Although like-minded nonprofits may recognize the value of creating an umbrella organization to help sustain and support their common activities, they often don’t have the necessary resources to do so. Social Venture Partners International (SVPI) was formed to brand, support, expand and enhance the work of the individual Social Venture Partner groups around the world. A series of Lodestar Foundation grants have supported annual SVPI conferences in both local communities and internationally, the development and standardization of the SVPI brand and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the SVP model, the results of which are being used by the SVP network members (currently in the US, Australia, Canada, China, India and Japan) to increase effectiveness and demonstrate the impact of the model on their respective communities.
The recent increase in wealth of young professionals and baby boomers has provided a fertile environment for encouraging philanthropy in new ways. . Social Venture Partners (“SVP”), a philanthropic giving circle with the dual mission of encouraging and teaching strategic philanthropy and supporting emerging non-profits, was initiated in Seattle in 1997. The Lodestar Foundation founded the second SVP group, Social Venture Partners Arizona (“SVPAZ”) in 1999 and was instrumental in creating the network that now includes 39 SVP affiliates in 12 countries. SVPAZ partners pool their money to invest in innovative nonprofits and then actively nurture their investments by providing hands-on technical assistance, business expertise and strategic guidance. Since inception, SVPAZ has (1) invested $4 million in community nonprofits serving children and education, (2) contributed thousands of hours of professional services to its investees, (3) initiated a venture philanthropy program for teenagers, and (4) recruited and trained more than 300 financially successful individuals (SVPAZ partners) to become strategic philanthropists.