Posted on August 13, 2015
Internship | Chicago, IL, US
We are hiring!
Spark Ventures: Business-Driven Philanthropy
Spark Ventures invests in sustainable solutions to lift children out of poverty.
More than 1/3 of the world's population lives in poverty and the most harshly affected are our children, who lack access to education, healthcare and proper nutrition.
In 2006, after a volunteer trip to Africa, three men from Chicago set out to answer the question:
What do grassroots organizations serving children in poverty need the most? The answer they found: financial sustainability.
So, in 2007, Spark Ventures was formed to strengthen and sustain organizations across the globe that help educate and empower children living in poverty. To break the cycle of poverty Spark provides:
- Human & financial capital to expand the impact of our partner organizations so they can serve more children living in extreme poverty
- A path to financial sustainability for our partner organizations
In Zambia, Spark Ventures partnered with Hope Ministries, a grassroots organization serving children living in poverty. This partnership resulted in...
- Annual financial & operational audits
- Leadership training & staff development
- Nutrition & clean water programs
- Funding for the construction of a 7 classroom school which increased the organization's capacity by 200%
- 50% increase in orphanage capacity
- Lead investment which launched a for-profit poultry farm to drive revenue back into program operations and expansion
Through human and financial capital investments, Spark has empowered Hope to secure a path to sustainability.
Spark launched a second partnership in Nicaragua in 2012 with the organization Las Tias. The partnership with Las Tías started by focusing on expanding their meal programs and adding a healthcare component to their programing in the form of a medical clinic. Spark will then work with Las Tías to help increase their capacity and number of children they serve, strengthen their vocational training programs, and later invest in an income-generating business.
The Spark Community
Spark Venture offers options for you to help learn about and invest in sustainable solutions to lift children out of poverty.
Partnership Trips. Spark facilitates volunteer travel opportunities to visit our partners in Zambia and Nicaragua and experience their harsh realities and heroic humanitarian efforts first hand. In addition to a portion of the trip costs going to support the partner organization, many participants also choose to make a follow-up investment, further supporting Spark's Partnership Model.
Spark Stakeholders. Spark's monthly giving plan funds the provision of nutrition, education and healthcare to the children Spark supports in Zambia and Nicaragua. A simple commitment starting as low as $10/month or as high as $50/month can make all the difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the world.
Events. Spark hosts numerous events throughout the year, ranging from our large-scale annual Wine Tasting to causal happy hours. The events are meant to raise awareness of the challenges facing children around the world and to promote the innovative work of Spark Ventures. They provide an opportunity to learn more about Spark's partnership work, meet other individuals with similar motives, and raise funds to help Spark's goal of lifting vulnerable children out of poverty around the world.