Susan’s End of Year Reflection

Many exciting shifts and changes for the new year

It’s hard to believe that another December is here, and with it, another cohort of Social Innovators. I’m always amazed to learn of so much great work going on in Eastern Massachusetts, and to have our team, our funders, and our volunteers open themselves up to welcoming these groups into the center of this vibrant change community! It’s just one way that our community continues to focus on amplifying access, and to embrace  that we are cultivating connections and inspiring conversations that AMPLIFY social change.

Speaking of change, we do a lot of it - day in and day out. You will note our commitment to shift our Accelerator application process to center nonprofits. Even as we make those changes, we will be examining the Innovator experience in our Accelerator program and continue to make shifts there as well. We’ve received a five-year grant from an anonymous funder to allow us to give more money directly to Innovators and to begin compensating applicants who make it to the finalist stage of our process – a recognition of the amount of effort they put into applying to the Accelerator. More to come on that in the new year!  

I remain very excited about the national work that we are leading within our national project entitled Community Organizations Reimaging Ecosystems (CORE). Over the past 14 months, we’ve learned a tremendous amount from our peers in other cities (Austin, DC, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, and Seattle) and we are having an ongoing, heartfelt conversation around the role of disruptors in place-based communities. We are all gaining strength and wisdom to keep pushing the boundaries of our work and shifting conversations with funders and nonprofits alike. In addition, organizations around the country are bringing BIPOC leaders forward and growing networks as a meaningful way to amplify social change. We have been thrilled to be working with a graphic recorder throughout, and will welcome a research partner into the work early in 2023. Stay tuned for much more in the coming year!

As we move into the new year,  I would like to highlight a few changes and exciting things happening within Social Innovation Forum’s staff leadership. We are delighted to announce two staff promotions - Melissa Duggan to a Chief Operating Officer (COO) role and Jenna Nackel to Director of Network Engagement. Additionally, in October we said goodbye to board member David Howse after seven years of service to the organization and we welcomed Delphene Mooney, Executive Director of On the Rise, onto the board. The Board also appreciated Katherine Gross for two years of her Vice-Chair role and voted Julie Satti Cosentino into the Vice-Chair role this year.  

Having had a three-month sabbatical in 2022, I remain grateful to the SIF team and Board as they continue to partner more deliberately,  guiding this amazing organization's ever-changing, evolving work. Thank you for partnering with our Innovators and us in so many ways. We all look forward to more in 2023!