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.
2020 − 2021 SOCIAL ISSUE TRACKS AND SPONSORING PARTNERS
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
- 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
- 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
How to Apply
To submit an application, follow these three steps:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.