Apply for the Social Innovator Accelerator

Announcing Seven New Tracks for the 2019-2020 Accelerator!
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. 

We are excited to announce the seven social issue tracks for our Social Innovator Accelerator this year. We are now accepting nominations and applications for all tracks. 

For our 2019 - 2020 Social Innovator Accelerator, we will select one nonprofit for each of our seven social issue tracks listed below. Innovators will receive 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 how to apply.

Benefits to Social Innovators
Each Social Innovator receives access to cash and benefits valued at more than $150,000: 
  • Five 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 (May 2020) 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 the second year
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) unless otherwise noted in the track description
  • 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 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*
  • Are at an inflection point in their growth and development
*Note: Organizations with budgets greater than $2 million are welcome to submit an application for 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.
How to Apply
To submit an application, complete the three following steps:
  1. Read through this Applicant Guide to see if your organization would be a good fit for the Social Innovator Accelerator and at least one of this year's social issue tracks.
  2. Self-nominate or be nominated via our online nomination form. After nomination, the program or organization leader will receive an email with a link to the application and further instructions within one business day.
  3. Complete the application. Please note early submissions are strongly encouraged. 
2019 - 2020 Social Issue Tracks and Sponsoring Partners:

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
Track Partner: Boston Open Impact

Advancing Arts Engagement
Track Partner: JAKET Foundation  

Nurturing the Whole Health of Children, Families, and Communities
Track Partner: Inspire Boston Funder Collaborative

Promoting Teacher and Educator Training Opportunities for Effective and Innovative Approaches
Track Partner: Wellington Management Foundation 

Revitalizing New Bedford Through Community-based Efforts
Track Partner: Schrafft Charitable Trust  

Strengthening Financial Health Through Building and Increasing Social Capital
Track Partner: MassMutual Foundation  

Supporting and Advancing Health of People with Disabilities, Their Families, and Caregivers
Track Partner: Edith M. Ashley Fund at the Boston Foundation

With any questions, concerns, or technical issues, please email or call our office at 617.492.2305. 


To learn more about our application process and what it means to be a Social Innovator, we encourage potential applicants to attend one of our information sessions.