Published: November 30, 2023  |  

How Social Venture Partners helped us navigate unprecedented growth

“Over the past three years we’ve watched and supported Impact on Education as it grew and matured. The organization is clear about its mission, vision, and how it intends to achieve both. Impact on Education has strong leadership both on the Board of Directors and in their staff. And they all work together as a team.”

Kay Paine, one of our partners with the Social Venture Partners (SVP) Catapult program, shared these remarks at our graduation from the program earlier this month.

What is the SVP Catapult program?

The SVP (Social Venture Partners) Catapult program is a unique initiative designed to propel nonprofit organizations to new heights. By providing strategic guidance and financial support, SVP Catapult helps organizations like us expand their capabilities, reach, and impact. 

We joined the program in 2020 and since then SVP partners have provided Impact on Education with 554 hours of support and provided $41,000. Thank you to all of the partners we worked with, including Kay Paine, Karin Lindgren, Josh Silberstein, Cathleen Kendall, Mark Bouzek, Shawna Peterson, and Maegan Vallejo.

3 ways SVP supported our growth

Strategic Planning and DEI Work

When we talk about supporting the Boulder Valley School District, we’re deliberate in our focus on equity and supporting those furthest from resources. If that’s who we are in our day to day work, that is also how we have to plan. We knew our strategic plan had to be steeped in equity so we used our first grant from SVP to hire Jamie Morgan to provide extensive DEI training to our Board of Directors and staff team. 

“Equity is part of every single day and the decisions we make from top to bottom in our organization.” – Allison Billings, Executive Director of Impact on Education

Our strategic priorities were then created during a strategic planning session with SVP Partner Mark Bouzek. The year to year work will grow and change, but at the core our work is about empowering students and educators, engaging with our community, and evolving as an organization and a school district.

This work now guides every strategic planning and goal setting conversation in our organization. 

Program Evolution

Over the past three years we’ve seen remarkable growth in our programs, evolving small-scale initiatives into more extensive, impactful projects. We expanded our early childhood education program to reach more students, more cities, and to offer them full-day learning opportunities to prepare for school. And our focus on college and career readiness evolved to meet changing educational and professional landscapes. 

BVSD now has a Grad Plus framework that ensures every single student will graduate with more than a diploma. They’ll either have a seal of biliteracy, some college credit, an industry certification, or some work based learning experience – or a combination of those. We’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes to support this program and now we’re working to find and remove barriers to these opportunities for students, including textbook and test fees.

We’re also now in the third year of our Career Readiness Academy, helping high school students prepare for their futures. And this is where we’re leveraging expertise in the community to teach students how to interview, how to build a resume, and how to identify their interests and their passions.

When we started working with SVP, mental health wasn’t something we were focused on. But we quickly found ourselves navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing youth mental health crisis. Our community then suffered a mass shooting and the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history. Students are struggling and mental health is something we’ve embraced and made tremendous investments in. This year we invested nearly $1.5M in mental health to ensure students have access to help and resources. 

Fundraising and Marketing

In 2021, SVP partner Shawna Peterson conducted a fundraising audit for us that was incredibly helpful. It taught us what we were doing well and where we needed to grow and improve.

Through our growth and resilience alongside unforeseen crises, we’ve retained existing supporters and gained new ones. Our communications are transparent and effective, and by sticking with us our supporters have shown us that they trust us and know how to make the most impactful investments. BVSD leaders and our schools know that Impact on Education is a partner they can rely on today and in the future. That’s the secret of our success.

A valuable experience 

Impact on Education experienced unprecedented growth and change over the last few years—our annual investment in BVSD students has nearly tripled —and we’re grateful to have had the guidance of Social Venture Partners along the way. From unforeseen challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Marshall Fire, to planned expansions of our early childhood education and college and career readiness programs, SVP’s support helped us stay focused on what we do best: ensuring students have the resources they need, when they need them.

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators of the Boulder Valley School District.

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info@impactoneducation.org
303.524.3865

Impact on Education
721 Front Street, Suite A
Louisville, CO 80027

Tax ID #84-0943046