Power to Possibility: SVP International & JustFund Collaborate to reimagine giving

SVPI 04/25/2022

A note from SVP International CEO, Sudha Nandagopal:

We are thrilled to announce that in 2022 SVP International will host 5 Affiliates, SVP Boston, SVP Boulder County, SVP Cleveland, SVP San Antonio and SVP Tucson to pilot JustFund as values based grantmaking administration portal.

Our role as the expansion and innovation hub of the SVP Network means we’re always looking for ways to engage with enterprise solutions that also align with our philanthropic systemic change goals. One such partnership opportunity we learned of in 2021 was JustFund. JustFund is a first-of-its-kind values oriented, trust based grantmaking administration portal designed to lift the burden of grant making management to catalyze more resources to front line organizations and systems change efforts. Learn more about JustFund here. Upon meeting with their founder (Iara, a fellow woman of color focused on changing the power dynamics of the philanthropic field) it became clear that there was potential for co-impact if we were to partner and leverage JustFund across our network.

As more SVPs seek to reimagine giving and advance philanthropy that centers collective action, accountability, and the wisdom of communities closest to the problems it’s imperative that we have strategic partnerships that support advancing this work at scale. 

We are especially enthused about this partnership as it opens the door to multiple benefits for all our various stakeholders:

For Affiliate leaders:

  • We have heard consistently from SVP Affiliates that there’s a desire for partnerships that simplify the administration of grants, advance equitable grantmaking, and allow SVP Affiliates to focus more on the relational aspect of engaging Partners and supporting grantees.

    “SVP Boulder County feels appreciative to be included in this pilot project with JustFund and SVPI. We are huge fans of there being a common application process for grantees and are excited that those nonprofits we work with can have wider exposure through the JustFund network. To have tools and support that help us become more equitable grant makers is exactly what we needed at this time. ” – Joshua Silberstein, CEO SVP Boulder County

  • Affiliates have also asked for more tools to be able to tell a story of impact about where money is going and how our donor engagement and education model helps catalyze more resources to the community. JustFund allows us to track in real-time the amplified impact of Partners as they develop into strategic philanthropists. We will have a real understanding of how our Affiliates efforts influence Partner giving outside of what they contribute directly to SVP pooled funds.“SVP Tucson is always looking for ways to both innovate and simplify our work. How can we take simple steps to work on extremely complex problems? This platform seems to be a step in that direction. We look forward to learning from JustFund’s approach and seeing what opportunities we have, to strengthen relationships with and for all our Community Partners.” – Jennie Grabel, Vice President of Programs SVP Tucson

For Investee and nonprofit grantees: 

  • Investees, our nonprofit partners, and the field more broadly have all advocated for streaming when it comes to grant seeking and reporting. JustFund is set up to be a platform that leverages nonprofit time more efficiently by providing opportunities to use the same application to apply to multiple funds.As we actively seek ways to better center our grantmaking around trust-based, grantee focused practices, we see the invitation to participate in SVP’s JustFund cohort and pilot as a great opportunity to advance this commitment.  And, we’re excited for the opportunity JustFund will provide to local nonprofits to expose their impactful work and resource needs to multiple prospective funders when applying to SVP Boston.” Jason Williams, Executive Director SVP Boston“SVP Cleveland is excited to be part of this pilot and what we hope is a concrete step to bring more ease, transparency and trust with our nonprofit partners.” – Abby Westbrook, Executive Director SVP Cleveland

For SVP Partner Donors: 

  • Partners across our Network have shared that they would like more connections into where other Partners are giving and how they might support SVP funded efforts in regions where they have historic connections but not on-the-ground relationships. JustFund allows us to connect Partners across regions and, in addition to giving Partners a simple way to invest additional resources in their local community grantees, this partnership will also help Partners contribute resources to regions outside of their local affiliate, if they choose. 

For our Network level efforts: 

  • Finally, at the Network level we’ve seen a growing need to streamline and be able to report out a network wide story and to share back on resources being catalyzed to community and upstream issues. Our historic data collection methods are outdated and JustFund provides a streamlined approach to data gathering and reporting on impact. With the ability to tell a network wide story, we anticipate that we will be better positioned  to seek resources from  national funders who want to know about the full story of impact at SVP as we work together to reimagine giving

This partnership is about values alignment, relational learning and movement building. We’re looking to understand how to make our grantmaking more transparent, accountable to community and experiment with what’s possible when we share our process, put equity at the center of our work and truly convene and connect across geographies.

We appreciate each of these Affiliates and their leadership for their enthusiasm to experiment, try new processes and tech, and work across the network to move resources.  We look forward to a powerful year of cross pollination, education and impact. Congratulations to this pilot group of Affiliates and your connected communities.  Together we’re excited to change and learn and reimagine giving together. 

We look forward to sharing back our learnings as we move forward with this pilot. 

Thank you to the Fidelity Charitable Trustees Initiative and the W.F. Kellogg Foundation for providing the resources we need to pilot new technologies that help update our Network approach and mobilize more resources to organizations doing systems changes work. 

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