Strategic philanthropy, with real impact

One million people live in disadvantage in Australia today. Each year billions of dollars are poured into social services and reform programs and yet so many people continue to live in entrenched poverty.

At Social Ventures Australia (SVA), we are focused on supporting and enabling innovative approaches that address strategic drivers for change in the areas of education, employment, housing, health and Indigenous disadvantage.

For more information about our venture philanthropy fund, please read the SVA Venture Philanthropy Impact Report 2016 (PDF, 4MB).

What is venture philanthropy?

Venture philanthropy is a strategic way to give more effectively. The focus is on identifying and supporting innovative ventures with strong potential to deliver significant social impact and systemic change. Venture philanthropy enables a community of engaged funders to make their philanthropic dollars go further. As a result, funders realise greater impact from their philanthropy and social purpose organisations are more effective at providing services to more people in need.

SVA supports ventures through an engaged partnership that includes:

SVA support

SVA’s pioneering approach

Fifteen years of venture philanthropy has provided Social Ventures Australia with a depth and breadth of experience that realises real rewards for the ventures in our portfolio.

SVA’s venture philanthropy model leverages the power of the corporate, social and government sectors working together to achieve better outcomes for people in disadvantaged communities.

SVA supports organisations with the potential for significant impact, and incubate solutions with great promise; both to significantly impact the lives of people in need and to influence the way the system works. We then support these innovative ventures and great ideas with a tailored package of support and share what we’ve learned to influence funding and organisations across the sector to be more effective.

Our collaborative approach and ability to draw lessons from across our portfolio make us uniquely placed to influence this kind of change.

‘6 years – average length of time a venture is in the SVA portfolio achieving:

SVA's 2015 impact

The ventures are diversified across different stages of growth. Some are small yet sufficiently established to show signs of significant promise. Others are being supported to grow their impact and over time may join a third group that are now operating at scale to provide effective services to many people in need.

When they reach a point of positive, independent momentum, they leave the portfolio and join our valued alumni network as high impact organisations with sustainability. The learnings from the experience are embedded in SVA’s strategic approach to addressing disadvantage.

SVA Venture Philanthropy model

To learn more about how SVA could support your philanthropic journey, please contact Alison Barry, or your local SVA representative.

How to get involved

Why give through SVA?

SVA’s Venture Philanthropy portfolio provides philanthropists with an efficient way of identifying and supporting organisations that are effectively addressing the most challenging social issues facing Australia today. Our funders know that SVA’s strategic guidance increases a venture’s chance of success and delivers a greater social return on their philanthropic donation. They know they boost their effectiveness by linking, learning and acting with others to help improve the lives of people in need in Australia.

SVA provides funders with regular progress reports and hosts events with opportunities to meet other donors and venture partners.

Funding SVA

Our managed portfolio of high performing venture partners is primed for success, with your support. Donations to the SVA Venture Philanthropy Fund are fully tax deductible.

Pro bono support

Business support alongside cash investment is one of the most critical differences between venture philanthropy and other types of giving. It develops the capacity of the venture to have a sustainable and long term impact. SVA has an extensive network of pro bono partners who provide invaluable support through their skills and time to our portfolio of ventures. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how you could become part of this network.

Making contact


David Williams

Executive Director

02 8004 6745


Este Darin-Cooper

Director, Venture Philanthropy

02 8004 6726


Alison Barry

Associate Director, Partnerships

02 8004 6749


Nicolas Deloux

Associate Director, Partnerships

02 8004 6744



Dina Jak

Associate Director, Queensland Venture Philanthropy

07 3020 7457



Lindsey Ritchie 

Associate, Partnerships

  • 03 8688 0061


Jane Watson

Associate Director, National Venture Philanthropy

03 8688 0019



Shiri Leventhal

Associate Director, Western Australia Venture Philanthropy