SVP Full Circle Impact Accelerator Pitch Event in NEXT Pittsburgh!

See who won at Social Venture Partners’ pitch event

Article by Caroline Shannon-Karasik / Photo by Tracy Certo / NEXT Pittsburgh

In August, Jordon Rooney stood in the streets of Charlottesville, interviewing people who were marching to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. As Neo-Nazis and white supremacists streamed by waving Confederate flags, with swastikas emblazoned on shields and t-shirts, Rooney captured it all on video.“What do you think about those people who got hit?” Rooney asked one man, referring to the car that struck a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 other people.

The man shrugged his shoulders. “They deserved it.”Rooney is not a journalist, he notes. “I’m looking to make a statement and stand up to racism.”

One week, nine million views and 100,000 shares later, that video put Rooney’s organization, Never Fear Being Different(NFBD), on the map. Rooney had been disillusioned with social media and it’s enormous and often negative effect on youth. So he made it a goal to reach youth through social media in a more positive way, engaging viewers to come up with solutions to big societal problems.

His message resonated not only with viewers but also with the crowd last Thursday at the SVP Pittsburgh Full Circle Impact Accelerator Pitch Event. Rooney was one of five who made a pitch for his nonprofit and he won the audience choice prize of $500.

Involvement in the Full Circle Accelerator automatically grants each of the five organizations $2,000 in unrestricted funding.

This year, it also afforded an opportunity to get an additional $1,000 from sponsor NexTier Bank at the Pitch Event. That award was split between two nonprofits that pitched at the event: Prototype PGH and Ujamaa.

The other two organizations pitching at the event were The Global Switchboard and Alliance for Police Accountability. (More on what all of these organizations do is below.)

“Ujamaa Collective’s participation in the Full Circle Program truly was right on time for us because we were at the precipice of making some really important decisions as a nonprofit,” Executive Director LaKeisha Wolf said of the organization’s 10-year presence in Pittsburgh.

Wolf said their goal for 2018 is to close their Hill District boutique space and create a schedule of pop-up shopping locations and programs.

“The boutique has been so much of our identity and means so much to so many people, but the rising overhead costs, as well as a few other factors, was stifling our growth,” she said.

“We are truly passionate about fair trade and are looking to strengthen our economic relationships with international artisans, connecting women with purpose across the world. Ultimately we want to do all of these things in order to increase women’s confidence and skills so that we take up more space in tech and entrepreneurship,” she added.

Erin Gatz of Prototype PGH said the organization’s top goals include hiring their first staff person, finalizing their 501c3 status, which includes on-boarding their first board of directors and partnering with more organizations, like Ujamaa, on workshops and programming.

The Pitch Event was the culmination of an intense, three-and-a-half-month program to help nonprofits like NFBD refine their missions and learn how to meet specific goals within their organizations through coaching by SVP partners.

According to Ryan Gayman, who co-manages the Full Circle program with Ben Utter, the Full Circle accelerator presents a hands-on model for philanthropy that unlocks the private sector’s social networks, skills and expertise to help take nonprofits to the next level. Essentially, they act as a connector.

“Pittsburgh is the birthplace of American philanthropy,” Gayman said. “With the concentration of philanthropic foundations, labor unions, nonprofits and impact-driven businesses in the region, it’s important that there is an accelerator that is exclusively focused on bridging sectors to ultimately help the leading nonprofit businesses have a greater impact in tackling our region’s most critical challenges.”

Here is more information about the five nonprofit organizations involved in the Full Circle Impact Accelerator and who pitched at the event:

Alliance for Police Accountability: A grassroots organization dedicated to criminal justice reform. Brandi Fisher presented at the event and said the group takes a holistic approach, not only advocating for change, but working to educate the public and push for policy change, specifically within the disciplinary systems at schools where simple infractions like “child was disruptive in class” can lead to jail time.

The Global Switchboard: The region’s hub for global issues, the organization is designing an innovative initiative that will bring leaders from across sectors together to tackle critical global issues facing local communities in Pittsburgh that will result in a more equitable and just city. Their mission according to Program Coordinator Alaa Mohamed: “To make Pittsburgh the most livable city for all.”

