SVP Pittsburgh launches Nonprofit Crisis Support Initiative

Many nonprofits supported by SVP Pittsburgh provide critical services for vulnerable people and communities, including food, education, and basic needs. To implement a rapid response to organizations in need because of COVID-19, SVP Pittsburgh is launching a new program on May 18, 2020 to support our nonprofit leaders. Through the Nonprofit Crisis Support Initiative, SVP Pittsburgh along with local corporations and other leadership and young professional organizations will provide strategic support to nonprofit leaders as they navigate through this crisis. The program will pair corporate and organizational leaders with nonprofit organizations seeking advice, strategy development, and access to resources in order to develop and execute a plan to sustain their organizations over the next several months and ensure long term viability. 

Through our new technology-based matching system developed in partnership with CMU, nonprofit organizations will be paired with SVP Partners and corporate leaders based on the specific needs of their organization and the knowledge, skillset, and expertise of the mentor. We know the outcomes of these one-on-one sessions will be hugely impactful, helping nonprofit leaders to adapt their operations, align services with urgent community needs, establish sustainable practices and accelerate their growth as we move out of this crisis. 

Education for Nonprofit Leaders

SVP is committed to supporting our nonprofit partners through all stages of this crisis – relief, recovery, and building resilience. In addition to mentoring, SVP Pittsburgh will host a series of webinars led by subject matters experts. Providing the tools, knowledge, and resources nonprofit leaders need to develop new strategies, implement new processes, and develop more robust and resilient organizations. The webinar education program will provide education in categories related to our priorities of Inclusion, Collaboration, and Impact. Potential webinar topics may cover Equity & Inclusion, Implementing Comprehensive HR Processes, Building Strong Partnerships, Intro to Change Management, and Impact Measurement.

For more information on the Nonprofit Crisis Support Initiative please contact Leigh Solomon Pugliano (


About SVP Pittsburgh

Social Venture Partners (SVP) Pittsburgh is an engaged community of corporate leaders using their skills, expertise, networks, and finances to support the growth of Pittsburgh area nonprofits. SVP Pittsburgh provides the opportunity for the corporate and nonprofit sectors to connect and work collectively to increase the impact of nonprofit organizations in our region. Our signature program, the Full Circle Nonprofit Accelerator Program is a proven capacity building initiative that serves cohorts of nonprofit leaders in order to improve organizational management, program design, program implementation, financial sustainability, and increase overall impact. 

C4CS & SVP Pittsburgh Present Crisis Management & Communications Webinar

If you are like most of us, your organization wasn’t fully prepared for COVID-19.

SVP Pittsburgh has partnered with C4CS®, a Pittsburgh-based management consultancy that specializes in strategic communication and crisis management, to provide a free webinar on Friday April 3, 2020 from 2PM – 4:30PM.

This webinar is co-hosted by SVP and C4CS. Our goal is to help nonprofits overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. Webinar topics include strategic communication, crisis management, and effective internal and external operational tactics.

SVP Pittsburgh is an engaged community of business leaders who are using their skills, networks and finances to grow the impact of innovative Pittsburgh area nonprofits.

Register Now

SVP Pittsburgh Announces Nonprofits for Special Alumni Fall Pitch Event

Pittsburgh, PA: Today SVP Full Circle, Pittsburgh’s impact accelerator for nonprofits, announced the five Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organizations that were selected for their Fall pitch event on December 18, 2019 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM at The Alloy Studios (5530 Penn Ave). The nonprofits selected for this special alumni edition include: 

  • Allegheny Youth Development has a mission is to educate, equip and empower our inner-city youth to reach their God-given intellectual, social, physical and spiritual potential. (2015 SVP alumni)
  • Assemble envisions diverse neighborhoods of empowered people who create, connect, learn, and transform together. Assemble builds confidence through making by uniting communities of artists, technologists, makers, and learners. (2017 SVP alumni)
  • Hope Haven Farm rescues abused and neglected farm animals and educate the public on animal welfare. (2017 SVP alumni)
  • Never Fear Being Different (NFBD) NFBD’s mission is leverage the shift in modern media to amplify social impact in the digital. (2017 SVP alumni)
  • Providence Connections strengthens families and enriches lives through comprehensive education and developmental opportunities for parents and children. (2018 SVP alumni)

Leigh Solomon Pugliano, SVP Pittsburgh’s Full Circle Nonprofit Accelerator Manager shares that, “The Alumni Pitch Event is an opportunity for us to provide a platform for nonprofit leaders to share their stories, advocate for their mission, and gain the additional resources needed to do their best work.”

