Apply for the Social Innovator Accelerator

Now accepting applications through Monday, July 20
The Social Innovation Forum’s flagship program, the Social Innovator Accelerator, provides a unique opportunity for innovative nonprofits to gain visibility, expand their networks, and build capacity.

Each year, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) selects a cohort of Social Innovators through a six-month evaluation process that brings together a range of stakeholders, including funders, practitioners, and leaders from business and academia. Once selected, each Innovator receives access to cash and in-kind benefits valued at $150,000 over the course of 24 months. Read more below about our benefits to Social Innovators, eligibility requirements, and updates for the 2020-2021 application cycle. 


For our 2020-2021 Social Innovator Accelerator, we will select one nonprofit Social Innovator for each of our six "social issue tracks." 

Advancing Education and Career Opportunities for Immigrant Youth
Track Partner: Wellington Management Foundation

Anything Goes: Innovative, Effective, and Sustainable Approaches to Our Region's Toughest Social Issues
Track Partner: Boston Open Impact 

Combating Recidivism Through Comprehensive Re-entry Programs
Track Partner: Wagner Foundation

Dismantling Hate and Building Social Cohesion Within and Across Communities
Track Partner: The Beker Foundation

Promoting a Healthy Democracy Through Civic Engagement and Community Empowerment
Track Partner: Civic Engagement Funder Collaborative

Reinventing Remote Learning Opportunities During and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic
Track Partner: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Benefits to Social Innovators
Each Social Innovator receives access to cash and in-kind benefits valued at more than $150,000
  • Six months of consulting services focused on enhancing the organization’s ability to articulate the social problem it is addressing, its innovative approach, and its social impact. The consulting engagement culminates in the development of the following materials designed for funder/investor audiences:
    • Written investment prospectus
    • Five-minute pitch (with PowerPoint slides)
    • Five months of executive coaching 
    • $10,000 cash upon completion of the consulting engagement
    • Showcasing via numerous events, including a spring Showcase in May 2021 (exact date TBD) that annually attracts more than 350 business leaders, institutional funders, and individual philanthropists
    • Networking and relationship-building support
    • Graphic design services
    • Presentation coaching
    • Additional support from SIF’s in-kind partners (e.g., legal, graphic design, PR, technology)
    • $2,500 capacity-building grant in 2022 
Eligibility Requirements
The Social Innovation Forum’s nonprofit tracks are open to programs and organizations that:
  • Are a registered 501(c)(3) or use a fiscal agent that is a 501(c)(3) 
  • Address a specific social need as described in at least one of our social issue tracks
  • Are working in the greater Boston area, unless otherwise noted in the social track description
  • Have been operating for at least one cycle (usually a year) and have a proven concept 
  • Have a minimum of 1.5 FTEs (full-time equivalents — counting full and part-time staff, not volunteers)
  • Have an annual operating budget of $100,000–$2 million*, unless otherwise noted in the track description 
  • Are at an inflection point in their growth and development 
*Note: Organizations with budgets greater than $2 million are welcome to apply a specific program/initiative that has a total budget of less than that amount. In these cases, the entire application must refer to the program/initiative, not the parent organization, with the exception of the Anything Goes track. 
How to Apply 

To submit an application, follow these three steps:  

  1. Read through this Applicant Guide to determine whether or not your organization is a good “fit” for the Social Innovator Accelerator and for at least one of our social issue tracks. 
  2. Self-nominate or be nominated via our online nomination form. After nomination, the program organization leader will receive an email with a link to the application and further instructions within one business day. Feel free to give us a call at 978.344.2622 for any questions about the application process. 
  3. Complete the online application. First-round applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Monday, July 20, at 5:00 pm. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

Starting the week of August 17, we will invite a select number of organizations to submit second-round application materials. These second-round materials will be due on Friday, September 11, 2020.