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SVP approves $214,000 in funding to 5 Investees in first half of 2015

Posted by SVP Vancouver

SVP’s Investment Committee – composed of the Board of Directors – met twice this spring to hear presentations from five Investees. The Committee’s role is to ensure each Investee’s funding proposal aligns with SVP’s goals to build organizational capacity, improve financial sustainability, and seek opportunities to scale. SVP’s largest Co-Funder, BPS Wealth Management, joined the meetings to listen to each Investee share their stories and impact. The Committee and Co-Funders asked key questions generating good discussion and recommendations in order to confidently approve a total of $214,000 in grants to 5 Investees

On April 16, the Investment Committee approved Yo Bro Youth Initiative ($45,000) and SafeOnline’s third year of funding ($30,000), as well as a new application from Athletics for Kids for a third year ask ($35,000). On May 26, Growing Chefs! was approved for a second year ($56,000) which included funding for a fund development resource, and SVP officially welcomed Writers’ Exchange as its newest Investee with a grant of $48,000 after a year plus of dedicated Partner time working with them to reach this goal.

Writers’ Exchange

Writers Exchange

Lead Partner: Linda Louis

Amount Invested: $48,000, with generous Co-Funding from BPS Wealth Management and the SpencerCreo Foundation This is Writers’ Exchange’s first year of SVP funding.

About: Writers’ Exchange (WE) provides a learning space for inner-city children when schools are closed, offering free writing workshops both in schools and at their space in East Hastings to help children increase their literacy skills and develop a passion for writing.

Children are encouraged to write about what interests and excites them. Every child becomes a published author and proudly presents their finished product at a Book Launch Party.

2015 Objective: WE will serve 595 students, with 200 volunteer mentors. WE’s growth plan is to increase their number of tutoring hours to 25,000 in order to have a greater impact with the same number of children. The goal is to have one tutor for every two students.

SVP’s funding will support:

  • 50% of their Managing Director’s salary
  • Increasing their Volunteer Coordinator’s hours to full-time
  • Upgrading their website
  • Becoming a registered Canadian Charity

Non-financial needs:

  • Governance Advisor
  • Database/IT Systems Improvement Specialist
  • HR Expert
  • Earned Revenue Task Force Members
  • Market and Pricing Analyst
  • Marketing Expert
  • Capital Campaign Task Force Members

Yo Bro Youth Initiative

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Lead Partner: Nick Bedford

Amount Invested: $45,000, with generous Co-Funding from BPS Wealth Management. This is Yo Bro Youth Initiative’s third year of SVP funding, with the opportunity to present a re-funding proposal in 2016.

About: Yo Bro Youth Initiative (Yo Bro) delivers unique resiliency-based programs to youth in the Lower Mainland at risk of becoming involved in gangs or drugs. With a recent spike in gang shootings in Surrey, the programs are becoming even more relevant and necessary.

Before SVP’s involvement, Yo Bro served 80 youth (boys only) in two schools. Now, they have expanded into 16 programs serving 300 youth (boys and girls) in 10 schools throughout four school districts. Senior leader and volunteer mentor training programs have enabled the Yo Bro programs to expand even further.

2015 Objective:

  • Maintain current level of program delivery and number of youth served during schools hours
  • Increase the number of programs and youth served out of school hours by augmenting the number of Junior Leaders and volunteers
  • Renew contracts and agreements with current partners, establish fundraising targets for 2015 and 2016, and develop further sources of funding

Athletics for Kids

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Lead Partner: Dan Bowditch

Amount Invested: $35,000, with generous Co-Funding from BPS Wealth Management. This is Athletics for Kids’ third and final year of funding through SVP.

About: Athletics for Kids (A4K) provides sports grants of up to $600 per year to children and youth from low-income families or in foster care. They fund more than 40 different kinds of sports and partner with over 330 sports organizations around the province. Unlike other sports granting organizations, A4K has long term impact by funding a child for up to 13 years with grants from K-12.

After two years of funding with SVP, A4K decided to apply for a third year grant which would be key to rebranding and developing essential marketing materials – a vital component to establish their culture of fundraising.

2015 Objective: Fund 1,250 sports grants

SVP’s funding will support:

  • Part-time communications and marketing staff member to assist with A4K’s new branding, website, messaging, collateral, and fundraising campaigns
  • Implementation of the Salesforce non-profit CRM database

Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture


Lead Partner: Nick Bedford

Amount Invested: $56,000, with generous Co-Funding from BPS Wealth Management. This is Growing Chefs’ second year of funding through SVP.

About: Growing Chefs! (GC) provides Classroom Gardening and Cooking Programs in elementary school classrooms to teach children about healthy food. Volunteer chefs give students hands on experience growing and cooking their own food. Children learn about where their food comes from, food security, and how healthy food affects their lives and their community.

In their first year of SVP funding, GC proved to be successful in three ways: serving a record number of children (1,290), mobilizing a record number of chef and restaurant volunteers (145), and generating the highest number of SVP volunteer participants out of any Investee (17).

2015 Objective: Meeting community demand by increasing the number of students by 21% and engaged volunteers by 28%.

SVP’s funding will support:

  • Expanding classrooms
  • Piloting a program for intermediate classes in fall
  • Growing the number of communities reached in Metro Vancouver
  • Expanding communities across BC using a franchise model
  • Supporting a part-time fund development assistant
  • Attending the SVP Network’s Scaling Impact Conference in Seattle

Safe Online Education Society


Lead Partners: Larry Achtemichuk and Nicole Geyer

Amount Invested: $30,000, with generous Co-Funding from BPS Wealth Management. This is Safe Online Education Society’s third year of SVP funding, with a potential for a fourth year if they deliver a strategy to scale.

About: Safe Online Education Society (SafeOnline) addresses widespread Internet access and use by children and youth, specifically how young people use this technology in unsafe ways. SafeOnline operates as a social enterprise, offering presentations to youth, parents, and classroom educators to increase communication competencies, critical and reflective thinking skills, and personal and social responsibility.

In 2014, SafeOnline refreshed their branding, deployed ten campaigns, and adopted an online database and campaign management system.

2015 Objective: 

  • Deliver 140 presentations
  • Develop their School Based Internet Safety Programs and Personal Development Workshops and Consultations
  • Focus on fundraising, sponsorship and donor cultivation
  • Develop board

SVP’s funding will support:

  • Expanding programs
  • Increasing revenue
  • Improving financial sustainability
  • Fundraising, donor expertise and implementation

Non-financial needs:

  • Business, marketing, communications and fundraising support
  • Board development consultant for Board evaluation, reviews and recommendations
  • Media coaching and multi-media content development