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Organization DBA Social Innovation Forum
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is to create positive social change in greater Boston by engaging leaders, strengthening organizations, and building networks. We do this by:

•  Engaging and informing funders and investors so they can direct resources most effectively.

•  Educating and supporting leaders of nonprofit organizations and social impact businesses so they can deliver the most effective solutions to social issues.

•  Making connections and building relationships across diverse communities so people can help each other to generate significant social change.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is to create positive social change in greater Boston by engaging leaders, strengthening organizations, and building networks. We do this by:

•  Engaging and informing funders and investors so they can direct resources most effectively.

•  Educating and supporting leaders of nonprofit organizations and social impact businesses so they can deliver the most effective solutions to social issues.

•  Making connections and building relationships across diverse communities so people can help each other to generate significant social change.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $1,102,494.00
Projected Expense $1,099,272.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 1 Social Innovator Accelerator
  • 2 Impact Investing Accelerator
  • 3 Boot Camp (Pilot in 2016)

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is to create positive social change in greater Boston by engaging leaders, strengthening organizations, and building networks. We do this by:

•  Engaging and informing funders and investors so they can direct resources most effectively.

•  Educating and supporting leaders of nonprofit organizations and social impact businesses so they can deliver the most effective solutions to social issues.

•  Making connections and building relationships across diverse communities so people can help each other to generate significant social change.


Background Statement

Over its 14-year history, SIF has grown from a volunteer-led initiative to an independent nonprofit organization with an active community of more than 6,000 funders, volunteers, and social purpose organizations. In the process, we have engaged more than 100 funding partners and built a committed network of more than 2,600 philanthropists, foundation staff, and business leaders; worked with 106 nonprofit “Social Innovators” and 24 for-profit social business “Impact Entrepreneurs;” moved over $24 million in cash and in-kind services to our portfolio organizations; and attracted more than ten long-term, in-kind partners.

The Social Innovation Forum was founded in 2003 by Andrew Wolk, CEO of the national nonprofit professional services organization Root Cause, as an experiment in bringing together Boston area leaders in nonprofits, business, philanthropy, and government to focus on allocating resources to nonprofits on the basis of their performance. Andrew sought to bring best practices from the business world to promising nonprofit organizations so that they could attract the resources needed to grow and extend their impact. In its first year, SIF helped six organizations to pitch their missions and needs at a showcase event, allowing prospective funders to make more informed resource allocation decisions.

In 2015 SIF spun off from Root Cause and incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization. Since that time, there have been exciting developments at the Social Innovation Forum. The spinoff has provided a tremendous opportunity for our organization to grow and deepen its work in greater Boston. In 2016 we also launched a pilot “Boot Camp” program to offer our capacity-building services to a wider range of organizations.

Most recently, as of January 2017, the Social Innovation Forum acquired Next Mile Project, a Boston-based collaborative coworking space and nonprofit incubator. Since its inception in 2010, Next Mile Project has helped found and scale nearly 50 high impact organizations and operated one of the largest coworking spaces in the country focused exclusively on nonprofit growth, coupling capacity building and collaboration support with donor supported office space.

Through this acquisition, SIF supplements its core program of accelerating social good organizations and engaging funders and supporters with Next Mile Project's collaborative coworking assets. The new partnership will administer a newly outfitted 5,000+ square-foot facility in downtown Boston designed to support sector wide nonprofit collaboration, education, and administration, continue integration of programming between the two organizations, and deliver an expanded range of services to the nonprofits and social businesses supported by each organization. Together, SIF and the Next Mile Project support a growing network of over 150 organizations. SIF is tremendously excited about the opportunity the acquisition of Next Mile Project provides to deepen and expand our work to advance social change in the greater Boston region.

SIF historical timeline:

1. The Social Innovation Forum was founded in 2003 by Andrew Wolk as a collaborative with 10 organizations including The Boston Foundation, Trefler Foundation, Associated Grant Makers, Root Cause, and More than Money.

2. In 2004, the collaborative asked Root Cause to take over. Root Cause took over with a $20,000 budget.

3. In 2005, Susan Musinsky was hired as the Social Innovation Forum Director and first paid staff member. Under Susan’s leadership, the program has grown to a community of supporters numbering 2,600, with a portfolio of 102 organizations.

4. In 2011, SIF established an Advisory Group to help guide the next phase of program growth.

5. In 2012, SIF launched its first track on Impact Investing, focused on connecting social enterprises with investment capital that provides both social and financial return. Following this track, SIF launched its Social Business Accelerator, a separate program to support for-profit social impact businesses.

