Putting Their Money Where Their Hearts Are

[pullquote-left]SVP helps give nonprofits a financial boost[/pullquote-left]There are many people with the heart to give back who are unsure how to convert passion into action. Then there are few with the innovative ideas needed to make a difference, but without means to take action.

That’s where Social Venture Partners Dallas comes in. The nonprofit organization works to connect passion with purpose. Its tagline? Do Good Better.

“We are an organization of engaged philanthropists with a mission to invest in the philanthropists themselves in terms of their own growth and capacity, and to invest in nonprofits selected by our partners,” CEO Tony Fleo said.

Mary Jalonick of The Dallas Foundation introduced the idea of Social Venture Partners in 2000, not long after the first organization of its kind was established in Seattle. The organization, headquartered at Preston Road and LBJ Freeway, consists of professionals who want to use their talents for something more than just their career. The partners target nonprofits that promote education and serve youth at risk. The partners help these nonprofits create a revenue stream. And even better, they offer their time and talent.


With more than 2,700 members from Boston to Bangalore, SVP is the world’s largest network of engaged donors. Click here to learn more.

“They’re trying to do good things, and they just need people to help them understand how to operate their business in an environment where they can’t afford to pay for services,” board chair Robin Minick said. “From lawyers to marketing professionals to accountants — you can be as heavily involved as you want.”

Organizations like Kids University, one of the first programs she worked with, saw tremendous growth after forming a relationship with SVP Dallas. Kids U is committed to promoting the educational advancement of youth through after school tutoring and summer programs, to name a few. The Kids U Campuses are located in low-income apartment communities, where children are often unsupervised for a few hours after school and juvenile crime is lurking. Minick has also seen professionals within SVP move their careers to full-time nonprofit work. She practiced commercial real estate for 20 years, but is now the director of the Real Estate Council Foundation.

“I didn’t realize how many people in my professional circle were involved in charitable work in the community,” Minick said. “Being a partner in SVP really helps you to think about that and focus your passion for community work in a way that sometimes is hard to assess when you’re so busy with your day-to-day life.”

In its 15-year history, SVP Dallas has partnered with several nonprofits, including Texas Association of Infant Mental Health, Trinity River Mission and Galaxy Counseling Center. They host a Social Innovation Lunch Series once a month of about 150 leaders in business and public policy to discuss new ideas in solving real world problems.

“We bring together folks that are doing really great work to share ideas across sectors,” Fleo said. “Business, community, and nonprofit leaders come together for the conversation of what is going on and what can be done next.”

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