Social Venture Partners is pleased to announce our Investment Selection for 2013 is Tucson Youth Development. Each of the four finalists are doing exceptional work for our community, and we are honored to have had the experience of getting to know their staff, meet some of their clients, and see their missions in action.
We know the SVP Investment process asks for a significant contribution of time and talent from applicants, as well as from our Investment Committee members. This year, 16 nonprofits submitted Letters of Inquiry and 4 proceeded with final proposals for selection. The finalists (Ben’s Bells, Old Pueblo Community Services, Tucson Oasis, and Tucson Youth Development) then conducted presentations and site visits to acquaint our Partners with the ins-and-outs of their work, mission, and vision. The Investment committee members were along for the ride, hanging tight while we rode the waves of new improvements to the process, new challenges, and a new host of outstanding nonprofits from which to choose.
This is our first Investee selected under the “life skills” funding focus. At last year’s Annual Meeting, the Focus Task Force announced the expanding of our funding focus to the broader area of life skills, including literacy. We are committed to investing in building the capacity of innovative nonprofits which work to increase the life skills necessary to weave the economic, cultural and social fabric of our community now and in the future. SVP believes the development of core life skills, including literacy, enables individuals of all ages, through education and learning, to participate fully in the workplace, the marketplace and in day-to-day community life.
The mission of Tucson Youth Development (TYD) is to provide quality employment, training and educational services to economically disadvantaged youth who are in need of help to stay in school, graduate and prepare for post-secondary education and the world of work. Opportunities offered by TYD include tutoring and instruction, skills preparation, structured training, resume building and interviewing skills training, soft skills development that encourage employability (punctuality, attendance, performance), and vocational training. TYD annually supports approximately 1,200 youth through their varied programs.
Debra Stevenson, TYD Board President stated “We (the Board) understand that a partnership with SVP is a substantial commitment of staff and board time and effort that we are dedicated to fulfilling. We feel this is a unique and vital opportunity in supporting our efforts to take our organization to a higher and more secure level. Your knowledge and support is an incredible resource. We truly value your expertise and collaboration.”
Capacity building projects for Tucson Youth Development will be mutually agreed upon by SVP Co-Lead Partners, Rebecca Bednar and Will Butler and the SVP Work Team, and the Board and Staff of Tucson Youth Development. Likely projects include the development of a strategic plan, exploration of new sources of funding (both earned and contributed), increased visibility for the organization, and leadership development.
“The selection process this year dug deeper than ever before”, stated William Wissler, Investment Chair “we had a very difficult choice, but believe we will have great impact on a population of young people and our community investing in and working alongside Tucson Youth Development”.
Partners can look forward to hearing from TYD and meeting members of their Board and staff at the Annual Partner Meeting on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Lodge on the Desert (click here to RSVP).
The Board of Social Venture Partners wholeheartedly thanks the members of the Investment Committee for their hard work, due diligence and dedication to a thorough process.
2013 Investment Committee Members: William Wissler- Chair, Patricia Andrade, Rhonda Fleming, Bob McKay, Rebecca Bednar, Susan Tarrence, Will Butler, Mark Rubin, and Adaline Klemmedson.
Any Partners interested in joining the Work Team for TYD should contact Julia Waterfall-Kanter (Julia@svpgt.org), or Lead Partners Rebecca Bednar (email@example.com) or Will Butler (firstname.lastname@example.org) .