Learning with Others at SV2—Kelly Pope

A staff member from one of the nonprofits I was involved with told me about Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), which my husband David and I joined in 2011. SV2 is a community of more than 200 individuals and families who come together to learn about effective giving and to pool resources to support innovative social ventures. Early in my career, I wasn’t connected to many networks so I didn’t understand their value.

SV2 taught me just how important being part of a network is in philanthropy. The network helps individuals amplify their impact for social causes and helps accelerate their learning.

I believe that the SV2 year-long learning experience up-leveled my abilities as a philanthropist. I learned to see things from a systems point of view. That’s important when you are working to maximize impact.

There is something to be said for learning as a group. Maybe I would have come to it eventually on my own, but it would have been a much harder, longer route. The network at SV2 accelerated my journey. The reason for this is that at SV2, people come first, there is power in the Partnership. The staff and the Partners (members) are forward-thinking and have open minds. So, it’s partly the process and the culture, but it’s also the people.

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