Social Innovation Forum Nonprofit Accelerator


United States

Friday, 13 July 2018 - 11:30pm


The Social Innovation Forum believes that social innovation is critical to ensuring that our public and private resources are leveraged in the most effective ways to address social problems. Yet, it is often difficult for emerging innovations to receive the recognition and support they need to develop and spread their impact. The Social Innovation Forum provides a unique opportunity for innovative nonprofits to gain visibility, expand their networks, and build capacity.

For our 2018 - 2019 Social Innovator Accelerator, we will select one nonprofit for each of our seven "social issue tracks." 

2018 - 2019 Social Issue Tracks and Sponsoring Partners:

Building the Path to Success Through Workforce Development for Youth
Track Partner: Amelia Peabody Foundation

Closing the Opportunity Gap Through Out-of-Classroom Engagement
Track Partner: Inspire Boston Funder Collaborative

Creating Equity Through Leadership in Environmental Justice Communities
Track Partner: Cedar Tree Foundation

Early Childhood Education: Building a Foundation for the Future
Track Partner: Wellington Management Foundation

Pathways to Success for Young People Experiencing Homelessness
Track Partner: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Promoting Access to Arts and Culture in New Bedford
Track Partner: Schrafft Charitable Trust

Supporting and Advancing Health and Stability of Immigrant Families
Track Partner: Shipley Foundation

BENEFITS TO SOCIAL INNOVATORS Each Social Innovator receives access to cash and benefits valued at more than $150,000:   
  • Five months of consulting services focused on enhancing the organization’s ability to articulate the social problem it is addressing, its innovative approach, and its social impact. The consulting engagement culminates in the development of the following materials designed for funder/investor audiences:
    • Written investment prospectus
    • Five-minute pitch (with PowerPoint slides)
    • Five months of executive coaching 
    • $10,000 cash upon completion of the consulting engagement
    • Showcasing via numerous events, including a spring Showcase (May 2019) that annually attracts more than 350 business leaders, institutional funders, and individual philanthropists
    • Networking and relationship-building support
    • Graphic design services
    • Presentation coaching
    • Additional support from SIF’s in-kind partners (e.g., legal, graphic design, PR, technology)
    • $2,500 capacity building grant in the second year
Eligibility Requirements The Social Innovation Forum’s nonprofit tracks are open to programs and organizations that:
  • Are a registered 501(c)(3) or use a fiscal agent that is a 501(c)(3) unless otherwise noted in the track description
  • Address a specific social need as described in at least one of our social issue tracks
  • Are working in the greater Boston area, unless otherwise noted in the track description
  • Have been operating for at least one cycle (usually a year) and have a proven concept 
  • Have a minimum of 1.5 FTEs (full-time equivalents — counting full and part-time staff, not volunteers)
  • Have an annual operating budget of $100,000–$2 million*
  • Are at an inflection point in their growth and development
*Note: Organizations with budgets greater than $2 million are welcome to submit an application for a specific program/initiative that has a total budget of less than that amount. In these cases, the entire application must refer to the program/initiative, not the parent organization.   How to Apply To submit an application, complete the three following steps:
  1. Read through this Applicant Guide to see if your organization would be a good fit for the Social Innovator Accelerator and at least one of this year's social issue tracks.
  2. Self-nominate or be nominated via our online nomination form. After nomination, the program or organization leader will receive an email with a link to the application and further instructions within one business day.
  3. Complete the application. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Friday, July 13 at 5:00 pm. Early submissions are strongly encouraged. 

Starting on August 8, we will invite a select number of organizations to submit second round application materials. These second round materials will be due on Friday, August 31

With any questions, concerns, or technical issues, please or call our office at 617.492.2305. 

Information Sessions

To learn more about the application process and what it means to be a "Social Innovator," we encourage potential applicants to attend one of our information sessions. 

To RSVP for one of the info sessions, please email and include the date of the info session you wish to attend.