The I CAN Network was one of two shortlisted candidates for SVP Melbourne’s 2015 grant round. As we announced here they brought such a compelling proposition that our Partners couldn’t say no! So we changed the rule book and instead of selecting one non-profit a year to support for a three year term (100 Story Building in 2014 and Good Cycles in 2015), we voted to also provide support for I CAN for at least one year. One of our Partners stepped up to pledge $30,000 to I CAN for the first year so in 2016 we will provide I CAN with both financial and in-kind support.
I CAN is exactly the young, innovative, creative and passionate organisation that SVP Melbourne looks for. It has only recently been formally established and is the first social enterprise in Australia founded by people with autism. I CAN helps people with autism to live positive fulfilling lives through education, advocacy and providing opportunities. If you listen to this TEDxMelbourne talk by Chris Varney, founder and CEO of I CAN, you will see why we couldn’t say no!
SVP Melbourne’s Partners John Craven and Anne Warner were the Lead Partners for I CAN and spent many hours mentoring I CAN’s leaders through their set up phase and identifying the most valuable in-kind support that can be provided by SVP Partners.
We at SVP Melbourne are excited with the potential of I CAN and so we invited them to apply for a further grant in 2017 which has been awarded and formalised early in 2018, along with our foundation partner, Newsboys. David Legge has stepped up as the lead partner for this new phase with I CAN which will see the development of rigour in the business planning, financial planning and governance areas.