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Reflections on the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen SV2 Social Impact Award

I was so honored to receive this year's Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen SV2 Social Impact Award at the Annual Meeting. I've been involved with SV2 since it was founded in 1998, and the SV2 partnership has been a priceless community for me and my family. In addition, the structure of SV2 has impacted my philanthropy in two key ways.

First, participating in the grant rounds has profoundly changed my outlook on group philanthropy. I was heavily involved with the Education grant round in 2009 when we selected the Reach Institute for School Leadership. At that same time, I became Chair of the Jewish Community Federation, and as we worked to remodel the way we distribute from the Endowment Fund in San Francisco, it was very natural for me to set up a collaborative grantmaking process very similar to SV2's grant rounds. Those processes worked so well in San Francisco that we later replicated them in the South Bay, so that now we have hundreds of people in the Jewish Federation who are engaged in giving away millions of dollars, using a method inspired by SV2!

Second, SV2 has deeply impacted my own family's philanthropy. Like SV2, my husband Gary and I use the venture philanthropy approach with our two teens, which means investing in and supporting great leaders and managers, taking risks in small or unproven business models, and, in doing so, exposing what does and does not work. Just like at SV2, we use our personal venture philanthropy to inspire innovation in order to solve the tough social challenges in our community.

It is my privilege to serve on SV2’s Board of Directors as we continually improve our efforts to help our Partners become better philanthropists and help our Grantees scale and take risks. SV2 continues to impact so many lives, and that's what good philanthropy is all about.

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