6. In December 2014, the Root Cause board of directors voted to spin off SIF into an independent organization.

7. On July 1, 2015, SIF began independent operations with 501c3 designation and a new board of directors.

8. In November 2015, SIF released its 2015 Social Innovator Report Card, announcing that Social Innovators double their revenue four years after participating in the program and grow at a rate 10 times the Massachusetts nonprofit average.

9. In 2016, SIF piloted a Bootcamp Program, offering a condensed version of the Social Innovator Accelerator to a cohort of eight nonprofit organizations working on issues related to environmental sustainability.

10. As of January 2017, SIF acquired the Next Mile Project, a Boston-based collaborative coworking space and nonprofit incubator and moved into space at One Congress Street.


Impact Statement

Since its founding in 2003, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) has developed a successful model for directing new resources to innovative, results-oriented nonprofits and social enterprises in greater Boston. Its rigorous selection process and intensive program has brought together a “Social Impact Investment Community” of more than 2,600 philanthropists, foundation staff, business professionals, and government officials who are interested in supporting innovative, effective approaches to address important social issues.

The Social Innovation Forum has held twelve Showcase events and recognized over 106 nonprofits (“Social Innovators”) and social enterprises (“Impact Entrepreneurs”) across a variety of social sectors. Since 2003, SIF has directed more than $24 million in cash and in-kind services to organizations in its portfolio. The capacity building support SIF provides to its selected groups has assisted these organizations in, on average, more than doubling their revenue four years after engaging with the Social Innovation Forum, which in turn has allowed them to have greater social impact.

In 2016, SIF’s portfolio of Social Innovators impacted over 250,000 lives as they work to address the most pressing social issues in greater Boston including hunger, homelessness, youth development, and environmental sustainability.

Examples of growth in social impact of SIF portfolio organizations include:

• InnerCity Weightlifting has increased the number of students enrolled more than tenfold, from 14 students in 2010 to 159 in 2015 – giving Boston’s highest risk young people a chance to say no to violence and yes to opportunity.

• Hearth has increased the number of elders they help to secure permanent housing by 235% – allowing them to age with dignity, regardless of their medical, mental health, or social needs.

• My Life My Choice’s budget grew three-fold in the three years after the SIF engagement and today serves over 300 girls each year through survivor mentoring and prevention groups – providing them with critical support as they work to rebuild their lives.

• Smart from the Start has grown from 6 sites to 23 sites in Boston – ensuring that twice as many children from low income families enter kindergarten ready to learn.


Needs Statement

The local nonprofit sector is constantly evolving as new organizations crop up and existing organizations expand and improve their work. While there are countless models for social impact, today’s most effective organizations have several key characteristics in common. High-performing organizations are laser-focused on their missions, committed to financial sustainability, and diligent about collecting and using performance data to continuously improve their work. These best practices hold true across a wide range of organizations – and across different neighborhoods, social issues, and stages of organizational development. The Social Innovation Forum works to accelerate the development of enduring solutions to social problems by supporting these innovative, results-oriented organizations. SIF’s aspiration is to create a local social impact community that supports the growth of effective solutions to social issues. The program brings together an engaged community of philanthropists, foundation staff, business people, and government officials to support these groups that are applying effective solutions to address critical social issues affecting the region. As the Social Innovation Forum grows its work, it continues to seek individuals and organizations who can bring skills, talents, and financial resources to SIF and to the Social Innovators and Impact Entrepreneurs. Opportunities include partnerships to highlight particular social issues, mentoring and advising roles, and in-kind service relationships. 


CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA

Our Nonprofit Accelerator seeks applicants located in the Greater Boston region, and our Impact Investing Accelerator is open to applicants throughout New England.

 

Organization Categories

  1. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Nonprofit Management
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

1 Social Innovator Accelerator

The Social Innovator Accelerator provides a unique opportunity for innovative nonprofits to gain visibility, expand their networks, and build capacity. This Accelerator uses a rigorous application and evaluation process to identify effective, small to mid- sized nonprofits (budget range: $100,000-$2M) that are poised for growth. Once selected into the SIF portfolio as “Social Innovators,” organizations receive 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. Final deliverables include a written investment prospectus and a five-minute pitch with PowerPoint slides.

· Six months of executive coaching

· $10,000 cash upon completion of the consulting engagement

· Showcasing via numerous events, including a spring Showcase that annually attracts more than 300 Boston business leaders, institutional funders, and individual philanthropists

· Networking and relationship-building support

· Graphic design services

· Presentation coaching

· Additional support from the Social Innovation Forum’s in-kind partners (e.g., legal, graphic design, PR, technology)

After 24 months, Innovators enter our “forever portfolio,” and SIF continues to provide support and connections to our community.

