A quick Google search for “social venture partners” underscores the Venture Philanthropy trend across the United States with the Los Angeles Social Venture Partner (LASVP) website listed first as pioneering a new model of giving. As a board member and partner of this diverse group of professionals, I am proud to spotlight LASVP for the resounding difference the organization is making in Los Angeles.
Founded in June, 2004 LASVP currently has 75 partners who invest $5,000 annually into a pool of funds, which is then invested into local nonprofits. The group is part of SVP International, a network of 27 city-based Social Venture Partners across America and Japan. The partners and associate partners investment also includes volunteer hours primarily focused on investee consulting engagements and also on internal strategic initiatives.
LASVP’s mission is to catalyze significant, long-term positive social change in Los Angeles through:
- Expanding the Capacity of Innovative Nonprofits by investing our time, expertise, and money to collaboratively strengthen these organizations
- Expanding Philanthropy by educating individuals to be well-informed, effective and engaged philanthropists
Our current investees include LA Diaper Drive, GrowingGreat and Synergy Academies. Our investee partners receive multi-year cash awards and we assemble a team of experts to help them build capacity and measure success in key areas of the nonprofit such as finance, marketing, strategic planning and board governance. One of our popular capacity building programs is Social Innovation Fast Pitch, where 20 nonprofits are trained for two months to deliver an effective three minute elevator pitch. They then go on to compete for cash awards as well as potentially huge exposure to the funding community and other resources in the audience.
A former investee put it this way: “The array of expertise among LASVP’s partners is like a dream come true…the opportunities and possibilities are endless.” – Jeff Hilger, Founder and Chief Culture & Academic Officer, Bright Star Schools
Participating in such a unique model of giving has deepened my family’s commitment to our personal philanthropy, exposed us (including my two-year-old son) to inspiring nonprofits around Los Angeles and has increased our volunteerism. According to one report I recently read 100% of families who earned $100,000 per year gave to charities. LASVP is a great way to ensure your giving is making a bigger difference by pooling your dollars with others.