Attendees will learn about the impact that these innovative nonprofits are having on their communities and opportunities to support their work. The SVP Pittsburgh Board of Directors will share a brief update on the strategic direction of the organization. There will also be plenty of time to network with SVP Partners, who are private sector professionals that contribute their skills, expertise, networks and finances to enhance nonprofit impact.

About SVP Pittsburgh: Social Venture Partners (SVP) Pittsburgh is a growing community of engaged philanthropists who contribute their expertise, skills, networks and finances to grow the impact of nonprofits and tackle our community’s greatest challenges. SVP Pittsburgh is committed to prioritize Inclusion, Collaboration, and Impact in all of their work.

SVP Non-profit Alumni Encouraged to Apply for 2019 Fall Pitch Event

The 2019 Alumni Pitch Event is open to any nonprofit (or fiscally sponsored) organization that completed the FULL CIRCLE Program. The event will include pitch preparation support from our FULL CIRCLE Managers and SVP Partners. Organizations that have experience significant growth, want to build upon existing programming, or implement a new program or service are encouraged to apply.

• Alumni Organizations that apply must be designated as 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations operating in Allegheny County or have a Fiscal Sponsor
• Alumni Organizations that apply must designate at least two leadership staff who will participate consistently throughout the duration of the Program.
• Alumni Organizations, if selected, will be asked to submit their most recent annual report and/or year-end financial statements.

Pitch Development Workshops
Communication Tools and Materials
One on One Mentoring with SVP Partners and Full Circle Managers

IMPORTANT DATES (Pitch Prep dates are Mandatory)
Tuesday, September 24th – Applications Open
Friday, October 18th – Applications Close
Tuesday, October 29th – Finalists Announced
Tuesday, November 12th 9a-11a – Pitch Prep
Tuesday, November 19th 9a-11a – Pitch Prep
Wednesday, December 4th 5:30p -7p – Pitch Prep / Pitch Back
Wednesday, December 18th 5:30-8p – Alumni Pitch Event


Nonprofits prepare for accelerator program’s final pitch event

Above: The SVP Full Circle Spring 2019 Cohort and SVP Partners during a happy hour and networking event in May at the Millvale Food + Energy Hub.

While they embody different missions, the common thread amongst the SVP Full Circle Spring 2019 Cohort is a common one for those who work in not-for-profit organizations.

“With nonprofit work you think big and want to save the world on a zero dollar budget,” said Jackie Smith, executive director of Greater Valley Community Services. “And [the coaches] keep it in perspective.”

Social Venture Partners Full Circle is a 14-week accelerator program that combines consulting, workshops, seminars, networking and a final pitch event that will take place on Wednesday, June 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Energy Innovation Center, 1435 Bedford Ave.

Meant for nonprofits that are at a critical juncture regarding their organizations future development, the program looks for applicants that are committed to achieving measurable outcomes and ready to expand and grow their impact.

The coaches that Smith referred to, also known as SVP Partners, are individuals engaged within the nonprofit community that are able to contribute their time and energy to furthering the advancement of the selected nonprofits chosen to participate in the program.

“The Full Circle Program is an incredible opportunity for nonprofit leaders and SVP Partners from the corporate sector to work collectively to improve internal operations and develop strategies for growth,” said Leigh Solomon Pugliano, Full Circle manager and director of opportunity at New Sun Rising. “It also provides greater insight to the corporate sector, the issues our communities are facing, and the incredible work our nonprofits do to make change.”

The program is held in the fall and spring, and accepts a total of five nonprofits each season. Recently, four out of the five organizations gathered for a happy hour event at the Millvale Food + Energy Hub to network and practice for the final pitch event on June 26. During the event, individuals shared their nonprofits history and the key areas they have been working on within the program. Those organizations included:

Greater Valley Community Services

Based in Braddock, Greater Valley Community Services was created to strengthen and hold S.P.A.C.E (supportive programs affording collaborative engagement) for youth, adults, and seniors in the community. Executive Director Jackie Smith said that recently there has been a disconnect between residents and the businesses coming into the neighborhood, especially with youth, and when she read the description for the Full Circle program felt that the fit them perfectly.

“We’ve been stuck in a place and thought this might be the boost that we needed for the program that we wanted to work on,” Smith said.

