I’m still mulling over my ‘helpful’ theme from my last blog post – we all (usually) have good intentions to be helpful.  In my last post, I was asking donors to be helpful – and after two philanthropic conference in one week, I am turning the tables to ask “how can SVP Calgary help?”

On one side of the coin, we are a funder – and we continue to be proud of our model of capacity building.  Especially during this economic downturn, we are hearing the same chant from non-profits and experts alike, “Fund capacity building”.  We know there is room for improvement in our execution, but we can proudly say we’ve been building capacity for the past nine years.

“How can we help?” our nonprofits survive and grow stronger through these uncertain times?  As funders, by getting down from the balcony and getting into the mix.  By walking side-by-side our Investees – asking what training and support we can provide.  And just as important, by helping to educate government on what happens when they pull back funding and informing them of other options.

On the other side of the coin, we are a non-profit charitable organization – who believes that philanthropy is made up of individual actions.  The individual action of a Partner to contribute $5000 a year, which turns into $120,000 in grants disbursed to local Calgary charities.  The individual action of a Partner to spend as much time as it takes to help coach a non-profit in a capacity building area – leading to organizational sufficiency.  The individual action of a Partner to advocate for the issue they feel the greatest passion.

I smiled this morning as I read the results of the 2007 Canada Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating:

Indeed, the CSGVP shows that a small group of 14% of Canadians provided 59% of all donated dollars and 40% of all volunteer hours to charitable and non profit organizations.

I smiled because when the average annual donation in Alberta was $596 in 2007 and the average annual number of hours volunteered was 172 hours, I knew our Partners are part of that top 14%.  And I smiled because I know SVP Calgary can help to raise the numbers.

“How can we help?” Calgary citizens to build strong charities in our community?  As a charity ourselves, by sharing the results that have occured over the past nine years of capacity building.  By showing the benefits of venture philanthropy, engaged philanthropy, and pushing for new innovations.  By telling the stories of how our Partners have contributed to the community – and in such, become part of the top 14% of Canadians.   As just as importantly, by inspiring others to take their own action – and inviting you to join us.

We’re always looking for ways to help.
Let us know how we can help you…help our community.

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