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. We’re looking for solutions to problems like:

SVA is asking

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. SVA supports ventures through an engaged partnership that includes:

SVA support

SVA’s pioneering approach

SVA has pioneered this innovative model of giving since 2002, bringing funders, social entrepreneurs and the business and government sectors along with us.

SVA identifies approaches with enormous potential; 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.

Our aim is to test and support innovative ideas, programs and technologies that can be integrated into the social service system to create impact at scale.

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

‘In 2015, over an average partnership period of six years, the ventures in our portfolio had achieved:

SVA's 2015 impact

In the early years of a partnership, we ramp up our support to a venture as they prove their model and start to scale. But critically, as the ventures in the portfolio become increasingly resilient, we start to step back.

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

SVA Venture Philanthropy model

For more information about our venture philanthropy fund, please read the SVA Venture Philanthropy Fund Impact Report 2015 (PDF, 3 MB).

To learn more about how SVA could support your philanthropic journey, please contact Ferdi Hepworth, 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


Alison Barry

Associate Director, Partnerships


T 02 8004 6749

Nicolas Deloux

Associate Director, Partnerships


T 02 8004 6744



Mark Herbertt

Director, Queensland


T 07 3009 6872



Ferdi Hepworth

Director, Partnerships


T 03 8688 0017



Jenna Palumbo

Director, Western Australia


M 0466 262 923