What is Community Ventures’ mission?
- Create communities of lifelong, informed and inspired philanthropists.
- Make strategic investments of time, money, and knowledge.
- Build long-term capacity for non-profit organizations so they can better fulfill their missions.
What is Community Ventures’ area of focus?
We are currently focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, job readiness, and job placement. We identify most closely with the importance of offering everyone an opportunity to earn a living wage and what that can mean for someone wanting to break out of poverty.
Is Community Ventures focused on early education?
No. Instead, we look at higher-learning and vocational education because it ties most closely to job readiness and job placement. In doing so, we anticipate we can identify greater synergies among the non-profits we select.
What about other causes?
Though there are plenty of causes that are worth supporting, we have strategically chosen to focus on one area so we can best focus our time and attention.
What is Community Ventures’ model? How does the model work exactly?
- We are similar to a venture capital fund but differ in that we take no equity ownership and seek only social impact as our return on investment.
- We provide funding to non-profit organizations at a critical stage of growth – typically 5-10 years in maturity. We also provide our professional skills to assist them in developing and executing on their strategic growth initiatives.
- We select one non-profit organization each year and partner with them for a 3-year period providing $30k over that timeframe.
What do you mean by strategic growth initiatives? And why focus there?
Strategic growth initiatives are projects that focus on building the long-term capacity of an organization. We focus on strategic growth initiatives because they enable our portfolio companies to scale sustainably to better fulfill their missions. It’s where our investment can have the greatest impact.
Why should I join Community Ventures?
- Meaningful volunteer opportunities: Community Ventures provides a bridge to opportunities where your professional skills and experience can be used meaningfully to greatly benefit non-profit organizations.
- Maximum social impact: We ensure your charitable dollars will generate the most impact because of our focus on strategic growth initiatives and because of our engagement with the non-profits we support.
Being a part of Community Ventures means thoughtfully applying our collective resources and experiences to maximize social impact.
Where does Community Ventures get its funds?
Community Ventures gets its funds from its membership. We challenge each member to give an annual amount that they deem as personally significant beginning at $1k. Our current average is $5k.
What type of people are you looking for to join Community Ventures?
We want working professionals who desire to do more than simply write a check. People who are engaged and desire to become more effective philanthropists will fit in nicely. We want like-minded individuals who view philanthropy as a life-long commitment.
What if I do not have a corporate background?
We value and want a variety of perspectives from different industries. There are multiple opportunities to get involved that do not require corporate backgrounds. At heart we desire to learn together to grow in our individual philanthropy.
I like what you are doing but don’t currently have time to give. Is there a place for me?
Absolutely. If you don’t have time to give in your current phase of life, you can be confident that your charitable dollars with us will go towards generating maximum impact. When you are ready, we have a range of commitment levels for you to get involved.
What opportunities are there for me to get involved? What are the different levels of commitment?
- Annual Meeting: 2 hrs once a year in November.
- All Partners: 2 hrs monthly for general meetings.
- Investment Committee: 1-2 hrs once a month from May to July, 5-8 hrs August to October.
- Lead Partner: 4 to 6 hrs a month
- Board of Directors: 4 to 6 hrs a month
- We encourage our members to also consider the many volunteer opportunities with our portfolio companies.