Our Model: Venture Philanthropy
SVP MN works much the way venture capital does, by investing both time and expertise in early-stage, high potential social ventures in a multi-year partnership. Fundamental to the SVP MN model is engagement in which partners give their time, professional experience and creativity to work directly with social ventures and local leaders to meet community needs.
Cash grants are only a portion of the value that grant recipients gain through their relationship with SVP MN. Partners also volunteer professional skills and strategic counsel to help social ventures build capacity and make vital connections within the community. This level of engagement translates to a high level of satisfaction among donors & volunteers in the SVP MN network.
Pooled funds support Investees and SVP MN
SVP MN partners’ contributions are pooled and used to provide grants to Investees (grant recipients) and support SVP MN’s programs and operations. Grant funds are used for general operating support and organizational capacity building projects.
SVP MN collaborates with our Investees
We bring our collective expertise to promising social ventures, collaborating with them to positively impact our community. Investees are selected through a due diligence team of 10 -12 SVP MN Partners. Once selected, SVP MN works in concert with the organization to improve upon their ability to deliver effective programs for social change.
We strengthen the social venture as a whole
Building upon the programmatic expertise of the Investee, SVP MN helps the organization strengthen its management practices, strategies and systems. With access to skilled volunteers, professional consultants and management training opportunities, Investees can improve the following:
- Board Development and Governance
- Leadership Development
- Program Evaluation and Performance Management
- Financial Management
- Fund Development
- Information Technology
- Marketing, PR and Communications
- Human Resources
- Strategic Planning
The SVP MN Organizational Capacity Building Plan helps Investees evaluate, plan and prioritize how they will strengthen their organization.
An intense multi-year partnership
SVP MN seeks to develop partnerships with Investees. SVP MN’s approach is unique as most social ventures are not accustomed to a funder working directly to build the capacity of their organization. Once selected into our social investment portfolio, a Lead Partner is assigned to work with each Investee. The Lead Partner assists the Investee in prioritizing their organizational capacity building goals, developing their annual work plan and coordinating a team of volunteer consultants. Investees participate in an annual review process to measure progress on goals, assess volunteer projects and use of SVP MN resources. There are generally 6 to 8 Investees working with SVP MN in any given year, and funding relationships with most organizations last between three and five years.