Social Venture Partners Dallas announced today that it has made an initial investment of $30,000 in the Texas Association of Infant Mental Health along with what could become hundreds of hours of skills-based volunteer time to help the Coppell-based nonprofit boost its ability to train child care providers about the importance of the first three years of life. TAIMH improves the quality of care for infants, toddlers, and their families by delivering nationally-recognized professional training to the birth-to-three workforce.
“The investment in TAIMH is an investment in effective, preventative education that has the potential to change the live of tens of thousands of children,” says Frank Santoni, CEO of Social Venture Partners Dallas. “If we can help create an environment in which more infants start life socially and emotionally healthy, then we can avoid bigger, more costly challenges down the road.”
While the $30,000 grant is a welcome gift this time of year, Sadie Funk, TAIMH’s Executive Director believes it is the infusion of expertise and business acumen from SVP’s Partners – business leader and professionals who volunteer their time to coach her and her organization – that will alter the trajectory of the agency she leads and the lives of the young children it helps.
“We know the support and training we deliver can improve conditions for infants and toddlers in North Texas and we know the demand for our services is everywhere, but now we will have the business expertise and skills from SVP to help us develop the capacity to meet the need,” Funk says.
TAIMH’s research shows that social-emotional development of infants in their first three years of life is a critical milestone for all other development, including cognitive, pre-literacy, and pre-numeracy skills. A recent study asserted that for every $1 spent in improving the social-emotional health of an infant society saves $7. At-risk children who don’t receive a high-quality early childhood education are more likely to drop-out of school, become a teen parent or become incarcerated, research shows.
TAIMH’s potential to significantly scale its reach and the lack of comparable services anywhere else in the state caught SVP’s attention.
“We want to be strategic about where we invest our resources. With TAIMH, we found a bright young leader with a proven model that has the potential to train thousands more caregivers who, in turn, impact tens of thousands of children and their families,” Santoni explains. “That kind of return on investment and scale of impact is hard to come by.”
SVP Dallas selected the organization after a thorough process that began in August with 30 applicants. Its unique brand of strategic philanthropy is designed to improve the organizational capacity of promising nonprofits by helping them strengthen the management and operational aspects of the agency in areas like marketing, human resources, and strategic planning. SVP Dallas commits to multi-year engagement with the organizations it invests in, usually working with agencies for three or more years, supplying more cash and resources along the way. Its Partners pool and invest their own financial resources while volunteering their professional experience working in the private and public sectors. Since SVP Dallas began investing in nonprofits 13 years ago when it was founded by The Dallas Foundation, an agency that receives its support, on average, triples its operating budget, staff and the number of people it serves as a result of the hands-on philanthropy of the SVP Partners.