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Monday, November 7th, 2016

“Engaging & Learning”: Living SVP’s Values, Part 1

The Social Venture Partners (SVP) model is grounded in values that are both locally prized and internationally consistent across 40 independent organizations. “Actively living our shared values here in Boulder County ensures we maintain our integrity and culture while continuing to innovate for greater impact,” reflects Jennie Arbogash, SVP’s Executive Director. “At the top of our list are engaging and learning.”

“Participation and activity are critical for adult learning, and are therefore a key part of what we do,” explains Jennie. “We cement understanding by combining a foundation of knowledge with real-life experiences for our members (also known as Partners).”

Relationships are at the heart of SVP’s structure – and the main vehicle for the expression of this core organizational belief. Staff work to create shared experiences where members together can amplify their understanding of an issue. As Jennie describes it, “Learning as a group amplifies impact for all involved. People hear it differently when you share something that’s true for you.” SVP’s shared experiences create impact for our client nonprofits, and also for the individuals engaged in doing the work.

One example can be found in the Investee Selection Committee (ISC) that evaluates nonprofits for SVP’s Catapult program. As committee members dig in, they discuss what they’ve learned as a group having read about the work of individual applicant nonprofits. Everyone’s thinking is informed by the collective assessments and questions that arise, creating a smarter, more nuanced understanding of the issue area and population served. “Our participants have a better, truer sense after we’ve talked – deeper, and more accurate. Having discussions leads the group to a broader understanding because of the sharing,” observes Jennie.

Further developing their understanding are the ISC process’ site visits to applicant nonprofits. “The ability and opportunity to interact with an organization’s people shifts the challenges and nuances into a very real, lived experience” for committee members, says Jennie. “We always get to a point in the process when we recognize that all the applicant organizations are very important to Boulder County. You can’t separate one thread from the others once you see the connections,” she says, adding “You come to understand and appreciate just how interwoven ‘community‘ truly is.”

Amplifying that impact, SVP’s Partners further engage & learn when they share what they’ve learned through SVP with their personal networks. By helping our Partners internalize what they’ve experienced, the needs of our community are made real and amplified – recruiting new advocates and others to the cause.


SVP Boulder County’s Values

To make a deep and sustainable positive impact on our Boulder County Community, SVP believes in:

  1. Engaging and Learning – Developing the impact of our partners and the broader Boulder County community through active engagement and education in non-profit capacity building;
  2. Leveraging and Strengthening – Leveraging the combination of human and financial capital to strengthen the internal and external capacity of local non-profits to pursue their missions and create a positive ripple effect throughout our community;
  3. Connecting and Collaborating – Connecting and collaborating with individuals, non-profits, businesses and community leaders to strengthen Boulder County resources.
  4. Inclusivity and Respect – Fostering inclusivity and respect for all community members to help build the foundation of community solutions and sustainability.
  5. Risking and Growing – Risking change and failure in the pursuit of mission as the path to growth and success.

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