Pathways to Opportunity: High Energy Discussion takes Grant Round to the Next Stage

We had a full house for the official kickoff of the Pathways to Opportunity Grant Round on January 18. Over 30 Partners and prospective Partners contributed to a high-energy discussion of 26 organizations working to establish pathways to economic opportunity for people in the Bay Area. Last fall, Partners heard from three expert panels about the systemic issues underlying wealth inequality in the Bay Area, and evidence-based interventions to address poverty. From this learning, we developed a systems-level, strategic framework for the Grant Round, which SV2 Partners can review here.

In November and December, Partners worked to identify a group of organizations whose work aligns with the interventions our panelists introduced. We invited 30 of those organizations to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI). Our 97% return rate on that LOI survey indicates both the strong interest nonprofit organizations have in engaging with SV2’s grantmaking process, and the deep need for funding in these sectors.

Most recently, on January 18, Partners reviewed the submitted group of LOIs and evaluated them using criteria  from the SV2 nonprofit assessment rubric. After a high-energy discussion, the group selected 12 organizations to move forward to the next stage of the Grant Round. Starting mid-January, Partner Leaders and staff will be conducting 30-minute phone interviews with the Executive Directors of those 12 organizations to dig deeper and collect new information. Following the phone interviews, we will hold a meeting on Tuesday, February 13 at 11:15am for Partners to discuss new insights and select 8-10 organizations to submit full applications (RSVP here).

There are still plenty of opportunities ahead for Partners to engage in the Grant Round including a review of applications, in-person presentations from Executive Directors in April, site visits, and a grant decision. We welcome interested SV2 Partners to attend all these meetings for the full experience, or to drop in on any meeting that suits your schedule and interests. The full Grant Round schedule is here, and Partners can RSVP for the next two meetings here (February 13 and March 27).