Bright minds and big hearts: Venture philanthropy in Vancouver

Dec 19 2017, 4:25 pm

One out of five children live in poverty in BC. In Metro Vancouver, the child poverty rate is 20.2% with a high of 65% in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver*.

What does that mean to a child? Families who live in poverty have difficulty accessing food, clothing, childcare and much more. Fortunately there are caring non-profits that work to support these children and families in-need. But running a successful charity is not always easy. That’s where Social Venture Partners comes in.

Social Venture Partners (SVP) is a local network of successful, concerned citizens who donate their time, talent, treasure, ties, and other resources to innovative non-profits in Vancouver. Leveraging the principles of Venture Capital, SVP was established in 2001 and pioneered the concept of Venture Philanthropy to help early stage non-profits strength, scale and becoming high-performing, self-sustaining organizations.

SVP mobilizes some of the brightest minds and biggest hearts in Vancouver. SVP Partners include Top 40 under 40, a BC Business Laureate, Women of Distinction, and a BC Angel Investor of the Year.

In Vancouver, SVP’s investment focus area is children in-need and youth at-risk and their vision is to ensure more children and youth reach their full potential. To date, they have worked with 47 innovative non-profits (Investees) over their 14 year history. Local success stories include Take-a-Hike Youth Foundation, KidSafe, St. James Music Academy, ONE TO ONE Literacy Society, Yo Bro Youth Initiative, and Growing Chefs, to name just a few.

In 2014, SVP provided $455,000 in financial grants to 12 Investees and their Partners contributed over $1.2 million in time and expertise. SVP is currently working with 15 Investees, all of whom will receive multi-year support to help them increase their impact to create positive social change for disadvantaged kids in Vancouver.

Watch Vancity Buzz to learn more about the worthy charities supported by SVP and the great work they do to help children and youth reach their full potential.


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About SVP: Social Venture Partners is a privately funded foundation established in 2001 with a mission of engaged philanthropy, more commonly referred to as venture philanthropy.  We invest time, money, and professional expertise in local non-profits to help strength their organizational capacity and scale their impact.  There are 39 SVP chapters in 8 countries; we operate with the same values but take a local approach to our philanthropic investments. Visit to find out more.

*2014 BC Child Poverty Report Card