Invest in Collaborative Solutions
To tackle the daunting challenges we face in our community, SVP needs to step up our game.
We need to do more than work with individual philanthropists and nonprofits. We need to be smarter, more connected, more aligned. That’s why we are investing in collaborative solutions. Here are a few examples.
Education Collective Action Team
SVP Partners are working to propel collaborative community efforts relating to cradle-to-career education. Specifically, SVP’s Education Collective Action Team will provide funding and support to current and former Investees that are engaged in collective action initiatives, such as the Road Map Project.
SVP looks forward to working with and learning from other local funders and nonprofits as well as exploring opportunities to support the “backbone organizations” of such efforts as well.
Environment Collective Action Team
SVP’s Environment Collective Action Team is engaged in the newly formed Puget Sound Funders Partnership for Sustainable Communities. This partnership is comprised of foundations and local government agencies that care deeply about the intersection of environmental stewardship, equitable community development, and community engagement.
SVP's Collective Action Team members aim to help build the capacity of organizations engaging diverse community stakeholders, particularly around issues of transit. They are also mapping current and future funder investments along the Light Rail corridor, to highlight gaps and areas of duplication.
Joining Forces to Strengthen Nonprofits Across Washington State
In 2009, The Giving Practice conducted a study across Washington and discovered that many nonprofits lacked access to capacity building resources and services. In response, SVP is co-convening and participating in the Statewide Capacity Collaborative (SCC), which is committed to filling those gaps and elevating the profile of the nonprofit sector.
The SCC includes nine funders: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Campion Foundation, Medina Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, The Seattle Foundation, Sherwood Trust, The Paul G. Allen Foundation, The Empire Health Foundation, and SVP Seattle.
More Collaboration and Nonprofit Sector Stories...
SVP’s Environment Collective Action Team is pleased to welcome Futurewise as their first Investee! With a grant of $40,000 and capacity building volunteer support, SVP will assist Futurewise to deepen their engagement and leadership in collective action. Specifically, they will focus on Futurewise’s work with Growing Transit Communities, an initiative that engages public and private funders, city and regional government, as well as nonprofits.
Ever had this experience? You’re watching TV when a show comes on and you think: yep, that’s a lot like my life. I guessing most people have, but how often is that show Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner?
When we kicked off the Social Innovation Fast Pitch in May, none of us imagined we’d have 120 social innovators apply, nearly 100 people volunteer, and 700 people attend the fast pitch event to see 14 excellent innovators pitch. But we did! AND we learned a ton. We have a list as long as our arms of things we want to improve in 2012 – and we welcome your thoughts!
The way we fund nonprofits encourages competition rather than collaboration and limits our ability to solve large scale problems. That was the take-home message from the “Collective Impact” webinar I, and several other SVP partners and staff members participated in last Wednesday. If they're right, what should SVP do about it?
Twenty-one people sit expectantly on rented chairs in my basement TV room – waiting for the session to start. There are representatives from the school district, the city, major organizations, some of them the leaders, and only a handful of whom I’ve met before. I hear the conversation buzz drop to silence as attention shifts toward me, but I’m too busy focusing on an unknown blinking orange light on the projector.
My plane idles at the end of Reid Hillman airport, five passengers on board. The tower cuts in, “San Jose departure control advises that there will be a ten minute delay for your clearance due to traffic.” That leaves me a few uncomfortable moments to mentally rehearse the short field takeoff procedures. If it were just the four of us who flew down together to the Collective Impact seminar at Stanford, we’d have had plenty of cushion. The last minute decision to add Janet and Fraser reduces the margin in a way that now has my full attention.
What is the difference between old-school collaboration and collective impact? Should everyday community members be setting their own impact agenda or is it okay for that responsibility to fall on recognized leaders and interested individuals who see a need, but are not OF the community? These are some of the questions we brought back from Standford's Collective Impact Conference.
After hearing my wife Janet tell enough stories about inspired discussions and activities at SVPI Annual Conferences, I finally carved out time to go to Long Beach last November. Those two days re-ignited my passion for making a difference in our community and gave me the idea of what to do next.
Three months ago, I wrote a note about an idea to launch a collective impact effort on the Eastside to “enable every child in Bellevue to emerge from our community ready to succeed.” Today, a group of three brain-storming at a local Tully’s has grown to a leadership team of 23, representing the school district, the city, the schools foundation, service providers, community groups, faith-based organizations and many volunteers.