So often we have heard: We can do better and be more effective – individually and as a team. These were the foundational statements for SVP two decades ago. Now with the wind in our sails and technology to bridge the disconnected silos that make up our social sector, our momentum is building to do more good.
There are mompreneurs and Vermontpreneurs (thanks to Shark Tank), and I saw recently SD Grantmakers is featuring at their annual conference Tonya Allen, CEO of the Skillman Foundation, a serial ideapreneur. I like to think of Social Venture Partners as causepreneurs, championing innovation and incubation of the best ‘n next ideas to set in motion better results and greater impact in the social sector. The SVP DNA focuses on innovation and best practices that can be led by experienced professionals.
Ahh, the ‘venture’ part of our name. To me, this leadership can be contagious. It is branded under a name that connects and inspires others, from people in donor organizations to companies to government and nonprofit leaders. It begs us to think like an entrepreneur—to organize, leverage, and engage resources, to be more effective in life’s opportunities where we can make a difference.
Causepreneurs are people who improve our community as a part of their life’s journey. To me, it could be a savvy donor looking for ways to make smarter decisions with resources as the wind beneath their wings. As inspired leaders and a growing number of millennials collaborate more, this comes as good news for communities in need. These leaders and promising millennials want to make a bigger difference and are learning more about innovative social sector solutions. They have a thirst for outcomes and ROI—or maybe it’s ROCI, Return on Community Innovation. This venture approach is timely and has the potential to immensely increase impact within philanthropic spaces.
I know nothing truly great will be accomplished alone. The SVP and SDSVP network offers all Partners the opportunity to teach and learn. Where some see ‘speed bumps’ in the road to better community solutions, we see opportunity and the power of our network of colleagues and knowledge. We see the power of giving and the synergistic benefits of smart business practices. And along the way, our Partners gain immense satisfaction that they made a difference and new skills to leverage their gifts of time, talent, and treasure to do even more good.
For me, I’m proud to call myself a causepreneur.
-Parker Pike, Partner