NFBD: Described as a movement to create solution-based conversations around real-world issues, NFBD had 16 million views in September, compared to TED’s 7.9 million and NPR’s 5.9 million.

Prototype PGH: Is the nation’s only maker space and maker education program that focuses on feminism and equity. The organization is expanding their operations in Pittsburgh to accelerate the growth of a more inclusive and equitable maker movement in the region and beyond. “It took founding a maker space with Louise [Larson] to learn how to use a power drill — and she’s the one who taught me,” Erin Gatz said during the pitch.

Ujamaa Collective: The organization works to break down barriers to help Pittsburgh’s Africana women entrepreneurs and artisans find success within their businesses. Colorful sun hatscopper leather bracelets and handmade mini tumblers are just a few of the items shoppers can purchase at Ujamaa.

Click here to view the original publication of this article.

Full Circle Impact Accelerator Pitch Event

Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh announces the fall Full Circle Impact Accelerator Pitch Event on Thursday, December 14 from 5:30 – 8:00PM at Google Pittsburgh’s HQ. Click here to register.

During the event, the five innovative nonprofits that engaged in the accelerator’s fall cohort will pitch how they are tackling the region’s greatest challenges to a cross-sector audience of 150+ socially conscious leaders. As the exciting culmination of the fall accelerator program, SVP will award $10,000 to the Full Circle nonprofits at the Pitch Event.

The nonprofit businesses that will be pitching at the event include: Alliance for Police Accountability, The Global Switchboard, Never Fear Being Different, Prototype PGH and Ujamaa Collective.

Registration is required and seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your tickets here.

MARQUEE PITCH SPONSOR

SVP Pittsburgh would like to thank and recognize the generous support of our Marquee Sponsor, NexTier Bank, whose contribution enables the success of the fall Full Circle Impact Accelerator Pitch Event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SVP ANNUAL SPONSOR

SVP Pittsburgh would like to thank and recognize the support of UPMC/UPMC Health Plan whose generous contribution to SVP is critical to success of the Full Circle Impact Accelerator program year-round.

ADDITIONAL EVENT SPONSORS

SVP Pittsburgh would like to thank and recognize the generous contributions of our sponsors whose support is critical to the fall Pitch Event.

 

MEDIA SPONSOR

SVP Pittsburgh would like to recognize Anthem Productions for media production of the Fall Pitch Event.

 

 

 

EVENT HOST

SVP Pittsburgh would like to recognize Google Pittsburgh for hosting the Fall Pitch Event in their beautiful headquarters in Bakery Square.

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights from the SVP Fall Happy Hour

On Thursday, November 16 nearly 150 socially conscious leaders from across sectors joined SVP Pittsburgh for good drinks and to connect with the 2017 fall cohort of the Full Circle Impact Accelerator for Nonprofits, including the Alliance for Police Accountability, the The Global Switchboard, and Never Fear Being Different, Prototype PGH, Ujamaa Collective. Many thanks to the team at Wallace’s Tap Room for welcoming SVP and our supporters! Check out photos from the exciting night below.

Announcing the Full Circle Impact Accelerator Fall Cohort of Nonprofits

Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 03/16/17
fullcircle@svppittsburgh.org

– – – –

Five Pittsburgh-based innovative nonprofits selected for the Full Circle impact accelerator fall cohort.

Pittsburgh, PA: Last week SVP Full Circle, Pittsburgh’s impact accelerator for nonprofits, announced the five Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organizations that were selected for their spring cohort. The five nonprofits selected for the spring accelerator cohort include:

  • Alliance for Police Accountability | The APA catalyzes criminal justice reform by implementing grassroots approaches to bettering community and police relations through advocacy, education and policy.
  • The Global Switchboard | The Global Switchboard cultivates a community of Pittsburghers engaged in critical global issues (e.g. immigration rights) through a globally-focused coworking space and digital hub.
  • Never Fear Being Different | NFBD is a next generation media platform that replaces divisive click bait with inspirational and entertaining media that sheds light on important social issues and brings people together.
  • Prototype PGH | Prototype is building a more inclusive and equitable maker movement in Pittsburgh by offering a makerspace and maker educational programming that focuses on equity and feminism.
  • Ujamaa Collective | Ujamaa Collective invests in the economic and social growth of Africana women entrepreneurs and artisans by operating a Hill District based artisan boutique and providing cooperative business support.

