On November 12, 2015 the partners of Social Venture Partners Tampa Bay gathered at the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center in Ybor City to meet the leaders of three not-for-profit organizations that had been carefully vetted by the 7 partners who served on the Investment Opportunities Committee. All of the organizations presented important mission work and interesting opportunities for the partners to assist them in expanding their established and effective programming. The organizations were: Alpha House of Tampa, Positive Spin and Ready for Life. For 2015, SVP Tampa Bay was particularly interested in organizations addressing homelessness and foster care, with emphasis on innovative solutions to these complex social issues.
The partners agreed that Ready for Life is in the perfect place in its growth for involvement with SVP. They have established themselves as a well-run organization with needed and effective programming and appear poised to grow and expand. Ready for Life engages foster care youth, private citizens and public resources to assist Pinellas County foster youth in a successful transition to adulthood. In addition to directly serving youth in and aging out of foster care, Ready for Life’s programming addresses homelessness, as approximately 25% of youth aging out of foster care currently experience homelessness during the first 12 months of being on their own. The importance of this work was clear to the partners, who were informed that less than half of all foster youth ever earn a high school diploma and approximately 42% of young women that age out are pregnant or already parenting a child. Ready for Life’s programming includes parenting support and support for earning a GED.
“Kathy Mize Plummer, the Executive Director of Ready for Life, and her board welcome our advice and assistance in moving to the next level in their evolution as an organization.” says Rebekah Heppner, Founder and Executive Director of SVP Tampa Bay.
Social Venture Partners Tampa Bay is the first Florida affiliate of the global Social Venture Partners network, a philanthropic model based on venture capitalism – with social returns as the goal. Social Venture Partners aspires to build powerful relationships among people who want to give back and the nonprofits that make change possible. We are individuals who are pooling our financial and human capital, learning together about nonprofits and the issues they address, and getting involved directly with a few carefully selected nonprofits, providing unrestricted funding and pro-bono consulting services on the business aspects of operating their social mission businesses.