Human beings are animals. Even when some may argue this, reality shows that we are not meant to live on our own without spending time with other humans. We are raised in groups, taught in groups, and spend our lives looking for someone to build a team with. Even when we think about the way we make business, we can identify many situations in which we need to work together in order to be successful.
In this article, Kenny Slaught will talk about an organization in Santa Barbara that has realized the importance of working hand in hand with different corporations or nonprofits to make a real change in the world. This organization is called Social Venture Partners (SVP) and its main goal is to help communities solving their most pressing issues by partnering with institutions who have the required knowledge, tools and resources to do so.
SVP believes that by aligning purpose and passion, organizations can gather together and truly have an impact on real social issues. To SVP networking is vital since it is the tool that makes the creation of partnerships possible. In other words, SVP believes that one person can do little but if that person joins many people, it can do lots for its community.
How does it work?
Initially, SVP helps individuals understand how important their contribution can be if the partner up with other organizations who also want to solve the same issues they do. Once individuals, corporations and even non-profits understand the impact their giving may have, SVP starts making connections among potential partners to solve the most pressing issues in Santa Barbara and other communities. These connections generally unleash an outstanding potential to help non-profits strengthening and companies investing in collaborative solutions.
It doesn’t matter if connections are made between nonprofits and the corporate world, as long as the result helps to reduce the existing gap between the reality we are currently living in and the one we want to achieve. In order to do so, volunteers, and community leaders gather creating a network of a local partner whose main goal is to engage everyone in the solution of the social challenges we must deal with today.
To SVP nothing truly important or great can be done alone. Humans need to work together in order to do great things. The main reason that makes this possible is that different humans have different ideas to share and different concepts to learn from others. Also, by working in groups, we are never settled, because we know we have more to give ergo there is more than can be done.
It is not only about
Social Venture Partners know that problems are not only solved with money. There are many things which need to be solved that are deeply rooted in different communities. In order to meet the needs of communities in Santa Barbara, SVP focuses on raising awareness helping people understand their help can truly make a great impact. Also, it is in charge of funding nonprofits that at the same time are in charge of creating better conditions for children, nature, education and society in general. Besides, SVP invests in collaborative solutions that allow members with a common cause to align their strategies and go beyond their dreams and goals.
Change is a process that takes time
Modifying our circumstances can be quite complicated, especially when problems are deeply rooted in our community. Change becomes a process that requires persistence, resilience, and strength in order to happen. SVP understands this idea and tries to face big social issues by gathering those who know how to solve them. The organization tries to take impact to the next level by teaching partners how to become networkers and strategic thinkers. Of course, this process of changing paradigms takes time.
Building powerful relationships between individuals with different backgrounds who want to have a positive impact on their communities can be rather challenging. However, chances of giving more multiply depending on the number of individuals involved in the process of meeting community needs.
So far, SVP has spent eight years helping individuals investing in organizations that aim to have a positive impact on their communities. During these eight years, SVP has given over $469,000 to 10 nonprofit organizations carefully chosen in Santa Barbara County and has given away more than 10,000 volunteer hours to the County in less than five years. Across the United States, SVP has created an international network which has raised more than $49 million dollars and thousands of volunteer hours in more than 30 cities.
In order to control the money that is invested in different organizations, SVP every year chooses three to five institutions such as the Storyteller Children’s Center or Mental Wellness Center to fund and meet with each one of these organizations twice a year to review their results based on their mission and the progress they have made thanks to the given funds. The purpose is always to partner with institutions that can have a real impact on different communities and this task requires a big heart and remarkable discipline.