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SVP International

Strengthen Nonprofits

The organizations Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region collaborates with are tackling some of our community’s most pressing issues – and they are ready to take their work to the next level.

These charities have recognized ways that they could be stronger, and are working with SVP Waterloo Region to make that happen. In any given year, SVP is engaged with multiple local nonprofits, providing two kinds of support.

Multi-Year, General Operating Support

We believe that change takes time, and that those closest to the work are best equipped to make important decisions. Our investees can depend on up to 3 years of unrestricted funding. We ask them to report on results, not financials.

Most grants nonprofits receive are restricted. Nonprofits have to spend the funds on specific programs (e.g. providing backpacks for students in need). They can only use a small percentage (if any) to cover their “overhead,” which can include anything from rent to the administrative assistant’s salary. We believe that this distinction is unnecessary and hamstrings nonprofits.

What impact is the organization having on our community? Can they demonstrate it? Have we built a partnership on a foundation of mutual trust? These are the questions we focus on. If the answers are solid, where they spend their grant dollars is irrelevant.


Nonprofit Capacity Building

We define capacity building as the development of core skills, strategies, and systems to enhance an organization’s effectiveness, sustainability and ability to fulfill its mission.

It’s not sexy, but things like sound financial systems, effective board governance, and up-to-date technology can make the difference between serving 100 and 500 people in need. That’s why we strengthen organizations from the inside out – matching them with our Partner volunteers who can help amplify their impact.