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Press Release

SV2 Announces 2012 Cohort of Grantees

Education, Environment, and International Grantmaking Groups
each award $100K

LOS ALTOS, CA, June 12, 2012 – SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund) is pleased to announce our three 2012 Grantees: Medic Mobile, Beyond 12, and Pie Ranch. Each will receive $100,000 over the next three years to scale their work and build their organizational capacity.

With the world as their geography, the International Grantmaking Group’s biggest task is to narrow...and narrow...and narrow. So, after spending some time learning how other local foundations think about funding international entrepreneurs, Grant Round Leaders Jane Burgess and Colene McBeth Vort helped the group jump right into decision-making mode. Instead of selecting a particular topic, the group chose to remain issue-agnostic and focus on entrepreneurs who were bringing innovation to critical world problems. At each meeting, they made bold decisions about which organizations to continue pursuing, always weighing both impact and “SV2 fit.” The results of their process? A grant to Medic Mobile, which unites technology with medical know-how to provide healthcare access to millions of people who live more than a month’s walk from the nearest hospital.

“Design Thinking” inspired this year’s Education Grantmaking Group, led by Alison Elliott and Rob Schoeben, to embark on a great adventure. The group reached out to 40 local educators, universities, and nonprofit leaders with the question, “What’s preventing Silicon Valley kids from succeeding in school?” Discoveries from these interviews led Partners to develop an asset-based model, which was then “field-tested” and refined. SV2 Partners decided to focus this year’s grantmaking on one element of that model: mentoring at critical transitions. After in-depth due diligence and site visits to five organizations, the group chose to award a grant to Beyond 12, which uses a combination of technology and coaching to ensure the success of first-generation college students and to optimize high schools’ ability to adequately prepare first-generation students for college. The Education Group is also considering future involvement in a “systems approach” to educational reform, known widely as Collective Impact.

What leads to maximum impact in creating sustainable food systems locally? Led by Ann Iverson and Joe Fullerton, SV2’s close-knit Environment Grantmaking Group wrestled with this question, voicing passionate opinions on both sides of the “hands-on” versus “policy” discussion. The group explored the possibility of partnership with local universities around sustainable food issues, and “hit the road” on site visits that took them to the far reaches of Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties. Along the way, they learned more about how high-level policy and grassroots farming both shape the health and well-being of the environment. In the end, the group selected Pie Ranch, a sustainable farm that is leading the way in community education, apprenticeships for future organic farmers, and use of public land to pilot best practices in organic farming.

“These new SV2 Grantees have reached the stage when they are ready to strengthen their organizations and scale their proven models,” says SV2 Executive Director Lindsay Austen Louie. “Our SV2 Partners are eager to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and share their time, networks, and professional advice with these newest members of our Grantee portfolio, so that they can have an even greater impact on social and environmental change.”

About SV2 - Silicon 
 Venture Fund
SV2 is a high-impact giving circle. Our donors (“Partners”) pool their skills, energy, ideas, and money ($5-25K annually) to make a bigger, more meaningful difference than any one person could make alone. Our 100 Partners together decide which cutting‐edge nonprofits will receive SV2’s 3-year grants ($100-150K each) 
in the areas of Education, Environment, and International Development. Embracing the “venture philanthropy” model, Partners select Grantees that have proven models and are at crucial inflection points in their organizational development, and Partners offer professional advising to help each Grantee build capacity and scale up, not just pay for current programs. Founded
 by Laura 
Arrillaga‐Andreessen in 1998,
 SV2’s mission stretches beyond helping Grantees - SV2 Partners become more strategic lifelong philanthropists as they select and advise Grantees, attend SV2 educational events, and learn from one another.
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One of the things that I’ve so enjoyed in this partnership with SV2 is just being able to pick up the phone and call up one of the partners, and say, “I’ve got this dilemma. Can you think with me about it?'

Ellen Moir,
CEO, New Teacher Center

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