Budget  $760,603.00
Category  Community Development, General/Other
Population Served At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

Through the course of a structured consulting engagement, SIF works with Social Innovators to produce two key deliverables: a five-minute investment pitch with PowerPoint slides, and a four-page investment prospectus. With such tools at their disposal, Social Innovators can pursue the resources that they need in order to run effective, financially sustainable organizations. SIF also assists Social Innovators to access in-kind partners, specializing in the areas of graphic design, legal counsel, marketing, technology, and more. The executive coaching that SIF provides to Innovators, furthermore, equips them to become more effective leaders and managers. Finally, SIF helps Social Innovators select appropriate performance metrics, set two-year targets, measure their progress towards these targets, and present the results to potential investors. The successful delivery of each of these materials and services are short-term benefits that catalyze long-term social impact for the Innovators. 

Program Long-Term Success 

SIF has two sets of long-term goals: one for the nonprofits it serves, and another for greater Boston’s funding community. As a result of the 24-month engagement, SIF hopes to equip our Social Innovators with the capacity, knowledge, and networks needed to develop financial sustainability and, most importantly, increased social impact.

Alumni Innovator survey data evaluated by The Analysis Group in 2015 showed that:

• Social Innovators, on average, more than double their revenue four years after engaging with SIF.

• Our Innovators’ average annual revenue growth is 10x the Massachusetts nonprofit average.

SIF also strives to assist local funders by providing them with examples of innovative, nonprofit organizations that are effectively addressing the region’s most pressing social problems. Through the showcasing of Social Innovators, SIF helps philanthropists and foundation representatives make high-impact investments in their communities.

Program Success Monitored By 

The Social Innovation Forum staff surveys Social Innovators on an annual basis to document the enduring results of its engagements with them. SIF tracks developments in these nonprofit organizations’ budgets and staff size, and the team keeps a record of resources that they receive as a direct or indirect result of their work with SIF. The Social Innovation Forum staff also solicits written and oral feedback from our executive coaches, consultants, funding partners, and other program participants.

Examples of Program Success 

In 2016, Social Innovators impacted over 250,000 lives as they work to address the most pressing social issues in greater Boston including hunger, homelessness, youth development, and environmental sustainability. Examples of growth in social impact of our innovators include:

Four years after being selected as a Social Innovator, InnerCity Weightlifting has more than doubled its revenue and increased youth served by 92%. With a 78% reduction in arrests for violent crimes after joining the program and 90% rate of reporting increased hope for the future, ICW student trainers are increasingly saying “no” to violence and “yes” to opportunity.

In the five years after its selection as a Social Innovator, Smart from the Start saw steady revenue growth and expanded from six to 23 locations. Independent evaluations of the organization’s programs have shown that their model works, with Smart from the Start children scoring between 80-100% on all indicators of school readiness.

In the 18 months since it presented at the SIF Showcase, Catie’s Closet brought its program to an additional six schools, providing an additional 4,500 kids with clothing and other essentials. The organization is preparing to launch a national affiliate model.  

2 Impact Investing Accelerator

The Social Innovation Forum (SIF) entered the impact investing space in 2012 after nearly a decade of experience accelerating the growth of innovative, effective nonprofit organizations. Our community of funders and investors had requested opportunities to invest in local social enterprises, and we knew that local impact entrepreneurs had been actively seeking ways to access the capital they needed to grow. To meet this need, we developed our Social Business Accelerator, a program to link entrepreneurs with mentors who help them achieve their business goals and with networks of investors who seek to invest capital for both impact and financial return.

Over the past four years, SIF has brought together a community around social impact businesses in greater Boston. Through our Social Business Accelerator, SIF has supported four cohorts of entrepreneurs, offering them access to mentors and connecting them to investors seeking both financial and social returns.

The Social Business Accelerator is a mentor-driven program, focused on meeting the specific needs of a small cohort of impact-focused entrepreneurs. Each year, SIF has adjusted its program based on learnings from the prior year, advances in the field, and the unique needs of the entrepreneurs in the cohort. In 2016, six "Impact Entrepreneurs" and 19 mentors engaged in a 12-week program that included workshops, guest speakers, and weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions.
Budget  $150,000.00
Category  None of the above
Population Served At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

What we’ve accomplished through our Social Business Accelerator:

· Supported 24 social impact businesses, 100% of which are still operating.

· Engaged more than 50 mentors from business and industry.
Helped companies raise $4 million in investment capital — $700,000 of which came through SIF connections.

