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September 8, 2016

Education Learning Year Kickoff

Through SV2’s education-focused grantmaking, SV2 Partners regularly dive into different specific strategies to address the challenge of educating a diverse population in the 21st century. It is also helpful to have a broader, holistic view of the full education ecosystem in which SV2 grantmaking takes place. That’s the purpose of SV2’s K-12 Education Learning Year, which kicks off at SV2 on September 15. 

Through a series of speakers, discussions and readings, we will help Partners build a deeper understanding of the current landscape of preK-12 education in California and the complexities that underlie the goal of ensuring equal opportunity for all children.

The Education Learning Year, led by Partners Alison Elliott and Jon Goulden, launches on Thursday, September 15 with a lunchtime panel discussion on the state of education equity and the opportunity gap in California. Join us as we learn from experts who represent a range of perspectives on this topic, from research to policy to practice. Our expert panelists include Amy Gerstein, Executive Director of the John Gardner Center at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education; Tara Kini, Senior Policy Advisor at the Learning Policy Institute; and Anna Waring, Executive Director of Foundation for a College Education. RSVP here now.

To complement SV2’s K-12 Education Learning Year, Kelly Pope will lead a “Partner-powered Project” to examine the education ecosystem of a local community. Are organizations aligned to help deliver great educational outcomes for all students? Through the process of analyzing how organizations are interconnected, we hope to explore elements of a “systems mindset” approach for future grant making. Partners in this working group will be engaged in active research this fall and will share their findings with the broader Education Group in the winter. The first meeting will be on Monday, September 26 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at SV2. To RSVP or to learn more, please email Kelly at

Are you joining us at the SVP Conference?

Hundreds of business leaders, nonprofit executives, board members, social entrepreneurs, and venture philanthropists come together each year for the Social Venture Partners Global Conference. This year on October 20-22, several SV2 Board members, Partners and staff are planning to make the short trip down to Los Angeles and welcome you to join us.

The conference will feature workshops that we can directly apply to our collective work at SV2 including: Innovative Practices in the Social Sector; The Role of Philanthropy in Equity; and Impact Investing. In addition, we’ll hear from several keynote speakers, and have plenty of opportunities to spend time and share ideas with SVP network and social impact field leaders from around the globe. Register here.

Lightning Grant Round ahead

Get ready for some lightning-fast learning and impact as we prepare for this year’s Lightning Grant Round, which will be held not once but twice this year based on popular demand -- first in November and then again in January. Led by SV2 Partners Lisa Guerra and Nancy Heinen and offered through partnership with some of the region’s most well-respected foundations, this shorter duration grantmaking experience is designed to be accessible to a wide range of Partners, especially those who are unable to regularly attend traditional Grant Rounds. 

Each time a Lightning Grant Round is offered, it will take place over the course of a month and involve individual diligence work as well as two in-person group meetings. Landscape research is still being finalized to determine the focus area of this year's Lightning Grant Round, but it's not too early to let us know you're interested. The first Round's meeting dates have been set for November 16 and 30 from 6:30 to 9:00pm. If you are a current Partner and would like to participate in the Round or learn more, please email Jody Chang, SV2’s Grantmaking Officer, at

SV2's new office look

Come enjoy SV2’s vibrant new headquarters! We're settling into our new color-infused space at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits. And, while you’re here, do some good by eating a fresh, local, organic meal with us just a short walk down the hallway from SV2 at Rendezvous Cafe, a social enterprise we love which provides delicious food, training, livable wages and a career path for low income people who are rebuilding their lives. A huge thank you on behalf of the entire SV2 community to the Sobrato Family Foundation for generously subsidizing office space for SV2 and other local public charities in their field-leading nonprofit centers.

Farewell to Andie, SV2's Rising Leader Fellow

This month, we say a fond and bittersweet farewell to Andie Taylor, SV2’s Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Rising Leader Fellow. Andie has been an invaluable part of Team SV2 over the past year. She's provided key staff leadership on the SV2 Teens program and NextGen Partner recruitment efforts, written eNews articles and social media posts to keep you in the loop on SV2 happenings, supported SV2's field-leading Impact Investment Round, and helped execute SV2's all-community gatherings, among so much else -- and she's done it all with grace, dedication, and a smile.

Andie, a former collegiate swimming star at Stanford, will be taking her hard work and talent next to the London School of Economics to pursue a Master’s Degree in Global Health. We're grateful for all of her contributions to SV2 and excited to follow the next steps in her social impact career as it continues to unfold.

With heavy hearts 

Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Peter deCourcy Hero, an early SV2 champion and pioneer who passed away on Sunday, August 21. 

Peter was a driving force in shifting the philanthropic culture of the Valley towards innovation, and he played an important role in the birth of SV2. Learn more about his legacy by reading the obituaries in Palo Alto Online and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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