Massachusetts: Organization capacity-building to help educationally and/or economically disadvantaged children, youth, and families

“Call Notice to Apply for Fall 2017 Capacity Building Investment

Social Venture Partners Boston seeks to invest expertise and money in a high potential, early-mid stage nonprofit helping educationally and/or economically disadvantaged children, youth, and families succeed in school or well beyond.

An SVP Boston selected nonprofit – called an Investee – will receive hundreds of hours of skilled volunteer time and roughly $100,000 in capacity building funds, distributed over a three-year period.

Our approach – highly engaged philanthropy

We are a group of experienced, skilled professionals (called “Partners”) applying a philanthropic model that combines our expertise and our giving to help build the organizational capacity of high potential, growth-minded nonprofits.

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

To help build nonprofit capacity, SVP combines grants and highly skilled volunteers who provide strategic counsel in areas such as: general management, leadership development, strategic and business planning, marketing and communications, finance and revenue development, board development and governance, human resource management, and growth and replication.

Over time, our Investees and Partners develop a strong, mutually beneficial partnership. Our Investees gain from the valuable expertise, guidance, and mentorship of our Partners. Our Partners gain rich insight into community issues and the nonprofit sector.

Guiding Principles for SVP Investments

While every one of our investments is unique, there are common themes to successful SVP investments.

The nonprofits we invest in:

Are at a crossroads. They have strong leadership and successful programs, but are now seeking to build the organizational foundations for deeper impact, positioning themselves to:

o Carry out program more effectively;

o Expand current program significantly; and/or

o Spread a model that has proven results in other communities.

Are of sufficient size to benefit from an SVP partnership. To take advantage of the volunteering we offer, the organization must have sufficient staff to design and implement capacity building projects while maintaining the quality of programming. At the same time, the organization must not be so well established that they frequently use or have significant access to other capacity building resources. We are looking to meet nonprofits with some combination of the following:

o Annual operating budgets in the $500,000-$2 million range.

o 3-4 staff, at least, including a full-time ED with several years of tenure with the organization.

o 2-3 years of programming that shows or is beginning to show evidence of impact.

o A Board that meets regularly and has fairly well defined roles and responsibilities.

Have programming that meets a timely and critical need and shows great potential to scale.

Have identified capacity building as a strategic priority and can commit the energy and resources needed to focus internally.

Welcome SVP Boston Partners’ expertise and find meaningful opportunities to work with us.

Are committed to performance and outcomes measurement, whether well developed or planned.

Organizations that consider SVP Boston solely as a source of funding will not be considered. We are looking to establish a true partnership with promising nonprofits committed to social change – a partnership that helps build the capacity of the organization to extend its reach and dramatically improve its success in serving the Greater Boston community and, possibly, beyond.”

Excerpted from 2017 Fall SVP Boston Investment Guidelines

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Elizabeth Green
About Elizabeth Green 43 Articles
Elizabeth Green is the community outreach and education manager for Fostering Media Connections, and a general assignment reporter for The Chronicle of Social Change.