SIF launches pilot "Boot Camp" for nonprofits

New program offers condensed version of Social Innovator Accelerator to eight groups
SIF Boot Camp Session

The Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is proud to partner with the Schrafft Charitable Trust to pilot a nine-week Boot Camp Pilot program for innovative nonprofit organizations working in the field of environmental sustainability. The program will help participating organizations, who work on a variety of issues, including food justice, food rescue/insecurity, preservation of open spaces, recycling, and environmental education, to increase their visibility, expand their networks, and improve their organizational capacity.

The Boot Camp includes weekly workshops led by SIF staff and experienced business and nonprofit leaders, as well as one-on-one mentoring with “coaches” recruited from SIF’s network of supporters. The program will equip participants with a set of tools to use as they advance their organizations to the next stage of their work and development.

Four weeks in, the participants are already bringing real value from the sessions back to their organizations.

We are at an exciting, albeit stressful, point with the organization, but we know how much this will help as we move forward –  and how it has already caused us to think differently.

"We just wanted to tell you how much we are getting out of the SIF Boot Camp and we are so grateful to be a part of it," said Lauren Belmonte, Executive Director, Change is Simple. "Patrick and I were talking on the train back to our office today, agreeing how much we look forward to each week and how eager we are to learn as much as possible from this experience. We are at an exciting, albeit stressful, point with the organization, but we know how much this will help as we move forward –  and how it has already caused us to think differently."

The Schrafft Charitable Trust has been a partner of the Social Innovation Forum for several years and has used its relationship with SIF to explore issues related to environmental sustainability. In 2014 and 2015, Schrafft sponsored sustainability-related “social issue tracks” in SIF’s Social Innovator Accelerator. The Boot Camp is an opportunity to bring a condensed version of this accelerator to a wider range of promising nonprofit organizations working in the field of sustainability, many of whom were recruited from the pool of past accelerator applicants.

The Boot Camp pilot runs from April to June 2016. One June 23, the participants will present at a breakfast event, “Solutions for a Sustainable Community: Creating a Greener Greater Boston.” 

Participants

Boston Area Gleaners is dedicated to rescuing surplus farm crops for people in need. By working closely with local farmers, BAG is able to distribute high quality produce to food pantries and meal programs.

Change is Simple aims to instill in students lifelong values of social and environmental responsibility through an innovative, comprehensive sustainability curriculum designed for grades 2-6. 

Food for Free improves access to healthy food within our community by: rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste, strengthening the community food system, and creating new distribution channels to reach underserved populations.

Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation works to instill a sense of pride and foster stewardship through advocacy and service in the Middlesex Fells Reservation, all designed to both preserve and protect and promote the use of the Fells in a manner harmonious with landscape and habitat.

Healthy Waltham aims to promote healthy lifestyles and well-being for families and underserved populations through educational and collaborative programs that engage residents in healthy cooking and gardening, physical activity, and involvement in natural open space.

MassRecycle is the statewide nonprofit coalition of individuals, all 351 municipalities, recycling businesses and organizations dedicated to increasing recycling and waste reduction in MA through advocacy and education, plus innovative but pragmatic projects such as the MBTA Public Space Recycling Pilot Project.

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project works with beginning farmers through training, access to farmland, markets connections, and technical support to build strong businesses, expertise in the field, and a resilient local and regional food system.

Regional Environmental Council is an urban agriculture-focused youth development and employment program for low-income teens. This curriculum-based program is focused on Professional Development, Leadership Skills, Urban Agriculture, and Social Justice.