Last night I attended the 10th anniversary celebration of Social Venture Partners Denver at the Grant Humphries Mansion in downtown Denver.  What fun to reconnect with people I had not seen in years, meet some of the new Partners, as well as hear about the progress of this great organization since my involvement ended some years ago. Seeing my alumni ribbon, the newer Partners asked, “when were you an SVP partner?”  I answered it was 3 or 4 years ago. Then I started thinking…Sarah Bock, the Executive Director at the time (now a member of the SVPi Board), was pregnant with her first and then second child..and they are now 5 and 6!  Hmmm…time is passing WAY more quickly than I realized! Social Venture Partners Denver is a member of Social Venture Partners International.  “As of July 2010, there are 26 Social Venture Partner organizations and 2,000 Partners in the USA, Canada and Japan, who have contributed $36 million in grants to more than 397 nonprofit organizations and countless hours of strategic volunteering contributed to nonprofits.”  Impressive, eh?

From their website, the SVPi’s mission is:

“Improving Communities by Connecting People with Causes

Social Venture Partners (SVP) brings together worlds that typically do not overlap: grant making, volunteerism, nonprofit capacity building, and philanthropic education. Every SVP is a network of engaged philanthropists who believe that they can have a positive impact on their communities and who use innovative strategies to address complex social issues.

The SVP Model – A Dual Mission

All Social Venture Partners share a dual mission. They seek to catalyze significant, long-term positive social change in their communities through:

  • Philanthropy Development: Creating communities of lifelong, informed and inspired philanthropists. SVP Partners are individuals who make meaningful contributions to nonprofit organizations by sharing their skills, time, and financial resources.
  • Capacity Building: Making strategic investments that build long-term capacity for nonprofits so they can better fill their missions. SVP Investees are nonprofit organizations that seek new resources and innovative approaches for addressing a variety of issues, including education, environmental protection, and youth development. Capacity building investments focus on increasing the ability of each Investee to achieve their mission and include cash grants, skilled volunteers, professional consultants, leadership development and management training opportunities.”

What I always appreciated about the SVP concept as it totally resonates with my own philosophy and what I preach to my business clients, is that dollars alone don’t make a lasting difference.  In SVP, people give both money AND their time and skills to strengthen nonprofit capacity.  By joining forces with other committed folks passionate about making a real difference, it is possible to do so much more real good than by working alone. There are now 26 SVPs internationally – what great growth!  Speaks volumes about the concept, commitment and camaraderie of the partners, and the management of the organization!  Here is the list of the current locations:

  • SVP Arizona
  • SVP Boston
  • SVP Boulder County
  • British Columbia SVP
  • SVP Calgary
  • SVP Charlotte
  • SVP Cincinnati
  • Cleveland SVP
  • Dallas SVP
  • SVP Delaware
  • SVP Denver
  • SVP Greater Tucson
  • Los Angeles SVP
  • SVP Minnesota
  • Pittsburgh SVP
  • SVP Portland
  • SVP Rhode Island
  • SVP Sacramento
  • San Diego SVP
  • SVP Santa Barbara
  • SVP Seattle
  • Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund
  • St Louis SVP
  • SVP Tokyo
  • SVP Toronto
  • SVP Waterloo

I think it is time for me to trade in my red alumni ribbon for a blue partner ribbon by getting back involved and adding my efforts to do good with the other great people involved.  Why not join me at the Social Venture Partners Conference and learn more?!

Location: Date:

Hyatt Regency Long Beach 200 South Pine Avenue Long Beach, CA 90802

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 – Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010 6:00 PM  – 2:00 PM