

  • We instigated and provided a seed investment for research to analyze and document the policy development process. Research firm Dialogues in Action finalized a report that synthesizes extensive input from nearly 50 key participants in the Preschool for All (PFA) effort.
  • We conducted a comprehensive landscape assessment to understand barriers related to facilities, regulatory compliance, insurance, and other business needs in the Preschool for All implementation process. This report identifies several priorities for the effort and specific roles SVP is uniquely positioned to fill.
  • We incubated and then acted as the initial neutral convener, project manager, and fiscal coordinator for the Child Care Shared Services Alliance, a shared services hub and online resource center to help ensure the viability of childcare providers.

Building Capacity of Organizations

  • We matched dozens of SVP Partners to community-based organizations and initiatives, in order to strengthen financial systems, HR, marketing/communications, as well as provided expert coaching to enhance their leadership and capacity.
  • We started a new partnership with the Alliance for Equity in Montessori Education (AEME), an organization running a successful free preschool program that serves children and families living in a historically under-resourced area disproportionately impacted by systemic racism and marginalization.
  • We expanded our geographic focus from Multnomah County to include Washington County, in support of their new Preschool For All initiative that will bring a similar ballot before voters in November, 2022.
  • Our Portfolio Management Team made several reinvestments to extend our impact with Community Partners:
        • With Latino Network to include Partner time and a $25,000 grant. In January 2021, they launched their first capital campaign and have already raised more than 75% of the $12M goal needed to build La Plaza Esperanza.
        • With Center for African Immigrants & Refugees Organization (CAIRO) to include Partner time and a $25,000 grant. CAIRO’s two Preschool Promise classrooms currently serve 36 children from African immigrant and refugee communities (primarily Somali), and they have a goal of adding two additional classrooms for the 2022-2023 school year.
        • With Threads of Justice Collective to include Partner time and a $20,000 grant. They organize and deliver workshops, retreats, conferences, and teaching tools to address oppression in the lives of young children and their families.
        • With Hacienda CDC to include Partner time and a $25,000 grant, to continue to support their educational goals. Hacienda CDC serves approximately 360 youth through three major programs that offer a variety of important education and social support services to children from birth to 8th grade: Portland Niños, Expresiones, and SUN Youth Advocacy. 

Listening & Evolving

  • We solicited input from the community most proximate to issues we seek to impact by conducting surveys and in-depth interviews with current and former Community Partners. From this research, we learned how much our community values the roles we play, as well as how imperative it is that we continue to advance our diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
  • The 20th anniversary of SVP Portland gave us an opportunity to reflect on our evolution to an organization that puts anti-racism and social justice at the core of who we are. Our E-Team has expanded in numbers and the meetings have evolved to comprise business, learning, and connection.
  • Partners trained fellow Partners in coaching skills focused on  being “thought partners” rather than experts when working with nonprofit leaders of our Community Partners.
  • We extended and adapted our unique partnership with the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI). SVP is a resource and capacity building partner for CEI, and CEI provides us trainings and consultation that helps advance our equity work. 
  • We developed an innovative governance model that aims to lead the way in shifting power within philanthropy to those most impacted. 

Our Community Partners continued to face obstacles in 2021, but as always they remained resourceful and resilient. We are inspired by their dedication to their missions, in awe of their creative approaches in the face of adversity, and honored to humbly walk hand-in-hand with them to help navigate challenging times. Our Partnership has remained steadfast in response to increased community needs during the pandemic and, together, we developed innovative solutions and accomplished remarkable impact. Our emotions are varied as we look back on 2021–a mix of gratitude, inspiration, grief, and compassion–but we are also hopeful. In the spirit of transformative change, we look forward to continuing our journey together, as a partnership, in 2022 and beyond.

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