INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven organizations and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.
Maggie Lea is the program coordinator of Social Venture Partners within The Denver Foundation. Follow her on Linkedin and learn more about Social Venture Partners at socialventurepartners.org/denver/.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
SVP cultivates effective philanthropists, strengthens nonprofits, and invests in collaborative solutions – building powerful relationships to tackle our community’s challenges.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Many nonprofits are not operating to their full capacity due to a lack of money, resources, knowledge, and/or ability. In partnership with SVP Partners, our investees improve areas of their business operations – human resources, marketing, financial management, board governance – all that behind-the-scenes work that allows them to fulfill their mission more effectively.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Through our engaged giving model, we provide peer learning experiences for both our donor/volunteers and the nonprofits that we serve, whereby in partnership with SVP partners, our investees improve areas of their business operations in order to fulfill their mission more effectively – making a greater impact on our local Denver metro community.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Community-minded individuals and businesses who want to make a focused and sustaining impact in our community. Additionally, the nonprofits who are pouring their hearts into their work to meet very specific needs of their communities really gets us jazzed!
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
As a program within The Denver Foundation, SVP Denver aims to align and coordinate with TDF’s strategic plan and core values in everything that we do, highlighting equity as the lens through which we evaluate our investees, and our impact on the community. We want to double our partnership and grow as a premiere engaged giving platform for passionate and driven individuals who want to make a substantial impact. We also strive to be pioneers in impact investing, in addition to our well-established grant making.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
We need to be connected with community-minded individuals and businesses who want to give back to their communities, as we can offer them an amplified giving experience that will cultivate community connections and impact for the sustainable future.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Our biggest challenge has been in recruiting new partners and getting businesses to sponsor their philanthropically-minded employees. We are making headway in this area, but could use a boost in getting our message out there in a clear and inspiring way to attract the donor/volunteers we need to drive our mission.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
As a conduit for social impact, we believe very strongly in relationship building and community stewardship, especially as it relates to fundraising and development. The trick is to inspire, enable and empower key stakeholders to make an impact. Start with the “why” when talking about what it is you do, and engage others on a personal level from the get-go. Additionally, become a reflective practitioner in your work. Pay attention to the values and theories that inform your work, and reflect upon your experience in a deliberate way that marries theory and practice.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Help get the word out there about SVP Denver! To our investees, tell stories about the impact you have on the community as a result of having engaged with SVP Denver partners. Refer organizations who are grappling with specific issues to us. Refer/connect us with businesses who are interested in making a substantial and sustaining impact on our community through their philanthropic services. Tell your friends who have indicated they are looking for a place to engage their community-minded passions!
Orapin Marketing + Public Relations serves those who serve others. We help purpose-driven companies and nonprofits get the attention and recognition they deserve for the impact they make by securing press coverage, strategic partnerships, and thought leadership opportunities.