Program Long-Term Success 

The field of impact investing is still quite fragmented and early-stage, and challenges remain for both entrepreneurs and investors. The Social Innovation Forum’s experience has been one of learning and exploration, and we look forward to continuing to evolve this work in the future.

Key Lessons Learned

· It’s clear that the SIF model from its nonprofit accelerator can be adapted for use with for-profit social businesses, but it needs leadership and mentors who have both business experience and applicable industry knowledge to assist the companies in their work. Thoughtful mentor recruitment and matching has been key to companies deriving value from the accelerator.

· There is a significant and growing interest in impact investing from both investors and the philanthropic community, yet translating interest into actual investments has occurred slowly. As people manage the complexities of adapting traditional approaches (i.e. due diligence, risk assessment, and deal structures) to this field, it will require extra effort to bring investors and businesses together.

· Measuring the social impact of for-profit businesses is challenging. Despite a commitment to social good, few of our portfolio companies are actively measuring their social impact. Helping companies track, measure, and communicate their social impact in a manageable way is an important area of focus in order to take this work to the next level.

SIF has worked with entrepreneurs who represent a range of business stages and social impact areas. We have engaged mentors and investors with different backgrounds, interests, and approaches. We are proud of our successes in supporting social businesses and advancing the field. Knowing that this work is challenging and emerging over time, we will take a long-term approach as we work to link investors and entrepreneurs. We will continue to build and adapt our model while seeking connections with others working in the field. We will deepen partnerships with funders and investors who are exploring new ways to deploy capital for social good, providing the education and information they need to invest in impact. And, we will provide ongoing mentoring and support to social business entrepreneurs, particularly those whose work will benefit diverse and disadvantaged communities in greater Boston.

Program Success Monitored By 

In 2016 we commissioned a special report in order to reflect on our accomplishments and help us continue to refine our approach in this field.

The Social Innovation Forum surveys its Impact Entrepreneurs on an annual basis to document the enduring results of our engagements with them. It tracks developments in these organizations' financials and business models, and its team keeps a record of resources that they receive as a direct or indirect result of their work with SIF. The Social Innovation Forum staff also convenes its impact entrepreneurs periodically for peer learning opportunities and continues to support and connect entrepreneurs with potential investors. 
Examples of Program Success 

GRIT -- GRIT (Global Research Innovation & Technology), a 2013 Impact Entrepreneur, gained visibility and exposure to potential investors, particularly those who were looking to back companies that promised both a financial and a social return. CEO and Co-Founder Tish Scolnik and her team of MIT-trained mechanical engineers took advantage of SIF networking opportunities while in the program and continued to engage actively in the SIF community as alumni. Through SIF, Tish met Jeff Kushner, former CEO of BlueMountain Capital, Europe, and an active social impact investor, who later became a lead investor and GRIT board member.  Since 2013, GRIT has sold more than 1,500 chairs in developing countries, and the company has brought an updated version of the Freedom Chair to market in the United States. Drawing on the materials created with SIF, GRIT began actively fundraising and in July 2015 closed its first funding round, raising $650,000 from 16 impact and angel investors, many of whom came through the SIF network. GRIT will use this investment to build its marketing and sales capacity so that it can grow both its social and financial impact to the next level.

Cabbige -- In 2014 Cabbige launched a pricing tool to help local farmers move more of their food into the mainstream food supply. When using the tool resulted in an average increase in revenue per farmer of 9.6%, Founder & CEO Jessica Angell knew she was on to something. A member of the SIF Social Business Accelerator 2015 cohort, Jessie credits the SIF team with instilling in her a level of rigor and discipline in every aspect of her work. Mentors Ben Chigier, an entrepreneur and investor, and Cathy Mannick, a Director at Launchpad Venture Group, helped Jessie navigate the challenges of growing an early stage business. In less than two years, Cabbige has grown to 100+ users, developed relationships with agricultural organizations across the Northeast, including Cornell, UVM, UNH, and UMaine, and raised a round of investment capital, with a number of investors connected through SIF participating.


3 Boot Camp (Pilot in 2016)

Over the past decade, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) has developed a model to identify and accelerate the performance of innovative, results-oriented nonprofit organizations. One of SIF’s most significant challenges is that every year more than 130 organizations apply for the Social Innovator Accelerator. It has become evident that there are many more organizations that are qualified and eager to engage in SIF’s capacity building program than the Social Innovator Accelerator can accommodate.

