Wayne Saunders

I am a founding partner of SVPM so have been involved since 2013. The first 12 months were all about establishing Social Venture Partners Melbourne, its constitution, financials, strategy, committees, processes and potential programs. As part of the foundation work, I established the Investment Committee and took on the role of Chair. As a result I have been involved with all our investees, through the initial Investment Committee discovery and due diligence process and in both minor and ongoing engagements. I have also been a Board member for the past two years.
There are a number of benefits in being a partner of Social Venture Partners Melbourne. First and foremost, you can definitely relate to giving back to the community. Because we as partners determine how and whom we provide support to (both financial and time), you can really see the impact of our support and personally find great reward from that. Second, you definitely gain an understanding of the Non Profit sector and how we can contribute, to mentor as well as influence to improve and develop going forward. Third, is the networking with a new group of great and like-minded people without the politics of the corporate sector. Fourth, is that you can determine how much time you commit, and where. It is up to the individual partner to determine the level of their impact.
There have been many changes since we began, from our first investee, 100 Story Building to our newest Investees, Kids Like Us. All investees have been able to grow in ways not thought possible before Social Venture Partners Melbourne’s engagement. In many cases, the external, non-political pro bono support has enabled new strategies and approaches that have realigned the organisations goals, resulting in outcomes not considered or thought possible prior to our involvement. In some cases we have provided breakthrough support. Our biggest impact has been to ensure their sustainability and develop new forms of growth and potential to enable them to have a greater impact in achieving their vision.
In my time at Social Venture Partners, I have learnt a lot about the Non Profit sector, both the organisations, trusts and foundations.
For me, the best thing about being involved with Social Venture Partners Melbourne is the engagements in the community sector, the networking with other partners, and the sense and reward from giving back. Knowing we actually make a difference.
Through this involvement I have developed awareness of the challenges in our communities and the unbelievable commitment and passion that the Non Profit sector has in support of their selected communities.