Over the next 14 weeks, the Full Circle nonprofits will engage in an intensive accelerator curriculum dedicated to scaling their organization’s impact. SVP Partners – leading private sector professionals who seek to be more hands-on and engaged with their philanthropy – will serve as coaches to the Full Circle nonprofits. Each Full Circle nonprofit is paired with a team of 5+ coaches who work alongside the nonprofit leadership throughout the program. Upon completion of the Full Circle accelerator, each nonprofit will receive a $2,000 contribution from SVP.

The spring Full Circle programming will culminate in a pitch event on December 14 where each nonprofit from the fall cohort will pitch their organization’s work and impact to a public audience and compete for additional cash prizes to support their ongoing growth. Keep updated with all the latest from SVP’s fall Full Circle cohort on Twitter (@SVPPGH).

Our Sponsors: SVP Pittsburgh’s Full Circle impact accelerator for nonprofits is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors. SVP recognizes UPMC/UPMC Health Plan for their sponsorship and commitment to seeing a more impactful and innovative nonprofit community in the Pittsburgh region. SVP also recognizes our venue sponsor, Ascender, for generously providing outstanding event and meeting space for the Full Circle program.

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’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. Interested in learning more? Contact Full Circle Managers Ryan Gayman (ryan@svppittsburgh.org) and Benjamin Utter (ben@svppittsburgh.org).

SVP Full Circle Impact Accelerator Spring Pitch Event

On Wednesday July 21, the five organizations that engaged in the spring cohort SVP’s Full Circle impact accelerator pitched their impact to an audience of nearly 100 nonprofit leaders, foundation leaders, entrepreneurs and SVP Partners.

Congratulations to Bibi Al-Ebrahim from Amizade, Jenna Baron from Alliance for Refugee Youth Support & Education (ARYSE), Fr. Paul Abernathy from FOCUS Pittsburgh, Walter Lewis from Homewood Children’s Village and Averyl Hall from Just Harvest for their dynamic pitches.

Each Full Circle nonprofit will receive $2,000 for their engagement in the program. Congratulations to Jenna and Team ARYSE for winning the audience choice award and taking home an additional $500. These pitches are the culminating event of the Spring Full Circle impact accelerator program. Following their participation in the program, Full Circle alumni nonprofits receive ongoing advising and support from SVP.

 

Event Sponsors

SVP Pittsburgh would like to thank and recognize the generous support of our sponsors whose contributions enable the success of the Spring Pitch event.

Event Host

SVP Pittsburgh would like to recognize Innovation Works – one of the region’s leading technology and startup investors for hosting the Spring Pitch Event in their beautiful headquarters in the Northside.

 

Media Sponsor

SVP Pittsburgh would like to recognize and thank our media sponsor for the pitch event StudioMe – the first self-guided studio where users from novice to professional can create their own high quality video, photo and audio content!

SVP Spring Pitch Event – June 21, 2017

Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh announces that the Spring Pitch Event will take place on Wednesday, June 21 from 5:30 to 8:00PM at Innovation Works headquarters in the North Side.

The SVP Spring Pitch Event will bring together 100+ civically engaged Pittsburghers to celebrate 5 of Pittsburgh’s most innovative and impactful nonprofits. Amizade, Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE), FOCUS Pittsburgh, Just Harvest and Homewood Childrens Village will conclude their time in SVP’s Full Circle impact accelerator with pitches that share the impact of their exciting organizations.

SVP Partners will give away $10,000 to these five nonprofit organizations that are creating big impact on some of the toughest challenges in the Pittsburgh region:

  • Alleviating food deserts;
  • Educating local refugee youth;
  • Providing trauma-informed community development services;
  • Building life-changing youth development technologies; and
  • Disrupting local youth inequitable access to life-changing global learning opportunities.

