On June 18, our Social Venture Partners celebrated the accomplishments of the three Impact Academy graduates. These teams presented on successes and challenges they faced along the way. Congratulations to E3 Alliance, Refugee Services of Texas, and the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME)!
Impact Academy is a new capacity building program that connects nonprofits with social entrepreneurs and business leaders to examine organizational growth and sustainability at a deeper level through earned income. Earlier this year, teams of Social Venture Partners (SVPs) and nonprofits embarked on a four-month journey of collaborating and co-creating business plans for earned revenue.
SVPs from across the professional spectrum stepped up to lead and participate in teams. Following a kickoff event and orientation workshop in February, they self-organized and were off and running. The SVPs and nonprofits used Mission Capital tools and methods like the Business Model Canvas to tackle a broad range of challenging projects.
Nonprofit leaders cited the immeasurable value of having business professionals immersed in the work, contributing their expertise in strategic planning, marketing, business development, consulting, technology, legal, organizational leadership, and more.
By asking provocative questions and holding the nonprofits accountable – why are you taking on this venture? who are your buyers? why do they need this? how do we price for value and sustainability? – the SVPs took the conversations to a different level and motivated the nonprofits to think critically about the viability and impact of their earned revenue projects.
SVPs shared how much they enjoyed being thought partners, working alongside the nonprofit leadership, staff and board members at a much deeper level than they might have through traditional volunteering. SVPs felt the immediate impact of their contributions and were inspired by the mission-driven nature of the work.
Rakhi Ahuja, a senior consultant at Dell, joined our SVP network in 2018 and has been one of our most engaged partners. Rakhi co-led the Impact Academy team with Refugee Services of Texas, and reflects on her SVP experience as “purposeful giving:”
“I believe there is a lot to learn and a lot to give. Since childhood I have been an active financial supporter for nonprofits, but always had a deep desire to help in ways where I could really use my talents. As an SVP I got the opportunity to work on a project where I could add value, and honestly the experience has been truly rewarding for me. Not only have I used my skills in a meaningful way, but meeting with other like-minded people from diverse backgrounds gives me optimism that we really can help organizations and communities reach their potential. ”
“We’re doing a lot of important work at a strategic level and we’re being guided really well. The coaching that SVPs and nonprofits received during this journey was just priceless. The opportunity pushed me beyond my comfort zone, helped me discover new passion, and taught new approaches to problem solving and how collaborative efforts can create powerful impact. Joining the SVP network has taught me not only to be smart with philanthropic dollars, but how we can help nonprofits be most effective to create positive and valuable impact. For me, the SVP program is an extension to my education.”
SVPs engage at many levels, from connecting with other community-minded professionals, to learning about the social sector through Mission Capital’s extensive network and programming, to coaching and advising nonprofit organizations and leaders, to sharing their expertise and strengthening their capabilities as leaders. When you join SVP, you get access to Mission Capital’s broad range of programs and resources, and you become part of the global SVP network of philanthropists.