The SVF seeks to realize its Vision and accomplish its Mission by operating under the following Guiding Principles:
- Benefit from Collective Action. The SVF will take advantage of the benefits of collective action in all its activities. Accordingly, the SVF will (a) solicit participation of a diverse group of contributors; (b) encourage each contributor to participate actively in its activities; (c) seek to make decisions by consensus with each contributor having an equal voice; (d) recommend allocations to leverage its collective resources and (e) attempt to engage the expertise and other non-financial resources that its contributors can provide.
- Seek Strategic Impact. The SVF will attempt to devote its resources to organizations, ideas and projects that have the potential for substantial nationwide impact, either through replication, scalability, or as role models.
- Open To New Ideas and Taking Risks. The SVF will be open to supporting new ideas and emerging organizations, which may not have a demonstrated record of success. The SVF will also explore new and different methods of providing financial support for organizations and projects.
- Insist on Accountability and Measurement. The SVF will apply appropriate standards of philanthropic oversight and accountability to the organizations and projects it supports. The SVF will also apply appropriate standards of measurement, both quantitative and qualitative to these organizations and projects. The SVF recognizes that not every activity will be successful in accomplishing its stated objectives, but believes that valuable lessons can be learned by applying to all the organizations and projects it supports the best available standards of accountability and measurement giving regard to cost-effectiveness.