Partnering with the Woodland Hills School District and entrepreneurs in the community, GVCS plans to create a program that will connect high school students to small business owners who will work together to create marketing plans, websites, and eventually apps for the neighborhood businesses. Smith said the SVP coaches have been instrumental in understanding the best ways to engage both students and businesses, and in deciding how classes will be structured for students in the program.

Unity Through Creativity

The Grounding Lab, a program under Unity Through Creativity, is situated in Hazelwood and uses arts infused techniques to assist people experiencing despair and enhance their emotional coping skills through contemplative process of deep self-reflection. With 40 years of nursing experience and research, Creative Director Margaret Baco said she has developed the understanding that true healing from traumatic experiences can come from engaging in expressive arts.

Baco said the SVP coaches have helped her focus on creating a community strategy, program development, strategic thinking, and networking. Specifically, she said she has appreciated the connections between those in the program.

“We are attracting one another during this dynamic process and New Sun Rising is able to see how networking through this cohort can strengthens our capacity to function,” Baco said. “It’s an outcome that I am deeply grateful for.”

Legacy Arts Project

In 2005, Erin Perry became a member of the dance ensemble at Legacy Arts Project, an organization focused on preserving the history and traditions of African arts as represented throughout the diaspora through education, instruction and interactions. In 2011, Perry became the executive director and has continued to expand the vision and grow the organization. She said Legacy Arts Project is “not only the exploration of African art, but also the exploration of self and well being.

Perry said joining the Full Circle program has provided guidance on fiscal sponsorships and marketing, and has also “rejuvenated” the nonprofits outlook around its programming and impact it has made in the Homewood community.

“If we were to have a personality assessment of our organization, [I’d say] we are humble,” Perry said. “At the same time we haven’t done a full service to the organization in promoting the work we do or have done, and the coaches have allowed us to recognize humility and pride in the power that has been going on and motivated us to tell the story.”

Coraopolis Community Development Foundation

The Coraopolis Community Development Foundation was formed to serve its community by encouraging and assisting in renewal through community service and development projects, and Executive Director Amy Cavicchia said if she asks someone to volunteer, it’s because it’s something she’s also going to do herself.

Cavicchia has been easing in to her position at the nonprofit over the last two years and said her work with the Full Circle program has been focused on her elevator pitch and donor management.

“This program has really kept me focused and realizing what you can do and what you can’t do.” Cavicchia said. “Write it down, figure it out, do what you can and don’t worry about what you can’t do, because you can’t do it.”

Associated Artists Pittsburgh

Associated Artists Pittsburgh was unavailable during the event. Their mission is to enhance the region’s cultural vitality and promote visual arts excellence by showcasing artists’ work through contemporary exhibitions, providing community-based education programs, and facilitating a broad dialogue to engage artists with one another and the community.

Impact takes Center Stage at the Full Circle Pitch Event!

Social Venture Partners (SVP) Pittsburgh invites you to join us for our Final Pitch Event on June 26th! This event concludes our spring 2019 Full Circle Nonprofit Accelerator Program. Come learn more about our program, network with Pittsburgh’s social impact community, connect with our SVP Partners, and meet the incredible organizations and leaders that participated in the program. This years participants include: Greater Valley Community ServicesAssociated Artists of PittsburghCoraoplis Community Development FoundationUnity Through Creativity, and Legacy Arts Project. We hope to see you there!

Full Circle Final Pitch
Wednesday, June 26th
5:30pm – 8:00pm
Energy Innovation Center
*Complimentary food and drinks will be served!

Register Here

SVP Full Circle Seeks Applicants for Spring Accelerator Cohort

Through a competitive application process, a cohort of five innovative nonprofits will be selected to engage in an intensive 14-week accelerator program that combines consulting, workshops, seminars, networking and pitch event. The program is designed to grow their impact and financial sustainability. SVP Full Circle manages both a fall and spring cohort to work with a total of 10 nonprofits annually. During each cohort the five nonprofits in Full Circle, are each matched with teams of SVP Partners who serve as coaches. During the accelerator coaches work hands-on with each nonprofit throughout the program. SVP Partners are integral to the Full Circle accelerator model. Their coaching complements the accelerator curriculum by adding a layer of support to the nonprofits in the form of advanced social capital, new ideas, knowledge capital, skills-based human capital and private sector financial capital.

Nonprofits that successfully complete the program also receive $3000 unrestricted award. For more information about the program. Join us for an info session or contact leigh@svppittsburgh for more information.