To address this need, in 2016, SIF piloted a 9-week Boot Camp program for innovative nonprofits working in the field of environmental sustainability. The program delivered a condensed version of the Social Innovator Accelerator and engaged a cohort of eight leaders working in the sustainability field. With the support of our community, we provided pro bono services to the participants including one-on-one coaching and advising and training delivered by the SIF team and consultants. The Boot Camp concluded with a pitch event at which the participants shared their visions and plans with an audience funders and practitioners.

Budget  $50,000.00
Category  None of the above
Population Served At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
The 2016 Pilot Boot Camp engaged a cohort of eight leaders working the sustainability field. Initial feedback from the participants was positive, with respondents indicating that they would recommend the program to a peer organization (9 on a 10-point scale).
 
The program concluded with a pitch event at which the participants shared their vision and plans with an audience of  90 potential funders and supporters.
 
The Boot Camp model allowed SIF to bring its capacity building services to a wider range of nonprofit organizations that can be served annually by the Social Innovator Accelerator. The pilot program was supported by Schrafft Charitable Trust, and SIF is open to partnering with other funders in the future to run Boot Camps in their social issue areas of interest.
Program Long-Term Success  SIF is still very much in progress of learning and iterating on the Boot Camp program and will continue to check in with participants to gauge longer-term results.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 
As stated above, SIF is in the process of learning and iterating on the Boot Camp program. Based on early results from feedback surveys collected from Boot Camp participants, respondents found the Boot Camp to be very helpful in practicing and preparing for pitch events, creating and using a prospectus for future opportunities, and in gaining skills in "how to work a room." Most participants responded that they would recommend the Boot Camp to peer organizations; this question garnered a 9 average on a 10-point scale. 
 
We continue to check in with our participants to gain a better understanding of longer-term results. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Susan Musinsky
CEO Term Start June 2005
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

With a wealth of experience in the nonprofit sector, Susan joined Root Cause in 2005 as Director of the Social Innovation Forum. In 2015, after 10 years of helping to grow SIF into a well-recognized and highly respected program, Susan co-led the spin-off of the program into an independent organization. In the newly formed entity, Susan works with investors (individuals and foundations) and non-profit and for-profit social entrepreneurs to accelerate solutions to critical social problems. Susan thoroughly enjoys building community and connecting people, and her vision is to build a powerful network where funders and practitioners work together toward social change. Through her work, Susan has shown that social impact and social change do happen from creating purposeful, mission-focused communities.

Among other experiences, Susan was Executive Director of the National Conference for Community and Justice's (NCCJ) Boston office, which grew threefold under her leadership. She has participated on many local boards, including serving as past chair of Congregation Beth El's Tzedkah Hevra group, and as a 10-year founding member of the Watertown Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Katie Barnett Associate Director

Katie Barnett is the Associate Director of the Social Innovation Forum, providing leadership and oversight of Social Innovation Forum programs, including growth strategies and new program development. Katie, along with SIF’s Executive Director Susan Musinsky, led the Social Innovation Forum through their spin-off from Root Cause during 2015, and she continues to lead SIF’s administration and operations.

Katie began working as a consultant with Root Cause and the Social Innovation Forum in 2006, and she became the SIF Lead Consultant in 2008. Over the years, she has worked on a range of social issues, including early childhood education, workforce development, social enterprise, and the arts. She continues to be inspired every day by SIF’s Social Innovators and Impact Entrepreneurs, and she is grateful for the opportunity to support them through her work.

Katie brings experience from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She worked in development at the Harvard School of Public Health, special projects at the Corporation for National and Community Service, and was a consultant at Bridgespan and McKinsey & Co.

Ms. Susan Musinsky -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 7
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 238
Number of Contract Staff 7
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 2
Other (if specified): Bi-racial, Indian
Gender Female: 10
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Commercial General Liability
Employment Practices Liability
Directors and Officers Policy
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Professional Liability

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Ryan Dings
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sunwealth
Board Chair Term July 2015 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Ryan Dings WrightGrid Voting
Ms. Katherine Gross The Charlotte Foundation Voting
Mr. Weston Howland Howland Capital Management Voting
Mr. David Howse ArtsEmerson Voting
Ms. Susan Musinsky Social Innovation Forum Voting
Mr. Andy Offit City of Somerville Voting
Mr. Vikram Punwani Sankaty Advisors Voting
Ms. Marie Schwartz TeenLife Media Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $1,102,494.00
Projected Expense $1,099,272.00
Form 990s

2016 990

Audit Documents

2016 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2014 2013
Total Revenue $2,289,165 $949,480 $816,660
Total Expenses $1,450,664 $863,575 $843,523

