Progress Update: Accelerator Program Graduating 2022 Cohort

Part 1: BAGLY, Chinatown Community Land Trust, Center for Hope and Healing, Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition

After two action-packed years, the Accelerator program came to a close for the 2022 Social Innovator cohort. We recently connected with the nonprofit leaders, or Innovators, prompting them to reflect on their participation in the program and their future plans. 

In the early months of the Accelerator, this cohort of nonprofit organizations worked with their adept consultants, volunteers, in-kind partners, and the SIF team to prepare for the May Showcase where they shared their stories, the importance of their work, their successes, and future goals. After the Showcase, the Innovators were introduced to the executive coaches to focus on their individual professional goals, worked with SIF in-kind partners, and followed up on the connections made through the program.

This two-part blog series provides further insight into the unique ways these organizations served their communities and achieved their goals, and offers a glimpse into their future goals.

BAGLY: Remarkable organizational growth 


The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY) was formed in 1980 and is a youth-led, adult-supported organization committed to social justice, and creating, sustaining and advocating for programs, policies and services for the LGBTQ+ youth community.

The Boston Alliance for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Youth (BAGLY), had a unique entry into the Accelerator program with the onset of COVID-19 and settling into a new office space. Despite many competing demands, BAGLY seized the opportunities in the Accelerator and remained fully present in that work. Over the course of the two years, BAGLY invested in building strong relationships with SIF partners and other nonprofit leaders, funders, and institutional partners, and experienced transformational growth. 

Over the last two years, BAGLY increased its staff capacity to 15 full-time staff and 8 board members. The organization received an anonymous investment of over $250K to build and implement a sophisticated and user-friendly technology and infrastructure specifically focused on strengthening and expanding BAGLY's fund development and marketing infrastructure. BAGLY also saw a budget increase and is now operating at $2.6M. 

BAGLY has three goals for the future in mind: (1) develop sustainable programs that increase its capacity to serve and address the emerging needs of its communities; (2) strengthen its internal systems to increase team collaboration and staff support, as well as board development; (3) build out a major donor pipeline, specifically acquiring multi-year investments from community partners, to maintain sustainable growth.

 Collectively, these goals, coupled with new relationships and partnerships, will pave the way for BAGLY to maximize its capacity to serve its communities and support young people. 

Chinatown Community Land Trust - Pioneering Climate Community Justice 


Chinatown Community Land Trust (CCLT) seeks to stabilize the future of Chinatown as a neighborhood for working-class families and a regional hub for the Greater Boston Chinese community. CCLT works for community control of the land, development without displacement, permanently affordable housing, and shared neighborhood spaces, consistent with the vision of the Chinatown Master Plan.

During its participation in the Accelerator program, the Chinatown Community Land Trust enhanced its leadership capacity, as its Executive Director Lydia Lowe refined her presentation skills and delivered an impressive pitch at the 2022 Showcase. With increased visibility in the SIF community, the organization secured new and deepened partnerships to accelerate the development of community-owned properties. One such partnership is its collaboration with GreenRoots, a 2018 Social Innovator, on a microgrid project to build climate resilience in some of Greater Boston’s most vulnerable environmental justice communities, which received national recognition.

CCLT has set out exciting goals and has continued to work towards them. Altogether, CCLT has sold seven condos and continues to purchase and negotiate other communal spaces as part of its organizational goal to create more affordable housing. 

Lowe has received additional recognition with an award from the Boston Preservation Alliance and an appointment to the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Commission and the City of Boston Commemoration Commission. CCLT has also received renewed financial support of $100K over two years from a long-time supporter and a major donor pledge of $1M over 10 years. With these increased investments and partnerships, CCLT hopes to continue to engage social impact investors to support their ongoing work to preserve and uplift the Chinatown community. While CCLT’s initiatives have already gained traction, the organization is looking to work with more social impact investors to expand its work to preserve and uplift the Chinatown community even further! 

The Center for Hope and Healing - Affinity for Community-based Work 


The Center for Hope and Healing provides trauma and resilience-informed support and safe spaces for survivors to heal through its free and confidential counseling, legal and medical advocacy, and 24-hour crisis hotline. CHH uses a social justice framework to prevent sexual violence, advance equity, educate, raise awareness, and organize in the communities it serves and beyond.

As the Center for Hope and Healing (CHH) engaged with the Accelerator program, it used this opportunity to revisit how they talk about the work, the organization, and its clients. With a renewed organizational identity as a community-based organization, CHH was able to solidify its goals and priorities. CHH planned and ran a capital campaign for its new office space and raised $500K from multiple sources including track partners and individual donors. The new space is designed to accommodate CHH’s growing team and to create a safe place for its community to access services. Additionally, the CHH team developed a mobile program called Driving Hope, which has allowed the organization to reach wider communities and meet clients where they are. 

CHH established several relationships and partnerships within the SIF network and local community. The organization’s leadership continued partnering with several foundations and local donors, who are supporting programming like the Black Girls Rock program. CHH understands the importance of having these connections to philanthropic-minded organizations and hopes to see a continued effort to support the needs of leaders to support equity work in their organizations. 

As CHH looks ahead, it remains committed to its community-based work and is working to build an archive of research surrounding the social issue area of sexual violence, relying on the expertise of the community. CHH also hopes to center restorative justice practices in its work and reframe the harm folks have caused or experienced. 

Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition - Long-term Planning & Support 


The Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition (MFFC) promotes health and healthy behaviors to improve the food and physical activity environments in Mattapan through collaboration with Mattapan residents, within its network and its partnerships with other organizations, and providing leadership through community engagement. 

Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition (MFFC) expanded its staff capacity to serve more community residents and partnered with many local colleges and universities during their time in SIF’s Accelerator program. Like many of the other Innovators, MFFC developed a clear, concise, and exciting narrative to describe its work. Its leadership has repurposed the materials developed, such as the slide deck and prospectus, for onboarding new staff, board members, conversation starters with funders, and as general marketing collateral. MFFC is committed to shifting its focus to long-term planning and developing systems to track its community partners and engaged residents. 

As MFFC looks ahead, it is focused on meeting three goals: 1) engaging the community and creating more access by building upon current programming and creating new programming 2) strengthening advocacy work and 3) building out its membership process informed by community voice. 

MFFC is looking for a thought partner to support the implementation of their goals and welcome individuals with expertise in budget creation, marketing materials, and membership processes. Additionally, they are looking for individuals to help with programming. You can use this link to express your interest. After a year of many accomplishments, MFFC is looking to deepen its existing and build new partnerships and secure more grants from long-time supporters and potential investors to achieve a healthy and thriving Mattapan community.

While this concludes Part 1, stay tuned for updates from the remaining four 2023 Social Innovators – Sisters UnchainedLowell Community Health Center Teen BLOCKTransformational Prison Project, and Young Man with a Plan – in the next post.