The SVP model was created in 1997 in Seattle, Washington, under the inspiration of Paul Brainerd, Aldus Corporation founder and president. The vision of the founders was to build a philanthropic community using a model that paralleled venture capital practices. This model became known as venture philanthropy as popularized in the 1997 article Virtuous Capital. Key tenets of this approach include long-term financial investments leveraged with “investments” of time, expertise and resources to develop the capacity and sustainability of local nonprofits (Investees).
SVP organizations began developing throughout North America. By 2001, a loose network had formed, and SVP International (SVPI) was created to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information, and support network growth. Today, this sharing occurs among SVPs throughout the year, as well as at an annual conference that brings together current and potential partners from affiliates across the globe.
There are over 2,300 Partners connected through 27 Social Venture Partners affiliates across the United States, Canada, and Japan, with new affiliates forming each year. Over $46 million has been invested in more than 500 enterprising nonprofits, with tens of thousands of hours volunteered.