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,478,459 $554,390 $433,360
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $450,233 $47,185 $55,878
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- $6,250 $6,000
Special Events -- $14,850 $12,375
Revenue In-Kind $360,473 $326,805 $309,047
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,093,397 $739,288 $711,052
Administration Expense $184,688 $99,430 $106,964
Fundraising Expense $172,579 $24,857 $25,507
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.58 1.10 0.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses 75% 86% 84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 9% 4% 5%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2014 2013
Total Assets $934,920 $0 $0
Current Assets $934,920 $0 $0
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $96,419 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $838,501 $0 $0

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 9.70 -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Social Innovation Forum Inc. (SIF) recently received its own nonprofit status from the IRS, per the IRS Letter of Determination posted above, effective April 2015. SIF was formerly a division of Root Cause Institute Inc. Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials for FY16 and per the organization's records for FY14 and FY13 (which reflect its time as a division of Root Cause Institute Inc.). During SIF's time as a division of Root Cause Institute Inc., asset and liability data was tracked on an organizational wide level only. Please note, half-year data for FY15 (covering Jan. 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015) is not included in the charts and graphs above, as during the time SIF separated from Root Cause, SIF changed is fiscal year from a calendar year to a July - June fiscal year.

Documents


Other Documents

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Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

The Social Innovation Forum seeks to create a stronger, healthier, more equitable greater Boston by building a powerful mission-focused community where funders and practitioners work together toward social change.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

The Social Innovation Forum is a Boston-based connector and catalyst committed to building lasting social change by aligning the strengths and passions of investors and social good organizations to more effectively address complex social problems. SIF uses a “marketplace” approach, connecting social purpose organizations with a community of individuals who can provide financial, technical, and coaching support. The idea behind the marketplace is that all participants give value to and receive value from each other, allowing for social impact to emerge at levels that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

SIF works on both sides – supporting nonprofit organizations and social impact businesses and working with the funder, investor, and volunteer community. SIF is in the middle, representing our position as the marketplace for social impact. In creating this marketplace, SIF not only facilitates the exchange of resources, but also works to connect people within the marketplace, leveraging every role in the ecosystem for social purpose.

SIF’s flagship program is our “Social Innovator Accelerator.” Each year SIF chooses a handful of innovative, results-driven nonprofits poised for growth and increased social impact. Our search and selection process lasts six months and involves two rounds of written applications, in-person interviews, and other forms of due diligence. It brings together a range of stakeholders, including SIF staff, funding partners, issue area experts, and an evaluation committee made up of more than 90 business, government, and foundation leaders. By drawing on the expertise of our community throughout this evaluation stage, we are able to assure investors and pro-bono partners that support of SIF and the organizations we select will yield significant social impact. After a 24-month engagement, which includes consulting, executive coaching, graphic design, performance measurement, presentation advising, and relationship building, our Innovators remain in our portfolio indefinitely, giving them continued access to our network and resources.

In 2012, SIF began expanding its work beyond nonprofit organizations to include for-profit businesses that focus on social impact. This part of the SIF portfolio appeals to investors interested in investing capital for both social and financial return. Still in its early stages, this work with for-profits is structured around an accelerator (the Social Business Accelerator) and draws on the same marketplace approach.

Additionally, in 2016, SIF piloted a “Boot Camp” funded by Schrafft Charitable Trust. This program, designed to extend the reach of SIF to more nonprofits and funder/investors, delivered a condensed model of the Social Innovator Accelerator to a cohort of eight nonprofits working in the field of environmental sustainability.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

 Since its founding, SIF has refined its model each year, seeking out organizations with effective solutions to the community’s long-standing social issues and providing them with a range of supports to help them better articulate their work and impact to the funding community. Attracting people who share an interest in supporting effective organizations, SIF has also built its community of funders and investors through its annual Showcase, educational events, and meaningful volunteer opportunities. These funders and investors learn new models of impact, stay up to date on innovations, and connect their resources with social change at a level that it would be hard for them to do alone.

 

 

Among SIF’s key capabilities are the following:

1. Rigorous evaluation and selection of portfolio organizations

For the Social Innovator Accelerator, SIF engages the community through its intensive, 6-month selection process, which includes nominating, evaluating, and interviewing committees comprised of issue experts, community leaders, funders, practitioners, business people, and representatives of the populations being served by the organizations. This structure brings more than 90 people into the selection process each year and provides SIF with opportunities to engage and educate people about critical social issues and the range of organizations working in those areas.

