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August 14, 2012

Sharing our learning to maximise impact

Executive Director’s note from Issue 1, August 2012 on Strategic and impactful philanthropy.

Duncan Peppercorn

In the five years since we created SVA Consulting, with the support of the Macquarie Group Foundation, we have served over 160 different client organisations, and completed over 350 projects. We have had the privilege of working alongside some of the smartest, most creative and capable managers, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists working in the social sector in Australia. In this work, we have tried to craft new approaches, test novel ideas and push our thinking to maximise the impact our clients achieve. While we are abreast of the best thinking worldwide, we believe that we in Australia can endeavour to stay “ahead of the curve” and find innovative ways to address entrenched challenges and intractable problems.

To acknowledge our fifth anniversary, we wanted to document and share what we have learned with the sector, especially with the smaller, entrepreneurial organisations that are creating the sector’s future. The SVA Quarterly has been produced for this purpose.

In this first issue, we focus on business improvement: understanding how your programs work, monitoring their success and improving them. We address the critical questions: why do you think that your activities will lead to the results you seek? How can you demonstrate that? What role can social return on investment play?

We also offer our thoughts on how best to manage the board – a topic broached, sooner or later, by most of our clients (be they CEOs or chairs). And, to inspire action, we offer examples of what some of our philanthropic clients are doing and have achieved by shifting from ad hoc giving to strategic funding.

We hope that it will stimulate your thinking and help you maximise your impact. We will endeavour to inform and challenge you, just as you continue to inform and challenge us.
Duncan Peppercorn

Duncan Peppercorn
(Former) Executive Director SVA Consulting

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