SVP Denver had a successful summer full of events, workshops, and training cohorts! In total, we served 30 local nonprofits and social mission organizations and engaged 40+ mission-driven individuals and businesses in our work. The beauty of SVP Denver is that we support and collaborate with wonderful organizations and individuals in our community who are working to solve social problems in our communities in unique ways. We are grateful to walk alongside these people and teams as they do this work and want to share the highlights with you!
This summer was the first time we offered our Build Your Social Impact Business Plan training cohort. Facilitated by local leader and social entrepreneur, Charlyn Moss, this program walked six social mission organizations through the process of developing a strategy for a program or venture that generated revenue and impact for their organization. At the end of the program each organization pitched their business plan to a panel of guest judges and received expert feedback on their work.
Emily Dorn, the Executive Director of The Denver Family Institute, presents her pitch to our panel of guest judges that included Kate Bailey, Founder & CEO of TARRA, Diane Myles, Founder & CEO of Dope Mom Life, Dr. Ryan Ross, CEO of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado, and Tonoa Manuel, Founder & CEO of SIYG Consulting.
Emily Dorn participated in this program on behalf of The Denver Family Institute (DFI), a nonprofit organization that offers affordable therapy services to families of all backgrounds. Emily and The Denver Family Institute participate in our Theory of Change training cohort and our Earned Revenue workshop in 2022. We frequently have returning organizations in our training cohorts and love when we are able to continue our work and collaboration.
During her pitch, Emily shared that 60% of LGBTQ+ youth seeking mental health care were not able to receive it over the past year, pointing to a serious gap in mental health care services. During the Build Your Social Impact Business Plan program, Emily and her team examined this gap in services and built out a 2-year plan to expand their therapy training programs in a way that is responsive to the needs of youth and centers on their experience.
“We gained a replicable framework that we can and will use as we develop new ventures and seek support and investment in these programs. We also gained clarity on the uniqueness and true value-add of the services we are providing.”
-Emily Dorn, Executive Director at The Denver Family Institute
With the help of our expert facilitators, SVP Denver designs programs that provide organizations with the tools and resources they need to continue developing and growing their organization long after they complete their work in our program. After participating in our programs, organizational teams will have created something that is useful to their present work while having the ability to build and replicate it in the future.
In our Theory of Change training cohort, facilitated by data and impact expert Paul Collier, six organizations spend nine weeks developing the story of who they serve, what they do and the impact they intend to have. Paul encourages organizations to deeply analyze all of their organization’s programs and activities in order to determine what the short and long term outcomes of their work are and whether they align with their overall mission and vision.
At the end of this program organizations end up with both a written narrative and visual graphic version of their Theory of Change that they are encouraged to immediately start using in their work. When asked what they gained from participating in this program, Teach by Tech said it was their final product.
“Developing a cohesive and comprehensive [Theory of Change] narrative was so necessary and beneficial for the continued growth and success of our organization. It will help us to acquire potential funders and partners. The graphic will be used most extensively as a visual review of our mission, programs and outcomes and impact.”
-Linnie Pawlek, Executive Director at Teach by Tech
Teach by Tech is a local nonprofit that empowers refugees and immigrants through education and workforce training. They recognize the need for innovative approaches to meet the needs of these underserved populations, and they do so through ESL Digital Literacy, Financial Literacy, and Cashier and Money Handling courses. When growing and expanding their programs in the future, Teach by Tech will now have their Theory of Change to use as a tool to guide their decision making process and to determine how to best serve their community.
Linnie Pawlek, Executive Director of Teach by Tech, presents their newly created Theory of Change to the rest of the cohort at SVP Denver’s office.
The structure of our training cohorts does an excellent job of cultivating time and space for nonprofit leaders to interact with one another in a space of shared experiences. This is a common goal of SVP Denver’s programs and events, and we also provided this opportunity during a 1-day workshop that we hosted in collaboration with life, leadership and career coach, Brittany Dawson. Leadership Lean In – Build Your Personal Development Plan, was a brand new workshop intended to help nonprofit Executive Directors / CEOs reflect on their leadership journeys and begin to create their own personal development plans.
We gathered 8 nonprofit Executive Directors and CEOs for a morning of discussion and brainstorming. What did we end up with? A group of individuals who discovered that they are not alone in their challenges and that there are ways for them to receive support and expand their community. SVP Denver used this workshop as an opportunity to listen to the needs and challenges of nonprofit leaders and we plan to use our findings and observations to develop future programming to support individuals in nonprofit leadership roles!
Participants in the Leadership Lean In – Build Your Personal Development Plan workshop participated in multiple brainstorming / reflection activies.
The programs we provide and the events we host are unique in that we lean on the support and expertise of our Partners and other local professionals. During a training cohort, each participating nonprofit organization gets paired with a coach who provides them with feedback and guidance as they work through the program.
Facilitating relationship development between nonprofit participants and coaches is an important aspect of our training cohorts. We emphasize a bidirectional learning and teaching environment, where nonprofits receive expert support and guidance from their coaches and in return coaches learn more about a specific social issue and about nonprofit organizations in general.
SVP Denver Partner, Savannah Hilderbrand participated in our Theory of Change training cohort as a coach to Up In The Chair, a nonprofit organization that offers programs to increase inclusivity and collaboration in our communities. Savannah and the team at Up In The Chair were able to develop a strong relationship during this cohort and ended up finding a way to continue their work together even after the program ended. We love when our training cohorts offer these types of longer-term engagement opportunities for our Partners and participants!
I learned right alongside my nonprofit, and I’ve gained personal and professional connections to the entire team. At the final session they asked me to be on their Advisory Board so I can continue supporting them.
Our team is looking forward to starting up another round of training cohorts this fall and to seeing what kind of impact we will create with the help of our Partner network and the amazing social mission organizations we serve. If you’re interested in how you can get involved, sign up for our newsletter or reach out to us directly!
Let’s continue to build a better Denver together.