Also, broad participation makes the selection process more transparent and brings critical expertise and perspectives to the decision making. The social innovator selection process begins with 150+ applications each year, yielding 25–30 finalists and an innovator cohort of six to eight organizations. Through two rounds of written applications, evaluation committees, in-person interviews, and due diligence, the SIF selection process is intentionally designed not only to benefit the selected SIF innovators and entrepreneurs by guiding them through a period of intense self-reflection, but also to add value to others involved by helping them connect with new organizations every year, be of service to those organizations by providing feedback to applicants, and receive guidance and support from SIF’s accessible staff.

Applicants report that the process helps them reflect on their organizational goals and impact, and they appreciate the input and feedback they receive. Groups that are selected as finalists or participants in SIF accelerators carry a recognized “imprimatur” of having been thoroughly vetted by SIF. Funders and volunteers benefit from the work done by SIF to identify and assess organizations in a way that they might not be able to do on their own. In this role, SIF often acts as a complement to private, family, and community foundations, as even established funders sometimes will seek information from SIF about promising organizations in their fields of interest.

2. A network of highly skilled volunteers and an intentional matching process

Effectively leveraging highly skilled volunteers represents an important facet of the marketplace approach. While SIF staff and contractors provide some technical assistance to portfolio organizations, the organization deliberately spends significant time and energy building up its community of supporters and investors, nurturing relationships with them and between them, and helping them to help the innovators and entrepreneurs in the portfolio.

It is not simple to choreograph an effective program made up of highly skilled volunteers, most of whom have been leaders themselves. This approach requires deep engagement with volunteers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to make intentional introductions, provide guidelines, and support ongoing work. However, SIF has found that by successfully sourcing, cultivating, and supporting high-level volunteers, not only is the value of volunteer time leveraged to provide more direct support than SIF could afford to fund directly, but it also creates more long-term impact through the level of commitment and enduring relationships that can develop.

3. Deep connections with institutional partners

In-kind resources are often critical to building a sustainable nonprofit business model. As such, they have been an important component of SIF’s marketplace approach. In-kind partners are companies and organizations that offer professional talents and skills, providing meaningful, hands-on support to current and past innovators and joining the SIF community in long-term relationships. SIF provides in-kind partners with a customized structure that allows the partner’s employees to give of their time and talents, expand their own skills by working on unique projects, and become a part of the broader SIF community committed to social change in greater Boston. In 2016 alone, SIF partners contributed more than $360,000 in in-kind services, including graphic design, data analysis, presentation advising, and development consulting.

Drawing on the in-kind support of partners provides much-needed professional services to SIF’s innovators while enabling SIF to extend its per-dollar impact. The organization continues to expand and refine the suite of services available through in-kind partnerships, engaging companies interested in giving to their communities and broadening the support available to the organizations in the portfolio. The following examples of in-kind partnerships show the range of resources that enter the marketplace in this way.

4. Experience supporting small organizations with performance measurement

Recognizing that performance measurement can be challenging, particularly for smaller, early-stage organizations, SIF helps its portfolio groups to advance their efforts in this area, regardless of their starting points. In the selection process, applicants must present whatever impact data they have. This helps ensure that every group begins with some baseline for measurement. Then, SIF consultants work with innovators to set measurable performance targets in three key areas: program performance, organizational health/capacity building, and social impact. Following the Showcase, SIF holds quarterly check-in calls with innovators to track their progress toward these goals and discuss the successes and challenges they’ve experienced.

After two years of engagement, SIF publishes a “Performance Measurement Report” for each innovator and shares these results with the broader community. In the report, innovators share their progress in the key areas mentioned above and reflect on successes and lessons learned. They also discuss 1-year accomplishments and current capital needs and ways to invest in the organization’s growth. The SIF performance measurement process provides frameworks and tools for assessment, but also for learning, at the individual, organizational, and community levels. In addition, SIF regularly conducts its own performance measurement to track the program’s overall effectiveness and report out to stakeholders. The performance measurement work allows people entering the SIF community to see how SIF and its portfolio groups are progressing toward shared goals of creating social impact.

5. Ongoing support

Given SIF’s deep, long-standing commitment to the selected organizations, the staff continues to work with portfolio groups in a range of ways after the formal conclusion of their SIF engagement. The staff stays closely tied to many organizations, celebrating successes while also supporting them through difficult times. All past innovators and past entrepreneurs have access to the services of several in-kind partners and are invited to events and skill-building workshops. SIF has helped organizations through staff transitions and rebranding, through intense growth and periods of struggle, and even with seemingly small (but important) details like how to prepare for a funder meeting. Perhaps most important to sustaining the marketplace approach, SIF continues to actively make introductions and connections between the two sides of the marketplace to help its portfolio organizations grow and its supporter community find meaningful engagement.

