Maureen O’Brien is a Founding Partner of SVP Miami. Social Venture Partners (SVP) is a global network of 3,500+ venture philanthropists in 40 cities, who have collectively contributed more than $56 million to 770+ social ventures since 1997. SVP Partners leverage their funds, expertise and connections to strengthen social ventures and solve the biggest challenges facing their local communities.
I moved to Miami about a year and a half ago from Phoenix, AZ to join the leadership team at the New World Symphony as senior vice president for development. Since I arrived, I have felt very welcomed in my new home and have come to love it especially because of its global nature (and the fact that I can dance tango almost every night!). The natural beauty doesn’t hurt either. I also appreciate that it’s a relatively young city as compared to the New Yorks or Bostons of the world. While this can be challenging in some ways, it also means that there is an opportunity to get involved in ways that aren’t available in older, more established cities. No matter where I live, it’s very important to me to get to know and invest in my own backyard. I am inspired by all of the incredible work already happening in Miami and excited to play a bigger part through my personal involvement with Social Venture Partners Miami.
Just as in any community, there are a number of challenges that we face. Philanthropy can play an incredibly important role in helping to solve those challenges. But, the philanthropic sector tends to be attached to old models of funding, evaluation, and measuring impact. I believe that in order to foster real change in our community, we would do well to continually create and test new and innovative methods of philanthropic investment.
I am proud to be a founding partner of Social Venture Partners Miami. We are employing venture philanthropy – a venture capitalist-based model, but with social returns as the goal. We will also place an emphasis on organizational infrastructure and sustainability with the understanding that only strong social ventures can deliver quality offerings to their constituents and ultimately increase their impact. One thing I really like about our model is that we will be providing not only general operating funds, but also skilled volunteers, professional consultants and training opportunities. I’m also excited about the network of partners we are building. We are looking for professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and community leaders who want an innovative, impactful, and leveraged way to give back. We will be investing in nonprofit or for-profit social ventures that have a proven model or are looking to grow, innovate, or otherwise increase their social impact. Join us!