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
- $10,000 cash upon completion of the consulting engagement
- Support from SIF’s in-kind partners (e.g., legal, graphic design, PR, technology)
- $2,500 capacity building grant in year two
- 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 the Greater Boston area, unless otherwise noted in the track description. We define Greater Boston broadly. In the past, we’ve worked with organizations in surrounding cities like 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
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
- 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.
- Check out our 2022 Social Innovator cohort
- Explore our full portfolio of past Social Innovators
- Read about the Accelerator from the perspective of an Innovator