6. Collaborative and Coworking Space

In early 2017, the Social Innovation Forum acquired the Next Mile Project, supplementing its core program of accelerating social good organizations and engaging funders and supporters with Next Mile Project's collaborative co-working assets. SIF now administers a newly outfitted 5,000+ square-foot facility in downtown Boston designed to support sector wide nonprofit collaboration and education. This is a unique asset for SIF in building the marketplace for social change.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The Social Innovation Forum believes that performance measurement continues to serve as a valuable decision-making tool for both Social Innovators and the funders that support them. SIF believes that performance measurement must be integrated into any assessment process and, if provided, will allow funders to effectively evaluate an organization and its impact. To demonstrate its commitment to performance measurement, SIF has also assessed its own work as an organization and has collected data that demonstrates that its work has made a difference.

SIF is committed to supporting the ongoing learning of its Social Innovators through its performance measurement process, which includes developing a set of performance metrics and tracking these metrics against established short-term goals on a quarterly basis. It guides each of the Social Innovators through a 12-month performance measurement process, which gives leaders a structure to capitalize on the Social Innovation Forum process and work towards performance targets. After two years of engagement, SIF works with each Social Innovator to publish a Performance Measurement Report to demonstrate how they have grown, learned, and shared successes and challenges. Social Innovators’ commitment to tracking their progress and making course corrections is just one of the many attributes that has propelled them forward and helped position them for continued growth and success.

In addition, the Social Innovation Forum tracks a number of metrics for our own learning and improvement and has published periodic report cards showing its impact in the greater Boston community. Building on our previous results, the 2015 data shows that on average, Social Innovators more than double their revenue four years after engaging with SIF. As a result, they are able to provide their services to a larger number of people in need. In 2016, Social Innovators directly impacted over 250,000 lives as they work to address the most pressing social issues in greater Boston including hunger, homelessness, youth development, and environmental sustainability.

For example, InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW), a 2012 Social Innovator that uses fitness training as a tool to reduce violence and promote professional, personal and academic achievement among urban youth, has demonstrated tremendous growth since working with SIF. ICW increased its budget from $500,000 after six months of completing the SIF engagement, and then to over $1 million three years later, opening their first gym in Dorchester and giving their students a place to find hope and opportunity. Less than two years later, ICW opened a second gym in Kendall Square.

We are in the early stages of learning how to measure the depth of impact that comes from our capacity building and marketplace approach. We look forward to finding ways to assess how learning and relationships assist leaders in longer term organizational growth and sustained ability to lead and create lasting social impact. The Barr Foundation has given SIF a 2-year grant to begin framing this assessment and develop ongoing evaluation practices.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

As it has grown from a small, volunteer-led program to an independent organization with a budget over $1million, the Social Innovation Forum has developed a successful model for directing new resources to innovative, results-oriented nonprofits and social enterprises in greater Boston. Its rigorous selection process and intensive program has brought together a “Social Impact Investment Community” of more than 2,600 philanthropists, foundation staff, business professionals, and government officials who are interested in supporting innovative, effective approaches to address important social issues. The Social Innovation Forum has held more than a dozen Showcase events and recognized over 106 nonprofits (“Social Innovators”) and social enterprises (“Impact Entrepreneurs”) across a variety of social sectors. Since 2003, SIF has directed more than $24 million in cash and in-kind services to organizations in its portfolio.

It is clear from the growth of the organizations in the SIF portfolio and the measurable increase in the number of people affected by this growth that the SIF model works. Over the long term, its goal is for the Social Innovation Forum to become the go-to curator and accelerator of social change organizations in greater Boston and a key resource for Boston’s philanthropic community seeking out the most effective solutions to social issues. SIF is ready to take its vision of making greater Boston a better place to the next level.

With all that SIF has accomplished, much work remains to be done. In the next phase of development, two key questions stand out as being essential to SIF’s success. The first is a question of scale. Challenges to scale are inherent in the marketplace model, which thrives due to the high-touch, local, and relationship-based nature of SIF’s approach. As more community building moves onto digital platforms, the SIF team has both challenge and an opportunity as it continues to develop its model.

Another key element to SIF’s future success is increasing the diversity of the organization both within SIF’s own staff and in the broader community. As the SIF team and its community grow, it will be essential to strengthen relationships and recruit in ways that intentionally build an inclusive network that is representative of the diverse communities, populations, and social issues addressed through SIF’s work. Increasing diversity within the SIF community will allow the organization to move its work forward more effectively by having a broader set of perspectives helping to guide it into its next phase.