Info Session Dates

Monday February 11th from 6-7pm

Wednesday February 27th 1-2pm

Register for an Info Session

Complete your Application Now


Eligibility Criteria

  • Organizations that apply must be designated as 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations operating in Allegheny County or have a Fiscal Sponsor
  • Organizations that apply must designate at least two leadership staff who will participate consistently throughout the duration of the 14 week Full Circle program.
  • Organizations, if selected, will be asked to submit their most recent annual report and/or year-end financial statements.


About SVP Pittsburgh

SVP Pittsburgh is a network of engaged philanthropists from the private sector (SVP Partners) who contribute their expertise, skills, networks and finances to grow the impact of nonprofits and tackle our community’s greatest challenges.

SVP Full Circle Program Partners with New Sun Rising to Accelerate Non-profit Impact

October 8, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA – Social Venture Partners (SVP) Pittsburgh has partnered with New Sun Rising to manage operations of their core program, the Full Circle Nonprofit Impact Accelerator.  The program provides support for the region’s most innovative nonprofits through engaged philanthropy, where SVP Partners contribute their expertise, skills, networks, and finances to help tackle our community’s greatest challenges.

Starting with the Fall 2018 cohort, management of the SVP Full Circle program will officially transition to New Sun Rising. The two organizations have worked together to empower nonprofit sustainability and innovation since their first workshop together in 2015.

Leigh Solomon Pugliano, SVP Full Circle Program Manager and New Sun Rising’s Director of Opportunity, says, “I am very excited to manage the Full Circle program.  New Sun Rising will provide an additional layer of support to SVP and the nonprofits they support. We hope to increase the awareness and accessibility of the program, as well as connect networks of communities and organizations that may otherwise be operating in silos. ”

Each Fall and Spring, a Full Circle cohort accelerates five nonprofits through an intensive 14-week program of workshops, seminars, networking, and pitch events. Participants are paired with teams of SVP Partners, who are private sector leaders serving as executive coaches and working directly with them throughout the program.

Cynthia Closkey, an SVP Partner and chair of the organization’s board, says, “SVP is working to help nonprofits in our region increase their effectiveness and capacity, so they in turn can help people in a range of ways in the community. Each SVP Partner has the chance to engage with the nonprofits they coach, and with all the nonprofits we work with. It’s a focused, intensive opportunity to make significant impact on the problems that matter most. I find it the most rewarding way possible to give back.”

The current Full Circle cohort kicked off on September 22nd during a workshop at Ascender and includes Neighborhood Legal Services Association, No Crayon Left Behind, Orenda Health, Providence Connections, and Ruth’s Way. The public is invited to learn more about the mission and impact of these organizations during a pitch event on December 12th. More details will be announced soon.

For more details on how to become an SVP Partner, upcoming opportunities to accelerate your nonprofit, or to financially support Full Circle, please email


About Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh

Social Venture Partners (SVP) Pittsburgh is a community of engaged philanthropists who contribute their expertise, skills, networks and finances to grow the impact of nonprofits and tackle our community’s greatest challenges. SVP Pittsburgh’s core program is the Full Circle impact accelerator, which connects SVP Partners as executive coaches to accelerate the impact of Pittsburgh’s most innovative nonprofits. For more information, visit

About New Sun Rising

New Sun Rising  (NSR) is an innovative 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to build vibrant communities through culture, sustainability and opportunity. NSR provides programs and services that create equitable opportunity, solve social challenges, and strengthen the vibrancy of place. Each year, over 150  individuals, organizations, and funders work with NSR to launch their nonprofit projects, social businesses, and economic development initiatives throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region. For more information, visit


Leigh Solomon Pugliano, Full Circle Manager,

Scott Wolovich, Executive Director, New Sun Rising,

Full Circle Impact Accelerator Spring Pitch Event is a Wrap!

It was a wonderful evening! On Thursday, June 28th Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh held its Pitch Event for the 5 amazing nonprofits in the spring Full Circle Impact Accelerator cohort. The event was hosted at BNY’s Innovation Center and more than 110 social impact professionals enjoyed an evening of presentations from 5 innovative and inspiring nonprofits creating next-level social impact in Pittsburgh. All Star Code, Refugee Resettlement at NAMS, PA Youth Initiative, Assemble and Veterans Breakfast Club all presented to judges and more than 110 supportive socially conscious professionals from around the city. The night was a great success, CONGRATULATIONS Assemble!