November 29, 2010
SDSVP: What do you like most about Social Venture Partners?
Christopher: The shared commitment and dedication of people who have found a way to combine passion with purpose. It’s a uniquely diverse group in so many interesting ways; the variety of conversations, the opportunities for shared experiences are seemingly endless!
Laurin: My experience as an Investee highlighted SDSVP at its best. The collection of talented and caring individuals that make up SDSVP bring their Can-Do philosophies to make targeted and productive changes within nonprofit organizations that greatly benefit from the wisdom and experience of the collective group. I have seen first hand the positive impact SDSVP has had on our organization.
Trevor: The people.
SDSVP: What contributions do you think you could bring to the board?
Christopher: Questions and perspective...and like many of my board member colleagues, a non-judgmental, open-minded commitment to making SDSVP the most successful philanthropic organization in San Diego and beyond.
Laurin: As a leader in the nonprofit sector, I hope to bring a perspective of the needs of nonprofits and issues impacting the San Diego community, in addition to tapping into my past financial and business experience in running start-up companies in the Telecomm sector of San Diego.
Trevor: My network of friends as prospective members and history of innovation (i.e. helped create and fund the SDSVP Environmental Accelerator Fund which led to launching Equinox Center).
SDSVP: What are you most passionate about in life?
Christopher: In the simplest sense, leaving this world better in some measurable, tangible way than when I got here.
Laurin: Helping people succeed at meeting their goals and maximizing their capabilities. Finding creative solutions to complex problems.
Trevor: My family. My company Callan Capital. Surfing, Diving and Snow Skiing.
Read more about Christopher, Laurin and Trevor. See a full list of SDSVP's Board of Directors.
I know some of you are asking: "Now is the season of giving...so where do I start?"
Our Partners are very generous with their time and donations, especially during the Holidays. Would you like to see what nonprofits they are interested in? Once a year, we highlight some of their favorite organizations with a link to donate or volunteer.
Disclaimer: The nonprofits on this list are not necessarily vetted by SDSVP. They only represent organizations where our Partners are giving during the holiday season.
Partner: Richard Bockoff
Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs
Training of service dogs to those with limited abilities
Partner: Trevor Callan
Giving back to the San Diego community by helping enhance and improve philanthropic pursuits while providing a network to encourage entrepreneurship.
Partner: Aaron Contorer
Researching and advancing best practices and innovative solutions to balance San Diego's regional growth with our finite natural resources.
Partner: Lori Contorer
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego
Reaching out to kids in need of a safe place to go after school
Partner: Wendy Gillespie
Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties
Educating students about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy
Partner: Jim Greenbaum
Promoting human rights and health in villages throughout Africa
Partner: Bill Hahn
Offering job readiness training, job placement, affordable housing, mental health counseling, and case management to men and women who desire to change their lives
Partner: Peggy Kidd
Salvation Army's Angel Tree
Toys and clothing for children of low income families
Partner: David Lynn
Voice of San Diego
Nonprofit, independent and insightful online news source focused on issues impacting the San Diego region.
Partner: Alan Sorkin
1st Marine Logistics Group
Toys and clothing for the neediest families
Partner: Louarn Sorkin
Just In Time for Foster Youth
Providing emancipated foster youth with emergency financial aid, basic home furnishings, and continuous personal connection essential to long-term results.
Partner: Scott Tritt
Kids Included Together
Providing learning opportunities that support recreation, child development and youth enrichment programs to include children with and without disabilities.
ElderHelp of San Diego
Providing personalized services for seniors to help them remain independent and live with dignity in their own homes.
A Reason to Survive (ARTS)
Providing visual, performing, and literary art programs for kids facing life challenges.
Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF)
Teaching students about the realities of violence, forgiveness, gangs, and the importance of making positive choices in their lives.
Audeo Charter School
Provideing a unique alternative educational environment for students whose academic and psychosocial needs are not met by traditional approaches.
Providing tutoring and mentoring to disadvantaged San Diego youth to become first-generation college students.
November 16, 2010
Happy 1-Year Anniversary!
Partners who completed their first year in the quarter
- Emmy Sobieski & Joe Longo
Partners who completed their 3-Year Pledge in the quarter July-Sept 2010
- JoAnne Berg & Tom Hunt
- Pam & Steve Ness
- Julie Pardee & Michelle Bailey
We look forward to many more years to come!
November 15, 2010
Photo: Melissa Kahn, Priceless Reflections
November 3, 2010
Click here to see more photos
In 2011, SDSVP will begin celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a goal to Grow our Partnership to 100 Partner Units. This is the time to share your story about SDSVP whenever and wherever you can; add San Diego Social Venture Partners to your bios; work closely with me to cultivate your referrals for membership; and together, we will develop our membership, strengthen our capacity to support Investees, and fulfill bigger dreams over the next ten-years.
