When HPA had office hours last week, we ran into a lot of people that were interested in Social Ventures. On November 1, a contingent from Silicon Valley came to Chicago to talk about social venture. Professor Linda Darragh is starting a social venture accelerator here in Chicago.
Hyde Park Angels is interested in social ventures, but only if they give us a rate of return. Investing in start ups is risky business. However, interests in start ups comes in all forms, shapes and sizes and we also exist to promote entrepreneurship in the community, both big and small. If you are interested in participating in Social Venture, here are the details about how you can get involved in Chicago.
Social Venture Partners is a network of engaged philanthropists who seek to catalyze significant, long-term positive social change in their communities through strategic investments in nonprofits to help them build their capacity and better fulfill their mission. In the process, SVP creates a community of lifelong, informed and inspired philanthropists who have made meaningful contributions to nonprofit organization by sharing their skills, time, connections and financial resources.
Having been a venture capital investor for almost 15 years, I personally find SVP’s guiding principles very appealing:
1. Engagement – partners invest time, expertise and money in collaborative relationships that last for at least three years.
2. Entrepreneurial Spirit – partners use innovative approaches to achieve leveraged results in their nonprofit partnerships and communities
3. Philanthropic Education – partners educate themselves and become informed, effective, lifetime philanthropists through hands-on experience
4. Community & Collaborative Action – partners believe in the power of collective, self-organized effort
5. Mutual Respect – partners respect the expertise of the nonprofit organizations in the community and form close working relationships with them
6. Accountability & Results – partners are mutually accountable to each other, their investees and the community
In practice, SVP partners pool philanthropic capital – typically a minimum investment of $5,000 per year – and together make investments in nonprofits serving their community through a grant-making committee. Each “investment” consists of a three-year monetary grant plus assistance in the form of time, expertise and connections from the SVP partners. Investments are selected based on the ability of SVP to make a significant impact on the organization, and typically are made in young organizations recently founded by social entrepreneurs.
In order to get a Chicago chapter established, we will need a group of 6-8 committed founders plus 20-25 active partners ready to get engaged and participate in the partnership. Financial partners who would like to be part of the community but don’t have time currently to devote to working with portfolio organizations are welcome as well.
If you are interested in participating in the launch of SVP in Chicago – or you’d like to learn more about the organization – please let me know.
180 N. Stetson Ave., Suite 4500
Chicago, IL 60657