Register today to take part in this celebratory pitch event as well as mix and mingle with Pittsburgh’s next generation of philanthropists, nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs!

Event Sponsors

SVP Pittsburgh would like to thank and recognize the generous support of our sponsors whose contributions enable the success of the Spring Pitch event.

Event Host

SVP Pittsburgh would like to recognize Innovation Works – one of the region’s leading technology and startup investors for hosting the Spring Pitch Event in their beautiful headquarters in the Northside.

 

 

Media Sponsor

SVP Pittsburgh would like to recognize and thank our media sponsor for the pitch event StudioMe – the first self-guided studio where users from novice to professional can create their own high quality video, photo and audio content!.

SVP Spring Happy Hour at Wallace’s Taproom

On Thursday, May 11 nearly 100 civically engaged Pittsburghers joined SVP Pittsbugrh and our Full Circle nonprofits for good drinks and conversation. During the Happy Hour our Full Circle nonprofits – Amizade, Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE), FOCUS Pittsburgh, Just Harvest and Homewood Childrens Village – pitched their organizations’ impact to the audience. Enjoy these photos from the night!

Many thanks to the team at Wallace’s Tap Room for welcoming SVP and our supporters!

 

SVP Pittsburgh Announces Nonprofits for Full Circle Impact Accelerator

Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 03/16/17
fullcircle@svppittsburgh.org

– – –

SVP Pittsburgh Announces Nonprofits for Full Circle Impact Accelerator
Five Pittsburgh-based innovative nonprofits selected for impact acceleration

Pittsburgh, PA: Today SVP Full Circle, Pittsburgh’s impact accelerator for nonprofits, announced the five Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organizations that were selected for their spring cohort accelerator programming. The five nonprofits selected for the spring accelerator cohort include:

  • Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education | ARYSE supports refugee and immigrant youth to become prepared, engaged and confident members of the Pittsburgh community. ARYSE seeks to expand its work in Pittsburgh to provide year-round programming for local immigrant and refugee youth.
  • Amizade | Amizade inspires empathy, catalyzes social action, and links diverse networks through service and learning in 12 countries. Amizade is a leader in ethical global service learning and is internationally recognized for their innovative model for ‘fair trade learning.’
  • FOCUS Pittsburgh | FOCUS Pittsburgh aims to build human development through programs that promote health and well-being. FOCUS Pittsburgh deploys a unique grassroots approach to understanding and addressing the health and well-being challenges of communities in The Hill District neighborhood.
  • Homewood Children’s Village | Modeled on the acclaimed Harlem Children’s Zone, HCV seeks a comprehensive, place-based, community oriented transformation of Homewood. HCV’s innovative approach puts youth development at the center of community development.
  • Just Harvest | Founded in 1986, Just Harvest works to improve anti-hunger public policy and food access in Allegheny County. JH seeks to grow their newest programs, Fresh Corners and Fresh Access, which provide e-transaction capabilities at farmers markets and initiate healthy corner stores in local food deserts.

Pat Calhoun, SVP Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors Chairwoman shares that, “This inspiring group of organizations were selected from a competitive pool of nonprofits based on their innovative approach as well as their potential to achieve growth in impact from participating in the accelerator program. We’re thrilled to have a diverse cohort of nonprofits whose missions and efforts tackle major challenges of equity, health care, youth development, refugee and immigrant education, health food access and more.”

Over the next 3-months, Full Circle nonprofits will engage in an intensive accelerator curriculum dedicated to growing organizational impact, receive funding from SVP Pittsburgh as well as receive executive coaching from SVP Partners who are private sector professionals that contribute their skills, expertise, networks and finances to the Full Circle nonprofits. The spring Full Circle programming will culminate in a demo day event in June where the nonprofit cohort will pitch their organization’s work and impact to a public audience and compete for additional cash prizes to support their ongoing growth.

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’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. Interested in learning more? Contact Full Circle Managers Ryan Gayman (ryan@svppittsburgh.org) and Benjamin Utter (ben@svppittsburgh.org).

SVP Pittsburgh in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette!

