SVP Los Angeles Systems Change Accelerator

Social Venture Partners Los Angeles

Grant amount: Approximately US $10,000

Anticipated deadline: Aug 14, 2019 5:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Los Angeles County, California

Location of residency: Preferred: Los Angeles County, California Other eligible locations: United States, Los Angeles County, California

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SVP Los Angeles is seeking L.A.’s most innovative emerging nonprofits tackling the root cause of pressing social problems.


Social Venture Partners Los Angeles (SVPLA) is excited to open the application process for the 2018–2019 Systems Change Accelerator, a nine-month intensive program designed to accelerate the growth and impact of a cohort of systems change initiatives in Los Angeles County. The Accelerator blends workshops, coaching, peer learning, and 1:1 mentoring to support nonprofit leaders in strengthening their infrastructure, increasing relationships and resources, honing and amplify their voice, and integrating core values of equity and innovation. We’ve found that supporting these foundational elements uniquely accelerate an organization’s ability to create systemic community impact.

We define systems change as work that tackles the root causes of pressing social problems. Systems change efforts

  • acknowledge the complex, interrelated political/social/economic factors contributing to a social problem, as well as the applicant organization’s role in this ecosystem, and
  • seek to address the underlying policies, processes, relationships, behaviors, and power structures that are contributing to the problem.

We see an opportunity to create exponential positive change in Los Angeles through this focus on root causes, by channeling the unique skills, networks, and expertise of the cohort and our SVP Partners (our donor volunteers with deep experience in private sector, government, and nonprofit leadership) in support of these endeavors. 

The program will run from October 2018 to June 2019, and will include participation in SVP’s signature Fast Pitch Program. All participating organizations will receive an unrestricted seed grant of $10,000 and will be eligible for additional cash prizes through the Fast Pitch portion of the program. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Organizations must meet the below criteria in order to apply for the Accelerator:
    • Nonprofit organization – Applicants must have a designation from the IRS as a 501(c)3 organization or proof of fiscal sponsorship.
    • Location – We have a strong preference for LA County-based organizations.
      • If you are a part of a national organization or are headquartered elsewhere, you are still invited to apply.
      • Be sure to tell us how your program significantly impacts LA County.
    • Systems Change Focus – Applicant’s organization or initiative must have a systems change focus, seeking to address the root cause of an identified social issue.
      • We are looking for organizations that are working to alter the status quo by transforming systems, and rethinking the boundaries of what is possible.
      • Systems can include policies, routines, relationships, resources, power structures, and values.
    • Early Stage Endeavors – The program must be in the early stages of growth and development, but must have some proof of concept.
      • Larger, established organizations may apply to the program only if their participation in the Accelerator would focus on a new, innovative program being developed or implemented by their organization.
    • Organization Representative – The individual participating in the Accelerator on behalf of their organization must hold the title of Executive Director, CEO, Founder, Chief Program Officer, or equivalent senior-level position with significant organizational decision-making responsibility, and should have at least six months of tenure with the organization.
      • Participants should work or live in LA County in order to utilize the coaching resources available. We will also invite additional organizational leaders to participate in some of the workshops.
    • Organization Size, Years in Operation – There are no restrictions on organizational budget, staffing, or age.
    • Program Cost – There is no fee to participate in the program.
      • Participants will spend between 6 – 20 hrs per month over the course of the nine-month program
    • SVPLA Fast Pitch Alumni – Fast Pitch semifinalists (those who did not present on stage) are eligible to apply.
  • Selected participants will:
    • Be deeply committed to the Accelerator during the program timeline (October 2018 - June 2019).
    • Embrace a culture of learning in a feedback-rich environment, ready to receive as well as provide feedback to/from peers, coaches and mentors. 
    • Participate in all of the below workshop sessions. We strongly encourage you to hold the below dates in your calendar when applying. If you know you will not be able to attend two or more of the dates, please consider reapplying to the next program, or contact Sharon Stratton. Workshop venues & times TBD. 


  • A team of SVP Partners will prioritize applicants that demonstrate strength in each of the following:
    • Social Problem – The program/initiative addresses the root of a pressing social problem in L.A. and demonstrates a deep understanding of the problem.
    • Innovation – The approach to solving the social problem has unique potential for impact. The innovation seeks to address systemic issues that lead to more significant long-term results than more conventional models or practices.
    • Openness to Learning & Sharing – the leader applying for the program demonstrates a thoughtful approach to the work, a proximity to the challenge they’re addressing, and a willingness to learn, share, and grow their leadership and organizational impact.


  • SVPLA Fast Pitch Alumni- Fast Pitch finalists (those who presented on stage) are not eligible for this program.

About this funder:

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