September 20, 2011

Could the sewage spills' environmental and economic impact have been prevented?

By Megan Baehrens, San Diego Coastkeeper

On September 7th at the Social Venture Partners Grant Briefing, SVP Partner and Board Member, Joyce Ross highlighted the incredible growth in capacity and impact that San Diego Coastkeeper experienced as an SVP Investee.

That growth in capacity has shown in Coastkeeper’s ability to respond immediately to a catastrophic environmental event just down the hill from SVP’s office, where 2 million gallons of sewage spilled into Los Penasquitos Lagoon as a result of the power outage on September 8th.

San Diego Coastkeeper has already brought about corrective action. Thanks to the evidence collected by our volunteers, responsible parties will pump about 1M gallons of untreated sewage out of the lagoon. It was too late for the fish that died and devastating harm to that waterway, but it’s a start.

We can’t wait until another catastrophe like this occurs to act. We desperately need to work with authorities now to prevent further sewage crises and other devastating harms that lurk one generator failure away.

Our mayors, city council members, state officials and other decision-makers have the power to prevent serious environmental and economic damage before they happen. We know that SVP Partners care about our region’s social, economic and environmental vibrancy and we’d love your help in encouraging important conversations that educate the public about dangers we face and get decision-makers to make responsible choices.

Some examples of the work our region desperately needs San Diego Coastkeeper to do:

- Sewage: In 1995, San Diego averaged a sewage spill each day. San Diego Coastkeeper’s work reduced sewage spills by 90% since then. Old and easily clogged or damaged infrastructure must be monitored and routinely replaced. This weekend’s events demonstrate the catastrophic environmental and economic harm of not prioritizing this work.

- Copper boat hull paint: We are working with state senator Chris Kehoe to phase out copper hull paint that flakes into the water and sediment and kills marine life in marinas and the bay. The state bill was held back this session, but will return in January and we’ll be pushing for statewide support.

- Sewage in the bay: Coastkeeper employs scientists, educators and attorneys. We encourage our staff to pursue higher education. Dylan Edwards is working on a masters thesis related to gathering data about the extent of this problem in the bay and how to educate boaters and enforce proper use of mobile pump-out stations to prevent it.

- Sea level rise: A new state-commissioned report by San Francisco State University economists predicts that if we do nothing, the economic impact of sea level rise on Torrey Pines State Reserve and the local economy in Torrey Pines will be $125-500 million in the next 90 years. We have the opportunity to advise the San Diego Bay jurisdictions about preparing.

- A coordinated voice that speaks for the region. San Diego environmental groups from Sierra Club to Audubon to Environmental Health Coalition to Coastkeeper has come together weekly for years to collaborate and strategize around region-wide environmental issues. The power of our united effort greatly outstrips the “sum of our parts.” The coordinating member was recently re-assigned due to lack of funding. San Diego Coastkeeper would like to take up that mantle.

San Diego Social Venture Partners, thanks for all you do. As always, my team and I are happy to speak to anyone with an interest in these issues.

Megan can be reached at

September 13, 2011

Social Venture Partners Annual Conference

Audacious Philanthropy: Unleashing SVP Potential

Oct 13-15, 2011 | Minneapolis, MN

Do you get energized by your interaction with the thought-leaders who make up SVP? Are you excited about the opportunity to collaborate on a bigger scale?

This is a conference you won’t want to miss! The network of 2100+ SVP Partners are poised to take your work to the next level with new initiatives, rapid expansion and collective impact. With two provocative keynote speakers, nearly twenty sessions and YOU, the collective power of SVP will be unleashed.

Click here for more info or to register.

September 9, 2011

SVP Congratulates…

Happy 1-Year Anniversary!
(One year of partnership in the quarter Apr-Jun 2011)

Kimberly Canton
Harriet Carter
Tuck Forsyth
Jill and Rick Mendlen
Neal Walton

Vested Partners
(Three years of partnership in the quarter Apr-Jun 2011)

Diane and Mike Branon
Jim Farley
Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Duffy
Florence and Irwin Zahn

Graduated Investee

ElderHelp of San Diego, 2009-2011

September 8, 2011

The Partner 4-1-1

Peggy KiddAs you may know, SVP’s Executive Director and Partner, Peggy Kidd is pregnant with twins – two little girls! She is nearing the end of her pregnancy and taking a temporary family leave of absence. Peggy is thankful for all your support and looks forward to catching up when she returns.

