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May 5, 2016

Welcome, SV2's three new Impact Investees

Partners recently embarked on SV2's first ever Impact Investment Round, a pilot program that continued SV2's learning about impact investing. Impact investing is an investment approach intentionally seeking to create both financial return and social impact that is actively measured. In the Round, Partners had a pool of $100k to allocate to up to four impact companies, and Partners focused on the fields of education and the environment.

To date, Partners have identified, and the SV2 Board’s Grant and Impact Investment Review Committee has approved, investments in three socially innovative early-stage companies:

  • Learning Genie is a cross-platform app for personalized early learning.  It helps early educators save time in creating observational assessments and use the data they have collected to create personalized learning for their students and communicate with families.  Partners Jody Chang and Kelly Pope will be serving as Lead Partners for this SV2 Investee.

  • Based on research showing that students often drop out because they do not see the relevance of education and the connection with their careers, Nepris is promoting student engagement by connecting educators and their students with professionals through a cloud-based social platform. Partners Aarti Chandna and Lisa Jones will be serving as Lead Partners for this SV2 Investee.

  • PastureMap seeks to unlock a better meat industry and reverse climate change through grasslands management. Managing grasslands to their full potential could significantly reduce CO2 in the environment while benefitting ranches, and PastureMap provides ranchers with a technology to do so simply and intelligently. Partners Bill Brownell and Tony Stayner will be serving as Lead Partners for this SV2 Investee.

At the final meeting of the Impact Investment Round in April, Partners took time to reflect on the pilot and discuss what SV2's next steps might be with respect to impact investing. You will have the opportunity to share your own thoughts on SV2 programming in the All-Partner survey. These will be important inputs in shaping the year ahead at SV2, and we look forward to hearing from everyone!

Finally, we want to say an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our pilot Impact Investment Round. Our Partnership learned a lot along the way, and we appreciate all that you did to lead our organization through this new territory.

Partners - we need your input!

Why spend 20 minutes to fill out this year’s All-Partner survey? Here are the top three reasons why it’s important:

#1 This is an important opportunity for all Partners to share their ideas for how we can deepen our impact, improve our programming, and strengthen our community.

#2 This is Partners' chance to cast their votes for which interest areas we should explore next year for our Grant & Impact Investment Rounds. If there's an interest area that Partners think we should add or one that's been missing, vote for it.

#1 This data helps the SV2 Board of Directors and staff better understand how SV2 has influenced Partners’ approaches to giving and feeds directly into our program planning for next year as well as the creation of our next impact report.

Even if you think you don’t have much to say, we really want to hear from you! Intrigued? Great - let's get started right now by clicking here.

Responses are due by Wed., May 11 at 11:59pm.

How are our Grants doing?

Join us to learn more about the progress of SV2’s current Grantees, as well as reflect on the factors for challenge and success in our Beyond-the-Dollars relationships with Grantees! This year, the Grant and Impact Investment Review Committee’s annual Portfolio Review meeting will be open to all interested Partners to further our community learning about grantmaking and evaluation.

The process will include review of Grantee and Lead Partner Reports in advance, as well as an in-person meeting on June 7 from 9:00am-12:30pm. This meeting will include short presentations from Lead Partners, followed by a group discussion to gather insights into SV2’s overall grant portfolio. If you would like to participate or have any questions, please email Jody Chang at

Recap: SVP Leadership Retreat 

Last week, several SV2 community members joined the broader Social Venture Partners network in Scottsdale, AZ for the SVP Spring Leadership Retreat. During this year's Retreat, focused on equity and social justice, we examined how our own biases related to race, gender, and class can affect how we engage with others in the world and potentially reinforce deep systemic inequities in our communities.

We came away from the Retreat energized by the progress that many SVP affiliates are making in this area, and committed to taking a deeper look at how our own practices, policies, and procedures can be powerful tools to support more equitable systems to achieve the real, meaningful change we seek to affect in this world.

We look forward sharing more of what we learned, and hope to create opportunities to learn alongside all of the members of the SV2 community including Partners, Grantees, and Investees in the coming months.

SV2 in the field

Congratulations to long-time Partner Judy Koch who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Avenidas!

After returning from a recent speaking engagement in China, SV2’s Executive Director Jen Ratay was interviewed for a Philanthropy Hour podcast, a platform for engagement with leaders in philanthropy and social innovation. Listen to Jen’s interview here.

Several SV2 community members recently participated as speakers at Sustainatopia, a Bay Area-based conference focused on the global eco-system of social, financial and environmental sustainability & impact. Partner and board member Kim Meredith spoke on Stakeholder Engagement with a focus on Foundations & Endowments. Partner Scott Saslow spoke on Building & Maintaining Ecosystems for Good. Partner and board member Tony Stayner spoke on Investing in Early Stage Ventures - Learning from Experience, and staff member Lisa Van Dusen spoke on Cities 2030: How We Get There.  

Have something that you’d like to share for this section? Please email Ashley at

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