Power dynamics frequently get in the way. That’s why Social Venture Partners Dallas gives multi-year grants. Building trust takes time, and change doesn’t occur without trust.
We ask a lot of the nonprofits we work with. We ask them to show us where they’re struggling – where they need help. It’s not usually the side you show a funder. However, when we finally have that conversation, that’s when we all know we’re getting somewhere.
Trust also allows us to get out of the way when we’re not needed. SVP Dallas is not in the business of telling nonprofits what their mission should be, or what their programs should focus on. They’re the experts. Likewise, they know where they need to deploy resources.
Most grants nonprofits receive are restricted. Nonprofits have to spend the funds on specific programs (e.g. providing backpacks for students in need). They can only use a small percentage (if any) to cover their “overhead”, which can include anything from rent to the administrative assistant’s salary.
We believe that this distinction is unnecessary and hamstrings nonprofits (and we’re not alone on this).
What impact is this organization having on our community? Can they demonstrate it? Have we built a relationship on a foundation of mutual trust? These are the questions we focus on. If the answers are solid, where they spend their grant dollars is irrelevant.
Organizations who have successfully gone through our advisee process are eligible for up to three years of grant funding. Organizations must receive the approval of their SVP Dallas Lead Partner before submitting an application.