The Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is delighted to announce the selection of its Community Organizations Reimagining Ecosystems (CORE) cohort, a new leadership initiative focused on place‐based work and social change. At a November 5th kick‐off event, sixteen leaders from organizations in eight different cities began to form connections in an effort to deepen their work and accelerate local models for social change.
The eight organizations, selected from a list of over 60 organizations from around the country, follow:
- Co.Act Detroit (Detroit, MI)
- Community Wealth Partners (Washington, DC)
- Mission Capital (Austin, TX)
- Propeller (New Orleans, LA)
- Radical Partners (Miami, FL)
- Rooted in Vibrant Communities (Seattle, WA)
- Social Innovation Forum (Boston, MA)
- Social Justice Partner LA (Los Angeles, CA)
CORE participating organizations were chosen based on three criteria:
- Being ecosystem builders who are working to build capacity with local social impact organizations as well as to help funders move money
- Having a focus and commitment to DEI and working to disrupt traditional philanthropic systems and have begun to talk about power shifting
- Feeling excited to be a part of a national conversation and movement focusing on the importance of place‐based work and supporting local leaders (with money and capacity) to be uplifted as problem solvers and leaders who are truly affecting social change.
This project is being supported by a $175,000 grant from the Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative. Leaders will meet on a quarterly basis to begin to create a national ecosystem and conversation around the value of place‐ based models supporting intermediaries helping to guide the grassroots work in local communities around social justice and social change. The two‐year grant from Fidelity Charitable will allow these like‐minded ‐ but distinctly different organizations ‐ to explore best practices that combine funder education and engagement with capacity building for social impact organizations.
The organizations selected have unique ways of creating a community centered around place‐based, equitable philanthropy and nonprofit capacity building in the social sector.
The program will be a peer‐led, eighteen‐month cohort that will focus on a range of topics including Network Building, Wellness, Liberatory Workplaces, Accelerators, Funder Education, Participatory Grantmaking, and Equitable Education and Data. The sixteen participants will lead, convene, and jointly plan the content in order to assure a range of styles and input into the program.
For eighteen years, SIF has pioneered a “marketplace model” in Greater Boston that brings together organizations, funders, and volunteers to exchange resources and expertise in an intentional social impact community in order to accelerate change and build social capital. Susan Musinsky, SIF’s Executive Director states, “By bringing people from different walks of life together who all care about social change and have different lived experiences and contributions, the chance to spark connections and build something unique really exists. In our local SIF marketplace, funders and nonprofits stand side‐by‐side bringing skills, ideas, money, and vision. Together they are able to go much further and get work done.” By connecting with other place‐based organizations that use similar models, SIF hopes to help create a broader social change conversation and movement within the larger philanthropic sector.
During the quarterly convenings, the group hopes to pose big questions about social change, contemplate a variety of successful approaches and reflect on the ways that leaders in different geographies can continue to grow and evolve. SIF has set aside funds for members to jointly attend and present at two national conferences, as well as share the cohort’s collective insights in a white paper.