1) QUESTION: What is Social Venture Partners, (SVP)?
ANSWER: SVP is an organization of likeminded people, (Partners) that want to donate more than just money to deserving nonsprofit organizations. SVP Partners pool their fund and select one or two deserving Grantees each year. SVP partners donate money, time and advice to help the organization that receives the funds to achieve their goals and help more people in our communities. Our goal is to build capacity and assist these organizations to grow and work effectively toward their missions.
2) QUESTION: What sort of nonprofit organizations does SVP support?
ANSWER: Although not exclusively, SVP does have a focus on local children, youth and families as well as local social enterprise.
3) QUESTION: How is BC SVP different than any other funding organization
ANSWER: BC SVP Partners donate time and expertise to help build the capacity of our Grantees. We believe the assistance we provide should go beyond the financial.
4) QUESTION: Why wouldn’t I just donate to potential or selected Grantees directly rather than going through a third-party such as BC SVP?
ANSWER: The real value that BC SVP provides is its large network of people with different types of expertise. This provides our Grantees with a huge resource pool to aid in carrying out their social missions. We also provide“Time Only” grants to organizations that have not received a monetary grant from us believing that where we can, we should help as many nonprofits as possible. These time only grants can range from a simple document review (one hour or so) to more sophisticated engagements that can last up to several weeks.
5) QUESTION: What is a “Social Enterprise”?
ANSWER: Social enterprises are businesses operated by nonprofit organizations which apply market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose. Profits from these businesses are put back into the nonprofit to support its mission.
6) QUESTION: Where does grant money come from?
ANSWER: All SVP Partners contribute $10,000 annually (leadership gift), $500 annually, $2,500 annually for under 35s, to a collective pool of funds which are used to fund the selected Grantee organizations.
7) QUESTION: How are the Grantees selected?
ANSWER: Through an ongoing process, the Executive Director identifies potential grantees. Qualified applicants are presented to the Opportunities committee. After throrough due diligence is completed, the Opporunities Committee decides whether or not an applicant will make it to the next phase. If so, Partners will assist the applicant in producing an one page application and if necessary, a two to three minute video. Both the application and video are sent to the full Partnership for comment. Based on majority approval, the applicant will receive funding as well consulting.
8) QUESTION: What does the Grantee get from SVP?
ANSWER: The selected Grantee will receive its agreed upon grant funds with the option to renew if it is a multi-year grant. In addition, the Grantee will receive free consulting for the duration of the grant. A lead Partner will be assigned to help the Grantee focus on the critical elements of their project proposal. Grantees also receive assistance from SVP in the form of regular workshops that provide information on many aspects of nonprofit management and other resources.
9) QUESTION: How will I hear of organizations needing assistance and how can I become a Lead Partner?
ANSWER: The Executive Director and Opportunities Committee members will keep you posted via email as to available opportunities.
10) QUESTION: Does SVP have a say in how I advise the Grantee?
ANSWER: There is a defined process and criteria that will guide each potential Grantee towards success. If you are advising a potential Grantee you will coach them on these factors. Later, other SVP members will have the opportunity to comment and ultimately vote on the resulting proposals that have been influenced by you.
11) QUESTION: Any advice given by a Partner is gratis. Is there any possibility of being held liable for any eventualities? Will any professional qualifications place one in a position of “expert” and imply a legal & fiduciary duty?
ANSWER: The process of advising potential Grantees should not put you at risk of legal ramifications. In general, you are advising them on the best way to qualify for an SVP grant only. Some Partners enjoy their interactions so much that they end up engaging privately with grantee organizations outside of SVP. In these cases, the Partner should be aware of any legal exposure they may be creating for themselves.
12) QUESTION: Are there any corporate sponsors such as a Bank, Coke, Shoppers etc.?
ANSWER: No. Social Venture Partners is funded by Partners only although we are open to corporate contributions.
13) QUESTION: Are Partners asked to tap into their own organizations for assistance, or should they act purely as individuals?
ANSWER: Partners typically act as individuals, although it is not unusual for Partners to “tap” into resources such as meeting facilities during the mentoring process.