Social venture partners work in the same way as venture capital does – by the investment of expertise and time, both in multi-year partnership.
New partners can join a social venture partnership by fulfilling minimum annual contributions. These funds are pooled and utilized in order to support the operations and programs of the venture, and also to provide the Investees with grants. Grant funds are utilized in projects for capacity building and to support general operations.
Social venture partners provide their added expertise to new and existing nonprofit organizations engaged in promising social ventures. The support is in the form of a collaboration that intends to positively influence the community. A committee consisting of a fixed number of members of the partnership generally selects the Investees. Once the Investees are selected, the venture partners work in tandem with them to enhance their capability to carry out effective programs.
Social venture partners help the Investees in strengthening their management practices, systems and strategies by helping them build upon their programmatic expertise. With the help of venture partners, Investees are able to access the services of professional consultants and skilled volunteers. They also receive opportunities on management training. This helps them to improve a number of aspects including Leadership Development, Development of Board and Governance, Performance Management and Program Evaluation, Fund Development, Financial Management, Marketing, Communications and PR, Information Technology, Strategic Planning, Human Resources and Legal concerns.
These partners provide organizational capacity building tools to their Investees in order to plan, priorities and evaluate the strategies to strengthen the organization. Furthermore, they intend to build true partnerships with non-profit organizations. The approach of social venture partners is unique, and non-profit organizations are not normally used to get their funding organization involved in their internal operations. After selection, Lead Partners are appointed to work along with each Investee. Lead Partner helps the Investee in a number of ways – developing annual work plan, prioritizing organizational goals for building capacity and in the coordination of team of paid consultants and volunteers.
The Investees carry out their annual review in order to evaluate the progress of their goals and volunteer projects. This review measures the utilization of social venture partner resources. The funding relationships between social venture partners and Investees generally last for around 3 to 5 years. The years are limited so as to enhance the scope of working with more and new Investees.