Diversity & Inclusion
Funding / Investing / Nonprofits / Philanthropy

Resilient Coders got an ‘investment’ from this poverty-fighting Philly funder

Social Venture Partner's Philadelphia branch is bringing unrestricted funding and capacity-building support to three local nonprofits, including the free coding bootcamp.

Resilient Coders’ managing director of engineering, Leon Noel (right), with a student. (Courtesy photo)

Social Venture Partners Philadelphia, the local branch of national philanthropic network Social Venture Partners (SVP), announced that three local nonprofits will receive funding as part of its first investment cycle.

Resilient Coders, The Center for Black Educator Development and Women’s Community Revitalization Project will each receive a portion of $600,000 in unrestricted funding as part of a multi-year agreement. SVP Philadelphia will also support each organization by offering networking and pro bono consulting.

SVP Philadelphia prioritized funding nonprofits led by people of color and that are working against poverty from different vantage points. The Center for Black Educator Development works in education, while the Women’s Community Revitalization Project supports low-income women and their families.

Boston-headquartered Resilient Coders has a mission to diversify the tech jobs pipeline. The free coding bootcamp, which is funded via individual, corporate and organizational philanthropy, announced its launch in Philly in December and graduated its first cohort with local participants in May. Its 20-week program includes technical training in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, React, Node and MongoDB.

Founder and Executive Director David Demar Sentíes said in a statement that he’s grateful for the support as the org continues its first year in the city.

“Not only will this investment help deliver on our priority of a cost-free technology education for underrepresented students, but it will also expand our program participants’ networks and access to capital,” he said. “And in the tech world, that’s invaluable.”

SVP Philadelphia works in partnership with United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey after launching locally in 2018 thanks to a grant from the William Penn Foundation. Its funding is referred to as “investments” to signify that grantees are “partners” with SVP Philadelphia, a spokesperson told Technical.ly, as the funder also learns poverty-fighting best practices from the nonprofits. There is no expected return on investment in the traditional venture capital sense.

Shahrukh Tarapore, CTO at Archetype Solutions Group and a 2020 RealLIST Engineers honoree, is a champion of this investment model.

“What we’re doing here isn’t radical — it’s just not something you often see in the world of traditional philanthropy,” said Tarapore, who also chairs SVP’s investment and capacity building committee. “That’s in part because change is difficult, and there is sometimes only so much capacity that organizations can devote to authentic relationship-building. But when you’ve been fighting deeply entrenched, intergenerational poverty as long as our city has, power-shifting approaches are necessary. And there are people out there who want to give their time and their expertise, and really listen to the leaders who know the issues and are doing the work.”

Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Companies: Resilient Coders / United Way / William Penn Foundation

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