Social Venture Partners announces dozen nonprofits chosen for Project XLR8

Social Venture Partners has chosen a dozen nonprofits to participate in the inaugural year of Project XLR8, the funder’s enhanced community impact and investment program.

Social Venture Partners says it is the only local funder that goes beyond giving money alone, pairing grant making with hands-on, in-depth coaching, training and guidance for nonprofits that want to help people reach their full potential. Their purpose is to enable investees to make the region a stronger and more vibrant community.

Chris Shroat, SVP board chair

In total, 31 nonprofits applied. Each organization’s idea was rated on innovation, equity and whether it was a fit for SVP in order to narrow the field to 12.

“With Project XLR8, we want to encourage fresh ideas to tackle our community’s challenges,” said Chris Shroat, SVP board chair. “The submissions we received did not disappoint.”

The following nonprofits and their ideas were selected to receive $1,000 and take part in the first phase of the program:

  • Aviatra Accelerators, for the Female Founder Financial Resource Center, a business accelerator for female entrepreneurs.
  • Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, for Public Play, a new neighborhood engagement initiative to produce a community-created, place-based, immersive theater production.
  • Forever Kings, for Boyz II Kings, a program to empower and create a culture of brotherhood among young men of color.
  • Hearing Speech + Deaf Center, for a Communications Access Bank to provide American Sign Language interpreting where Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations are not mandated.
  • Isaiah 55, for a mobile soup kitchen to improve access to nutritious foods for people with low incomes and provide job training in food preparation. 
  • Last Mile Food Rescue, for the diversion of fresh, perishable food from the landfill to organizations that feed community members.
  • Music Resource Center, for a low-cost afternoon music enrichment program for teens.
  • Refugee Connect, for a Health Navigator Program to provide health care coordination for newly arrived refugee parents and their school-aged children.
  • Rise Up News, for multimedia content, including connections to resources, so people incarcerated in local jails can reenter society effectively.
  • St. Francis Seraph Ministries, for the #Stitched# Training Program to teach basic sewing and job preparation skills to under-resourced women at the Sarah Center.
  • School Board School, for a seven-month program to teach diverse leaders to engage with and participate on school boards.
  • Transform Cincy, for a program to provide free, curated clothing and accessories for transgender and gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ youth ages 5 to 25.

“Our partners are eager to start collaborating with these organizations to help develop their ideas,” Shroat said.

During the first phase of Project XLR8, SVP partners, using their decades of expertise in finance, marketing, fundraising and strategic planning, will work closely with the chosen nonprofits to brainstorm and refine their socially innovative ideas. After 12 weeks, four to six nonprofits will advance to the next phase, a deep dive into developing a business plan for the ideas. This 12 to 16-week phase will close with SVP partners selecting one idea as the focus of a sustained, multiyear community investment.

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