a venture philanthropy partnership

Latest News

December 3, 2014

SV2: Tailor-made for you by you

If you’re a seasoned SV2 Partner, it may feel as though a lot is changing! The names of some events have changed, a few events are no longer, and we’re piloting a number of completely new ideas. As a community, we're working hard to refresh our offerings, and we're excited to share more details with you.

If you’ve just joined our special giving tribe or are thinking about becoming a Partner, you may be wondering where to begin! One of the things that SV2 Partners appreciate most about SV2 is the range of engagement opportunities that are available and the fact that your involvement can truly ebb and flow with your life, "guilt free!"

To ensure that you and your family know how to engage when and in the way you’d like, here's an overview of the different types of engagement options at SV2 and a one-page SV2 Engagement Guide to give you a flavor of what’s ahead.

There are five main ways you can be hands-on at SV2:

1. Engaged Grantmaking:  
We have three grant rounds slated for this program year:
- Education (focused on early childhood education)
- International (focused on international development)
- Lightning Rounds (a new, smaller, condensed grant round format, issue focus TBD; first pilot in Spring 2015).

2.  Beyond-the-Dollars Support:
Many Partners roll up their sleeves and contribute time and expertise in service of our Grantees’ needs. Various kinds of engagement opportunities are available and are outlined in the eNews article below:
- Big Think Advising Sessions
- Light-touch Advising Sessions
- Full Scale Projects
- Lead Partner opportunities

3.  Learning Programs:
SV2 offers six types of experiential learning opportunities:
- Springboard Sessions, formerly known as First Fridays
- Deep Dive Workshops on nonprofit organizational effectiveness topics
- Grantee Field Trips
- New Partner Circles
- International Service-Learning Trips
- Jeffersonian Dinners (pilot)

4. Family-focused Programs:
− SV2 Kids, a service-learning program for children ages 5-12
− SV2 Teens, a grantmaking & service-learning program for 7th-12th graders 

5. All-Community Events:
- Spring Gathering
- Fall Annual Gathering of Givers

While SV2 offers a wide range of engagement options, our intention is to offer you enough high quality choices that you can tailor your SV2 experience to fit your needs and interests.

You may be the Partner who dives into each and every grant round, learning session, and beyond-the-dollars project. You might be the Partner who joins us for a Springboard Session a few times each year. Or you might even be the Partner who has a lot going on with your career, family, and/or other philanthropic endeavors, who chooses to engage by investing in SV2 and our capacity to support promising social ventures. Regardless of which Partner you are or aspire to be, you’re essential to our SV2 community.

If you’d like to discuss your engagement path, please reach out to SV2’s enthusiastic Director of Partner Engagement and External Relations, Lisa Van Dusen (

Beyond-the-Dollars Support 

One of SV2's strategic plan goals is to innovate in our beyond-the-dollars work, including refining and scaling expert advisory support from Partners and strategic allies. We have begun to pilot a refreshed suite of beyond-the-dollars support options that was crafted in response to Grantee feedback and will continue to be refined throughout the year.

Our pilot suite of options, ranging from low-intensity to high-intensity, includes:

  • Online Resources: Documents and other online resources available at related to critical organizational effectiveness areas (examples here)
  • Big Thinks: Occasional group input sessions that can be convened when a Grantee would like to gather the perspectives of a range of Partners (examples here)
  • Light-Touch Advising: one to eight hours of advice on a specific need or challenge from a qualified SV2 Partner (examples here)
  • Full-Scale Projects: full project support from SV2 Partners or strategic allies (examples here)

In the interest of building a deep bench of quality support, we are piloting a focus on a handful of critical organizational effectiveness areas: board development, nonprofit finance, marketing/communications, performance measurement and strategic/business planning.

There are a number of beyond-the-dollars opportunities currently available for interested Partners:

  • Big Think with Asylum Access: On December 8th, brainstorm side-by-side with Asylum Access on a strategic series of events that will support their largest fundraising campaign to date, coinciding with the organization's 10th Anniversary. RSVP NOW!
  • Lead Partner Opportunity: We are seeking 1-2 Lead Partners for current Grantee Beyond 12, whose mission is to ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. Email Elizabeth Dodson ( for more information.
  • Light-Touch Advising Opportunity: The Art of Yoga Project (AYP), whose mission is to lead teenage girls in the California juvenile justice system toward accountability to self, others and the community by providing practical tools to affect behavioral change, is seeking Partners with experience building online learning programs for a couple of hours of Light-Touch Advising. In particular, the AYP team would like to discuss best practices and lessons learned in the course of designing and/or launching an online learning program. If this sounds like you, please email Elizabeth Dodson ( today!

Calling SV2 Teens!

We are excited to begin accepting applications for participants in SV2 Teens 2015. Applications are due by Monday, January 5th. The program will begin in February.  To learn more about the 2014 SV2 Teens experience, check out this video!

SV2 Teens is open to the children of SV2 Partners who are in seventh through twelfth grade. Over the course of six meetings held at corporate and nonprofit locations around the Peninsula, Teens will learn more about the nonprofit sector, conduct site visits and service learning projects at nonprofit organizations, and then award grant funding. 

This year's program will focus on organizations that address homelessness and hunger, topics chosen by a leadership group comprised of teens with past experience in the program. Application, meeting dates and details can be found here.  Applications should be submitted via email to Amy Johnson (  Space is limited and applications are taken on a first-come first-served basis.


© 2015   Created by SV2.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service