Accelerator Program

Accelerator Program


The Social Innovator Accelerator helps nonprofit organizations gain visibility, expand their networks, and connect with philanthropic and in-kind resources to accelerate their work.

Each year, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) selects a cohort of Social Innovators through an evaluation process that brings together a range of stakeholders, including funders, practitioners, and subject matter experts with both lived and learned experience.
Once selected, Social Innovators receive 24 months of focused support from SIF and its partners, including consulting, executive coaching, and presentation advising. A five-month consulting engagement culminates with SIF’s annual Showcase event, where Social Innovators pitch to an audience of local business and philanthropic leaders. After the Showcase, Social Innovators stay in the SIF network and can continue to access support and services from SIF and its in-kind partners.

Benefits of Participation

  • Six months of consulting services focused on developing written materials, visual materials, and presentation skills for a funder/investor audience.
  • Presentation and networking opportunities with funders/investors, including at the annual Social Innovator Showcase in May 
  • Membership in a cohort with other grassroots nonprofit leaders
  • Five months of executive coaching to focus on promoting professional growth for the leadership team
  • At least $30,000 in unrestricted funding through the Accelerator, $10,000 of which comes from the initial Track Partner commitment and $20,000 of which comes from a new source: the Social Innovator Fund.
  • Support from SIF’s in-kind partners (e.g., legal, graphic design, PR, technology)
  • Ongoing support through SIF’s Alumni/Nonprofit Network


The Social Innovator Accelerator is open to programs and organizations that:

  • 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 and bring their own perspective and innovation to the topic 
  • Are working in Eastern Massachusetts representing communities in Boston, Worcester, Lowell, Lawrence, New Bedford and Fall River
  • Have been delivering programs or services for at least 3 years 
  • Have a minimum of 1.5 paid FTEs (full-time equivalents—counting full and part time staff, not volunteers) 
  • Have an annual operating budget of $100,000–$2 million

Participation Requirements

Who would be involved

  • 1 “lead” Innovator (typically Executive Director or Program Director)
  • Optional: 1-3 other staff to support decision making on materials and participate in executive coaching

Time commitment

  • This is a two year capacity building program (Launches in December and finished two years later in December)
  • 6-8 hours per week during first six months
  • 6-8 hours per month for second 18 months

How to Apply

SIF launches the application process in June each year. Please check back in June for more information and the link to the online application.

Additional Resources