Month: June 2017

Meet our Newest Grantee: CollegeSpring

We’re pleased to share that CollegeSpring is the winner of this year’s Education Lightning Grant Round, which was led by Jim Basile and Aarti Chandna. College Spring will receive a one-time $30,000 grant and opportunities to leverage our partnership over the next 12 months.

CollegeSpring is closing the college opportunity gap by implementing unique learning programs that equip low-income students to increase their SAT and ACT scores. We are delighted to welcome CollegeSpring into our portfolio and look forward to supporting their important work throughout the year. 

SV2 Partner Survey: The results are in!

We’ve completed our 2017 All-Partner Survey designed to assess SV2’s impact on Partners and provide our Partners with the opportunity to share their ideas for how we can collectively deepen our impact, improve our programming, and strengthen our vibrant community. Partners’ timely and constructive feedback has already informed staff and Board planning for the upcoming year and provided critical input into our strategic and business planning efforts. Thank you to all the Partners who took time to complete the survey!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • SV2’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measure of customer loyalty, increased significantly from 41 to 56 over the last year!
  • Our Partners make it a point to give locally: In the last year, nearly half of the survey respondents dedicated 50% or more of their giving to local community-based organizations
  • SV2 Partners gave ~$475K in follow-on funding to SV2 Grantees and Impact Investees, which roughly doubles SV2’s grants out the door this year
  • When asked what Partners value most about SV2, respondents overwhelmingly mentioned SV2’s vibrant community and the rich, varied opportunities to learn about philanthropy and social impact

You can find the full report on our collaboration platform, my.SV2, here.

Portfolio Review 2017: Successes and Lessons Learned

Each June, the SV2 Board Grants and Impact Investment Review Committee (GIIRC) hears updates on SV2’s entire grant and impact investment portfolio and approves the renewal of multi-year grants. The GIIRC is led by Kelly Pope and committee members include Bill Brownell, Alison Elliott, Lisa Jones and Tony Stayner. This year, for the second time, the Portfolio Review meeting was open to the entire Partnership, in order to maximize this rich opportunity to learn about SV2’s impactful and impressive portfolio.

Each of SV2’s Grantees and Impact Investees is paired with two Lead Partners, who serve as liaisons between the organization and SV2. Part of their role is to report annually to the GIIRC on the progress, work, and impact of each organization. Their written reports, paired with reports written by the organizations themselves, serve as the basis for the Lead Partners’ verbal reports to the GIIRC.

After hearing all the reporting, Partners reflected on the portfolio, especially on commonalities, with these insights:

  • Struck by scale and/or innovation
  • Impressive breadth
  • Broadly diversified
  • Local presence
  • ED’s desire/ability to engage with SV2 is a key factor

Other key insights included an assessment of SV2’s “beyond-the-dollars” (BT$) capacity building efforts:

  • Grantees seem to find most benefit from fundraising and networking support
  • Much of what SV2 offers most effectively (follow-on funding, networking) may not be fully articulated as a BT$ benefit
  • SV2 networks provide more benefits to some Grantees than to others
  • Matching BT$ support to Grantee needs can be an issue
  • BT$ can actually be a detraction to the Grantee, if the timing or fit for a project is not right
  • Think about settings where Grantees can “teach” each other to best utilize the SV2 community

We are eager to explore ways to use these Partner and Grantee-generated insights to continue to sharpen our grantmaking approach and Beyond-the-Dollars service to Grantees in the future. Thanks to all who joined us!

Board Members: Thank You and Welcome

Three cheers to SV2’s three outgoing board members in 2017: Lucy Caldwell Donovan, Alison Elliott, and Diane Parnes! Join us in thanking them for their remarkable leadership and thoughtful stewardship.

Alison Elliott and Diane Parnes concluded six years of board service this June. Alison has been a spectacular leader in so many areas during her tenure, including co-leading SV2’s strategic branding process and drawing on her design thinking expertise to lead SV2 through designing key innovations in our 2014-17 strategic plan. As Board secretary, nonprofit finance expert, and leader of SV2’s 2013 Executive Director search, Diane has strengthened SV2’s board governance and organizational health and has brought a deeply valuable perspective from her nearly 20 years as a Partner. Lucy Caldwell Donovan completed one three-year term of service in June. Lucy has been our in-house expert on innovation and inspiration, serving on the steering committee for SV2’s new Visionary Leadership Circle and advising on key strategic planning initiatives. Thanks to these three leaders!

We’re also thrilled to welcome three incoming board members this summer: Jim Basile, Linda Lazor, and Sayuri Sharper. Jim, Linda, and Sayuri are all experienced SV2 leaders who will bring an impressive skill set to the Board. Read their full bios here.

Jim Basile is a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis. He co-led this past spring’s Education Lightning Round and is on the board of current SV2 Grantee Silicon Valley Urban Debate League. Linda Lazor is Chief of Staff at former SV2 Grantee Partners in School Innovation and brings a strong technology marketing background. She currently serves as Lead Partner to Silicon Valley Urban Debate League. Sayuri Sharper is a retired high-tech executive and business litigator. She is currently Lead Partner to SV2 Grantee Global Press Institute and SV2 Impact Investee Learners Guild, as well as co-lead of the Impact Investing Working Group.