Lauren Harper

Special Initiatives – Social Venture Partners

I’m a “recovered” attorney with a business background who left the law 4 years ago to focus on cultivating the ecosystem for Miami’s nonprofits and social entrepreneurs – and the venture philanthropists and impact investors that support them. As part of my journey I met Bill Burdette (see his bio for more details) and am part of the founding team at the Center for Social Change. After launching and overseeing the workspace and programming initiatives at the Center, I am now shifting my focus to continue building the social change ecosystem locally. Currently, I’m launching a Miami affiliate of Social Venture Partners (SVP) to provide new sources of funding and targeted support to help high potential social ventures. SVP is the largest network of engaged philanthropist in the world with 3,500+ venture philanthropists in 40+ cities. Partners in the SVP network pool their funds and make multi-year, unrestricted gifts to proven social ventures that are positioned to scale. I’m also working on a regional capacity building initiative with various cross-sector partners based on the Capacity Building 3.0 methodology from the TCC Group.

As for my community involvement, I’m on the Steering Committee for Philanthropy Miami, where I help to plan the Philanthropy Miami Conference, the largest locally-driven conference for the philanthropic and social sector in Miami. I also sit on the Education Impact Council and the Public Policy Committee at the United Way of Miami-Dade, am part of the Nonprofit Business Committee at the Greater-Miami Chamber of Commerce, and am on the Board of Directors of Experience Aviation. Further, I am a social enterprise specialty mentor at Florida Atlantic University’s Tech Runway, an accelerator program for early stage ventures.

On the personal side, I love connecting people to their passions and helping them live it in the world – I went through a very intentional pivot in my career and have a drive to help others navigate similar life changing transitions. When I’m not at work you can find me doing yoga, playing tennis (just started again) or traveling the world with my amazing husband, Josh Mungavin. Fun fact: I love llamas, Josh loves goats and in our retirement we plan to have a small farm in Northern California or the Pacific NW – not too far from the city though, and we’ll have some help running it! I look forward to crossing paths with you at the Center or at an event somewhere in the community.