Social Venture Partners to take a deeper dive into social issues

By Joyce Gannon / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

During the past decade, Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh has invested nearly $1 million in fledgling nonprofit organizations that take a new and innovative approach to solving social problems in the region.

Among those that have benefited from the group’s money and expertise are Homewood Children’s Village Literacy Program; Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank; and Assemble, a Garfield-based nonprofit that integrates creativity and learning in the arts, sciences and technology.

The members of SVP include 35 philanthropists, most of whom pledge $4,000 each year and decide as a group where to target their grants. Beyond writing checks, the members mentor nonprofits and their leaders to help them become financially stronger and more sustainable.

For years, Social Venture Partners showcased its strategy at its annual headline event, Fast Pitch, in which eight nonprofits presented three-minute summaries of their mission as they competed for a share of $25,000 to $30,000.

While the event attracted a lot of buzz and hundreds of attendees to hip venues like the Circuit Center on the South Side, SVP last year decided it wanted to broaden its reach and impact more nonprofits in the region.

“It’s an evolution in our strategy,” said Pat Calhoun, board chair.

Beginning this spring, the group is sponsoring a cohort of 16 leaders from eight nonprofits. It will provide them with hands-on financial planning, strategy advice, discussion forums, networking and other one-on-one business consulting.

The initiative is called Full Circle and will run for four to six months, during which each nonprofit is matched with two Social Venture Partners mentors.

Prior to Fast Pitch, finalists received about six weeks of training and coaching sessions from SVP members.

“We thought if that was expanded, done more frequently throughout the year, and became accessible to more organizations, then everyone would love it and build upon it,” said Kenny Chen, a board member who consults with nonprofits. Last year, he co-founded involveMINT, an organization that helps nonprofits better recruit and retain volunteers.

By 2017, SVP plans to add a second cohort to Full Circle each year so that the partners can work directly with 16 nonprofits and 32 leaders of those organizations.

While Fast Pitch — and a smaller Fall Pitch event in which the group invested $15,000 in two organizations — successfully met SVP’s goal to support social innovation, “We felt it was really limiting our potential to have an impact in the community,” Ms. Calhoun said.

The new program “enables our partners to learn more about different social challenges Pittsburgh is facing and gives us more opportunity to plug in and add value and expertise to help solve those problems,” she said.

This year SVP won’t charge participants; eventually it will set a tuition fee of about $1,500 for participants in Full Circle.

The new format also could include speed brainstorming sessions among three to four of the cohort nonprofits, and mini-pitch nights during which nonprofit leaders could hone their communication skills.

Social Venture Partners was founded in 1997 in Seattle by a software entrepreneur who believed philanthropists should work one-on-one with nonprofits to address civic problems. The Pittsburgh organization launched in 2001 and SVP now has affiliates in 39 cities worldwide.

To provide nonprofits in its cohorts with more business know-how, SVP Pittsburgh will tap New Sun Rising, a 10-year-old organization in Millvale that assists social enterprises with business plans and helps identify the financial resources they require.

New Sun Rising has worked on projects in 40 neighborhoods in the region, including helping to develop and identify revenue streams for the nonprofit Millvale Community Library.

According to its executive director, Scott Wolovich, the organization operates “launch” incubators in Millvale, where it hopes to create a locally sourced food hub that will employ local residents; and in the Hilltop-Allentown neighborhood, where efforts include working with the Hilltop Men’s Group to restore the community through environmentally conscious cleanup projects.

The Hilltop Men’s Group will secure contracts for the projects and pay its members — many of whom have employment barriers — to do the work including cleaning up vacant lots and landscaping.

New Sun Rising and SVP “had been running in the same circles but never directly collaborated,” said Mr. Wolovich.

When he met with Social Venture Partners last fall about a partnership, “We immediately recognized some gaps in the community in terms of support for nonprofits — especially around innovation and income-generating strategies,” he said.

“While nonprofits have different goals and objectives, there are a lot of for-profit strategies that have great potential to impact the nonprofit sector.”

Joyce Gannon: jgannon@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1580.

You can view the original posting of this article on the Post Gazette’s here!