“I think DSVP is a place where average people can contribute a little money and some time in a meaningful way to help the children in North Texas. It is extremely rewarding. Whatever you contribute, you will get back many times over.” – Randy Neal, Lead Partner
“Before [Florencia] came in, The Concilio was a train wreck,” says Randy Neal, lead partner of the investee. “It was frankly just about to go out of business.” Randy, who has worked with The Concilio for just about eighteen months, says it was Florencia, Executive Director of The Concilio, whose dogged determination helped the fledgling organization overcome its seemingly insurmountable problems. “She’s turned it around [to become] a financially solid organization, now reaching out and supporting many more in the Hispanic community. I have the utmost respect for her.”
For Tara Dunn, The Concilio’s Director of Development, the partnership with DSVP has made all the difference. While Tara admits her experience is limited, the DSVP model makes a lot of sense. “What I’ve come to see is that when people come together and partner it creates more drama and headaches. I’ve had bad experiences [in the past] with that. But I’ve changed my mind because of DSVP. I can see that when people come together, it’s amazing to see how much more capacity they have to make a difference. [There is value in] this group coming together, showing support for their community, and having the opportunity to interact with one another.”
Randy and Tara agree on the key to solving many of The Concilio’s issues was in the implementation of the current strategic plan, one of the many benefits of DSVP’s relationship with the organization. Randy says the strategic planning was possibly DSVP’s biggest impact on The Concilio, but the new strategic plan will be even more so: “The new [strategic plan] will be a game-changer,” he says. “It is going to encourage them to be the Hispanic community foundation—the clearing house for philanthropic giving to the Hispanic community.” Tara agrees. “[DSVP] has been very instrumental…several people with DSVP were involved in the strategic planning process. That’s been very helpful. They are business savvy.”
For both sides of the organization, partnership is a very important component of success—partnership and knowledge of the issues at hand. Prior to his experience with DSVP, Randy didn’t have a good understanding of the vast need for their unique type of philanthropy. “It has been an eye-opener in terms of the vast needs out there—it has been an eye-opener in children’s issues alone.” Working with those in the nonprofit sector has provided a different perspective for him. “I have more respect for [those who work in the nonprofit sector]. I have a better feel for the challenges they face daily…financially, with programs…I really respect the job they do and appreciate how difficult it is.”
Tara believes that the knowledge provided by the round-table discussions serves as a valuable tool for her organization in furthering their mission. “I appreciate [DSVP] including investees [in their panel discussion]. About a year ago, they had a panel with the CEO of The Container Store, Trammell Crow of the real estate company, and a moderator…it was interesting to hearing about successful people in business. I know there are a lot of people who are involved [in philanthropy]. It was interesting to hear about some of the things they see, what they think is important for North Texas, and for us to make sure we are meeting the needs.”
Through funding from partners and DSVP, The Concilio has been able to purchase a program [PIQE] that helps recently immigrated parents become involved in their children’s education. “It’s very different [in America]. It’s very intimidating when you don’t know you are supposed to [become involved with your child’s education] because your own country discourages that. DSVP was the instrument that allowed us to be able to purchase that and to tweak it to fit our community.