SVP Cincinnati selects new cohort of nonprofits to ‘XLR8’

Social Venture Partners Cincinnati selected 11 organizations for the latest round of Project XLR8, a multi-phased business accelerator for regional nonprofits.

Each organization’s idea was rated on innovation, equity and whether it was a fit for SVP. Each organization taking part in Phase 1 receives $1,000 for its initiative. They have a chance to earn larger investments the further than go in the program.

Those selected to take part in Phase 1 of the program are:

  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati: Enhance the Big Futures college and career readiness initiative
  • Bluebird Bus of Hope: Free café bus to connect people in rural areas with the resources
  • Corporation for Findlay Market: Enhance its existing shopping app
  • Kennedy Heights Arts Center: Offer a residency to emerging artists who are Black, Indigenous or People of Color
  • The Mothership Institute: Employee doulas to reduce preterm birth and maternal or infant mortality among Black women
  • Opportunities Peoples Justice Leaders: Teaching life skills to formerly incarcerated people and their families
  • School Board School: Attract diverse leadership to school boards and education advocacy through a seven-month learning program
  • St. Zachary’s Haven: Teach long-term skills for recovery from addiction through living and working on a farm
  • Starfire Council: Support people and organizations in building an inclusive culture and work environment with resources to help create sustainable, life-making change
  • SuperSeeds: Improve relationship between youth and law enforcement to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline 
  • The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation: Advance the Appointed initiative to empower more women to serve on local boards and commissions

“Nonprofits in our region are addressing a variety of issues in creative ways,” said Chris Chen, SVP board co-chair. “These projects can make an impact in the arts, health and education, and from the city of Cincinnati to rural areas.”

Cornerstone Renter Equity's Executive Director, Alisa Berry, presents during the Project XLR8 program.
Cornerstone Renter Equity’s Executive Director, Alisa Berry, presents during the Project XLR8 program.

During the first phase of Project XLR8, SVP’s subject matter experts and partners will spend 12 weeks working with the nonprofits’ leadership teams to brainstorm and refine their socially innovative ideas. They’ll discuss strategic planning, finance, marketing and fundraising.

Each organization will provide a status update project at the end of the phase on Nov. 14. Afterward, the SVP team will narrow the list of participants down to four to six nonprofits. That group will take a deeper dive into the specific areas of business expertise needed to make their respective ideas a reality. The 12- to 16-week period will end with SVP and its partners selecting one idea as the focus of a sustained, multiyear community investment.

The Project XLR8 initiative began three years ago in response to the pandemic. The previous two iterations of the program featured 20 different nonprofits.

SVP selected Refugee Connect as the first Project XLR8 winner. Cornerstone Renter Equity won last year.

The application period for the next Project XLR8 class opens in summer 2024. SVP is still looking for corporate sponsors for the initiative. Various levels of sponsorship are available.

Social Venture Partners

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