Skilled-volunteer givers name finalists

Cincinnati’s Social Venture Partners chapter has chosen a dozen nonprofits to participate in the second round of its new social-innovation accelerator program.

The 12 organizations were chosen to participate in Project XLR8, a community investment program launched in 2021 by the 60-member local entity that’s part of a specialized global philanthropy movement. SVP 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. The local group is celebrating its 15th year of operation this year, having created the new program to replace its longtime “Fast Pitch” storytelling contest and a single-investee selection process.

Each of the selected organization’s ideas were rated on innovation, equity and whether it was a fit for SVP, in order to narrow the field to 12.

“We were encouraged to receive another great slate of innovative proposals for the second year of Project XLR8,” said Chris Shroat, a senior Fifth Third Bank leader and SVP board chair. “These projects can help people in our region thrive.”

Chris Shroat

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

  • Alpaugh Family Economics Center, to expand the $martPath online platform to teach children about budgeting and credit.
  • Avondale Development Corp., to address disinvestment, wealth extraction and income disparities due to racial inequities.
  • The Dan Beard Council, Boy Scouts of America, to develop a workforce readiness program to position Scouts to be prepared for a highly competitive workplace.
  • Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub, to increase recycling, reuse and landfill diversion by creating a resource recovery park.
  • Cornerstone Renter Equity, to empower families with low incomes to build assets, invest in themselves and contribute to their communities.
  • EngAging Seniors, to offer in-person and virtual activities and educational programs for older adults.
  • Joys of Joli, to provide wraparound services for people transitioning to permanent housing.
  • LADD, Inc., to host a community center and be a centralized voice for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Last Mile Food Rescue, to divert fresh, perishable food from the landfill to organizations that feed community members.
  • May We Help, to build solutions for people with disabilities to enable them to overcome the challenges they face in daily life.
  • Our Tribe, to launch an Autism Doula Pilot Program that will offer education, home and community visits, doctor advocacy, resource mapping and action planning.
  • Scrap2Home, to collect scrap wood from construction sites to build furniture for people who can’t afford to buy their own.

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 be chosen by the SVP members to advance to the next phase, a deep dive into the specific areas of business expertise needed to make their ideas a reality.

This 12- to 16-week second phase will close with SVP Partners selecting one idea as the focus of a sustained, multi-year $60,000 community investment.

Social Venture Partners welcomes corporate sponsors for Project XLR8. Various levels of sponsorship are available. Visit or email for more information.

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