Best wishes from your SVP family, Peggy!

September 7, 2011

Social Venture Partners’ Grant Opportunity

2011-2012 Funding Focus: Children and youth with a focus on increasing graduation rates

Social Venture Partners seeks to invest our time, money and expertise in nonprofit organizations that are developing educational aspirations in children and youth or fostering educational values in the community that directly or indirectly lead to increased graduation rates. SVP is aware that a wide variety of programs dealing with children and youth can have a significant impact in graduation. Please pass along the announcement to any nonprofit who you think fits this focus area. Click here for the Grant Application Guidelines and LOI Form.

We hope to see you at the first Investment Working Group meeting on Tuesday, September 27th at 6:00 PM to start the process of selecting our new Investees. Look for the Evite in your inbox soon!

September 2, 2011

Driving Informed Decision Making for San Diego’s Future

All in a Day’s Work for Equinox Center

By Trevor Callan
CEO, Callan Capital
Board Member, San Diego Social Venture Partners
Vice-Chair, Equinox Center

This summer, the City of San Diego unveiled its first ever recycled drinking water project. Fittingly, the unveiling occurred almost two years to the date of Equinox Center’s official founding.

An independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit policy center focused on how the San Diego region can achieve a more prosperous economy and healthy environment, Equinox Center was founded in 2008 through the support of San Diego Social Venture Partners. As the San Diego region prepares to add another 650,000 people by the year 2030, Equinox Center’s policy analysis, communications and convenings inform and engage the public and decision makers in crafting bold, intelligent solutions to our region’s growth challenges.

Seeing the recycled water project come to fruition was a gratifying moment for many of us involved with Equinox from the very beginning, as the organization had played an instrumental role in this outcome.

By conducting independent analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of recycled water, publishing a policy brief, and collaborating with a broad coalition of business, environmental, labor and community groups to disseminate its findings, Equinox Center helped encourage the San Diego City Council, Mayor Sanders and the San Diego Union-Tribune to reverse their earlier opposition to San Diego’s first recycled drinking water project. (Based in part on this success, Equinox Center was recently highlighted in national magazine YES! as a promising model to drive positive change in other regions across the United States.)

Part of Equinox’s success so far has been as a result of its strong network and spirit of collaboration, both of which are in its DNA as a result of its birth from the SDSVP network. For example, on September 14, 2011, Equinox Center will co- host a convening of our region’s top business leaders and policy makers, with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The convening, “The Young & Restless: Winning the Race for America’s Best Talent,” will feature Joseph Cortright, a noted economist, Brookings Institution fellow and senior policy advisor to CEOs for Cities. Together, we’ll explore the question of how ensuring our region’s long-term competitiveness means being strategic about courting the “Young & Restless”—well-educated 25-34 year olds—tomorrow’s knowledge workers and entrepreneurs. (I encourage San Diego Social Venture Partners to attend!)

What are they looking for? According to Cortright’s research, this population is ditching the suburbs for urban neighborhoods at a rate of 2 to 1. They seek vibrant, walkable communities and multiple transportation options. They value culture, diversity and a high quality of life.

That means that in order to attract this demographic to the San Diego region, we need a new way of planning for the future. A more integrated approach toward economic development, transportation and land use can create vibrant, appealing communities to live and work while maintaining the high quality of life so many of us treasure here today.

This is precisely Equinox’s “sweet spot.” Evidence from its research shows that through intelligent policy making we can advance both our region’s economic and environmental goals. With the help of many SVP Partners over the past few years, Equinox is poised to do both. The organization has expanded its board of directors to include individuals involved in the real estate, health sciences, recreation and tourism industries, and has a new strategic plan and fundraising strategy. We continue to welcome the involvement of SVP members in Equinox’s work going forward, and I encourage you to attend one of our events or to follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube pages.

For more information about Equinox Center, visit: