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Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Public Foundations

Mission: Silicon valley social venture fund's (sv2) mission is to unleash the resources and talents of the silicon valley community in support of promising social ventures to achieve measurable impact. Sv2 works to build the organizational capacity of our nonprofit grantees and the philanthropic capacity of our donors (called "partners"). Sv2 does this through engaged grantmaking in a number of issue areas with funds contributed by our donor-partners.

Programs: Experiential grantmaking & impact investing - sv2 conducts grant rounds in which sv2 partners (donors) gain experiential education about specific social or environmental issue areas and strategic philanthropy. Sv2 partners pool their charitable contributions and then work together to identify and select high-potential grantees and impact investees from among local nonprofits and social ventures. Grantees receive cash grants to support infrastructure and organizational capacity-building in order to scale their ability to achieve their missions and improve people's lives. In 2016-17, sv2 made one multi-year, general operating support grant in the sector of economic opportunity/employment, and four one-year, general operating support grants in the areas of affordable housing and education. Sv2 also conducted its second impact investment round, in which partners performed due diligence and selected two mission-driven social ventures in which to make investments. The sv2 teens program, in which teenage children of sv2 partners go through their own grant round and learn about local issues and the nonprofits addressing them, awarded three grants to nonprofits focused on education for low-income youth. Data suggests that, as a result of the experiential grantmaking program and other learning sv2 provides, 98% of partners are more likely to fund nonprofit infrastructure, 90% become more informed about local community needs, and 90% become more effective social impact leaders.

grantee capacity building and skilled volunteer advising - to help strengthen the health and impact of sv2's nonprofit grantees, sv2 offers multi-faceted beyond-the-dollars support through advising sessions and pro-bono consulting services provided by partners. Areas of support include marketing and communications, strategic planning, pricing and business models, executive director coaching and transition, and board development. This partner-provided beyond-the-dollars support supplements sv2's grant awards.

learning programs: partner philanthropy education and grantee/impact investee learning - in addition to learning-oriented grant rounds, sv2 hosts regular learning events at which partners and grantees/impact investees build knowledge and skills for working in the social impact space. They hear from social sector and community leaders who share their experiences and lessons learned. In-depth workshops on topics-for example, the role of philanthropy in advancing equity; how to conduct due diligence on nonprofits; and aligning your investing portfolio with your values-provide both new skills and opportunities for sv2 community members to connect with and learn from one another. All partners and grantees/investees are invited to participate at no cost.

field leadership and community building: sv2 extends its impact through field leadership (speaking, writing, social media), hosting major community-wide events, spearheading regular communications across our network, and building strategic partnerships with social impact-focused organizations across the bay area and around the world.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Perla N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a new member and have really enjoyed the terrific programming and the wonderful group of people. Look to do good and do it with an interesting, smart, group of people in SV? This is a great placce.

Donor Member of SV2

Rating: 5

Several years ago I was introduced to an incredible organization called Medic Mobile. At SV2 we researched the impact and the ability to scale impact at MM and decided that they were an incredible candidate for a multi-year grant. But providing funding to Medic Mobile was just the beginning. I was able to serve as 'lead partner' for MM and to give 'beyond the dollars' support to provide pro-bono support help them solve some of the critical challenges they were facing as an organization. This was incredibly fulfilling work. The team at Medic Mobile is extremely talented and devote -- by supporting them both financially and with intellectual capital from the SV2 partnership, we were able to experience and better understand the challenges that great nonprofit organizations face scaling their impact.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SV2 is an effective, organized and innovative organization that brings people together to positively impact the world. I was blown away by the many success stories shared at one of their recent anniversary events.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

SV2 is an innovator in social impact. It pulls people together and collectively does research and gives multi-year capacity building grants. It stresses 'learning by doing' and 'beyond the dollars' support for awesome nonprofits.