Social Venture Partners selects Appointed Civic Leadership Academy as Project XLR8 investee

A program of the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Appointed Civic Leadership Academy, a program of the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, has been selected by Social Venture Partners Cincinnati as its next Project XLR8 investee.

ACLA was one of 12 nonprofits that participated in SVP’s Project XLR8 program, which focuses on driving social innovation and equity in Greater Cincinnati.

“ACLA has all of the attributes we look for in an investee partner,” said SVP board chair Christopher Chen, retail & consumer lead, Cloud Strategic Industries, Google. “They have an innovative idea centered around equity that has a strong potential to change our community for the better.”

Chris Chen, board chair of Social Venture Partners Cincinnati
Christopher Chen, board chair of Social Venture Partners Cincinnati

Located in Cincinnati, the Women’s Fund was founded in 1995 by Les McNeill to improve the status of women across the region. Today, the organization is designing a community where all women can participate, prosper and reach their full potential. ACLA is a nonpartisan initiative of the Women’s Fund that prepares and empowers women to serve on civic boards and commissions.

As SVP’s Project XLR8 investee, ACLA will receive up to $20,000 in funding annually for the next three years. Dedicated volunteer teams from SVP will help ACLA expand their recruitment efforts and build strategic alliances across the region to bring the program to women in diverse communities.

“It’s truly been an honor working with SVP and we are thrilled and grateful to be chosen as the Project XLR8 investee,” said Rajani Menon, civic inclusion manager, Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “We’re excited to collaborate with SVP coaches and partners to expand the reach of the Appointed Civic Leadership Academy and maximize the impact of the program.”

“We are honored to receive the SVP Project XLR8 grant and partner coaching for the Appointed Civic Leadership program,” added Women’s Fund leadership council chair Tammy R. Bennett, vice president for inclusive excellence in philanthropy, University of Cincinnati Foundation. “The grant will strengthen and broaden the educational and support services we provide. Together, we are amplifying their voices, making a positive impact, and creating lasting change for women in our region.”

Chen said SVP’s Project XLR8 program, finishing its third year, continues to build and attract high-quality, innovative nonprofits.

During Project XLR8, SVP partners provide resources and skills to support nonprofit participants chosen for the program. This year, six finalists presented their ideas and plans at SVP’s Idea Expo on April 24. They also shared how their organizations and programs connect to SVP’s goals to drive social innovation and equity in the Greater Cincinnati area.

This year’s other finalists and their proposed projects:

  • Bluebird Bus of Hope, to launch a free café bus to connect people in rural areas with the resources they need.
  • Corporation for Findlay Market, to grow the Findlay Market Shopping app, which delivers healthy food to families with low incomes and provides technology to small businesses.
  • Opportunities Peoples Justice Leaders, to address Post Incarceration Syndrome by teaching life skills to formerly incarcerated people and their families.
  • School Board School, to bring diverse leadership to school boards and education advocacy through a seven-month learning program.
  • SuperSeeds, to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by bridging the relationship between youth and law enforcement to help youth understand law enforcement’s role in the community.

“All six of our finalists this year were exceptional,” Chen said. “Our partners are enriched by their experiences with these organizations, and we hope to have brought value to each of them.”

About Social Venture Partners Cincinnati

Social Venture Partners is Greater Cincinnati’s home for engaged philanthropists. Started in 2007, SVP is the only local funder that goes beyond giving money alone, pairing grant making with hands-on, in-depth coaching, training and guidance from partners to nonprofits that want to help people reach their full potential. Our purpose is simple: to enable our investees to make our region a stronger and more vibrant community.

The next application process for Project XLR8 begins in summer 2024.

Social Venture Partners


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