Four nonprofits advance in Social Venture Partners’ capacity-building program for socially innovative ideas

Four local nonprofits have been selected to move forward in the second phase of Project XLR8, a new community impact program launched by the Cincinnati chapter of Social Venture Partners.

Project XLR8 — which combines and improves on the elements of SVP’s long-standing investee program and its annual Fast Pitch program that helped nonprofits tell their story in less than three minutes — aims to build capacity and advance socially innovative ideas being pursued by local nonprofits.

The four chosen to advance from 10 participants in last year’s first phase are:

  • 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 re-enter 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.
  • Transform Cincy, for a program to provide free, curated clothing and accessories for transgender and gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ youth ages 5 to 25.
Kristin Burgoyne, Refugee Connect
Tracy Brumfield, Rise Up News
Mona Bronson-Fuqua, St. Francis Seraph Ministries
Tristan Vaught, Transform Cincy

Each group receives $2,500 in addition to the $1,000 they and the other six nonprofits received in the first phase of the program.

During the second phase of Project XLR8, called the “Lift” phase, SVP partners will use their decades of expertise in finance, marketing, fundraising and strategic planning to take a deep dive with the nonprofits to develop a business plan for their ideas. This 12- to 16-week phase will close with SVP partners selecting one idea as the focus of a sustained, multiyear community investment.

“Our partners are eager to continue collaborating with these organizations to help develop their ideas,” said Chris Shroat, SVP board chair. “We are confident these ideas can have a positive impact on the Greater Cincinnati community.”

The Cincinnati chapter of Social Venture Partners, started in 2007, is one of 40 affiliates in nine countries with nearly 3,500 partners. Partners pay $3,000 annually to be what the chapter calls “engaged philanthropists,” meaning they pair their giving with hands-on, in-depth coaching, training and guidance to help nonprofits and their leaders reach their full potential. The partners’ contributions, combined with corporate sponsorships, help the chapter fund Project XLR8. Find out more at or email

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