Onward to 100,
November 2, 2010
I have been involved with charity and philanthropy since high school. My work has been extremely rewarding and at times frustrating because there is a problem with the way nonprofits and philanthropy are working today.
Here are some of my thoughts about my frustration. I’m sure you have others:
- There is no correlation between giving and performance.
- The social sector is really good at innovation; but not so good at getting to scale. Size is critical to have real impact. 90% of nonprofits have budgets of less than $500,000.
- Americans have been giving for hundreds of years and since 2007 we consistently give about $300B or 2% of GDP every year but not much has changed. Without a dynamic sector shift it is unlikely that much will change.
- The current recession has left many people even worse than before and our growing deficit means social programs and dollars will continue to be cut putting more pressure on the nonprofit sector.
- Washington is grid-locked and little or nothing is going to get solved so it behooves Philanthropy and Social Venture Partners (SVP) to take a more proactive leadership position.
- We need to move “Donors” from random giving to effective, strategic giving.
- We need to move them from “feel good giving” to giving based on “rated” performance.
- We need to move nonprofits from seeking funds for service delivery to more revenue generation.
- We need to move Everyone from being competitive to being more collaborative.
- Specifically for SVP, as said by Paul Shoemaker, we need to move from saving the whales (or nonprofits) to saving the oceans (the sector).
Several people I greatly respect told me that the SVP model is a game changer. I think they are right and I have a dream:
SVP will catalyze a movement that will bring hope to those at the end of the line.There are many SVP affiliates focusing on early childhood and education so here is just one example of what success could look like if we can learn, connect and lead all the necessary organizations: Imagine a different world; a world with education reformed with no more achievement gap where the poorest child can get a quality education and every youth grows up with a sense of possibility rather than hopelessness.
Our original Venture Philanthropy concept was to build capacity in smaller organizations that if taken to scale would have significant impact in their community. Ten years later we now know how incredibly hard it is to scale nonprofits because there are so few vehicles for growth capital. The nonprofit sector is starved for risk and growth capital and that undermines their ability to grow and become sustainable. Only 144 nonprofits have reached $50 million compared to 46,136 for-profit companies. The private sector connects money to good ideas that can scale quickly; there is no counterpart for nonprofits.
To get growth capital, you need to communicate value to existing stakeholders. Nonprofits are not very good at this. There is a cry for accountability, but few measurement tools and even fewer ways to communicate effectiveness to donors. The Charity Navigator rating system focusing on the percent of overhead forces nonprofits to have almost all their money go to the cause leaving nothing to invest in infrastructure.
There are two types of funders: builders and buyers. Today’s capital structure has a few builders, like SVP who provide the talent and growth capital; most funders are buyers who provide money for services. SVP was the first to champion capacity building and only a few have followed our lead.
It’s fairly easy to get $20,000 but not a million. The average large foundation grant is risk averse and makes $50,000 grants on average as they are wedded to current solutions. Most funders avoid dealing with root causes because it is too hard for them to show results. They fund pilot programs, but what is needed is more money to show proof of concept, and then money to take organizations to scale. We have a burning platform issue: Year by year government funds are decreasing, while needs are increasing. For these reasons, I believe SVP with its emphasis on accountability is uniquely positioned to channel information to potential donors by championing our version of a Mezzanine Fund which will harness the power of our SVP network. SVP provides a vehicle for partners to accomplish much more collectively than we could accomplish individually.
Initially we will look to partners and our alumni partners to fund our Investees who have shown they can deliver the right intervention to the right party to achieve the right result and are capable and interested in going to scale. Once we have proven this concept, we will go to funders like The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, New Profit and donors everywhere.
November 1, 2010
Coincidentally, at San Diego Social Venture Partners we have just begun a process of outcome planning where imagining a bold dream for the future is part of the process. I am so very excited that in the next few months, we will have settled on a dream for SDSVP’s future. We will be more than a great organization that cultivates philanthropists and helps San Diego nonprofits. We will be an organization that has a dream so big and so bold that we fundamentally improve the San Diego region. We will have a dream so big and so bold that philanthropists from around the world will look to SDSVP and San Diego for their inspiration. We will have a dream so big and so bold that we will attract the best, the brightest and most importantly, the most caring people to help achieve this dream.
What are your dreams? What should SDSVP dream of accomplishing? What do you want to accomplish? I hope something really BIG!
Check out Mark's Blog at http://facklerfamily.org