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College for Social Innovation Inc.

 89 South Street, Suite 407
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 620-6907
[F] --
Eric Schwarz
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 47-4425987

LAST UPDATED: 01/04/2019
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

Educating and inspiring the next generation of problem solvers for humanity's toughest challenges

Mission Statement

Educating and inspiring the next generation of problem solvers for humanity's toughest challenges

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $1,765,620.00
Projected Expense $1,685,694.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Social Innovation Fellowship

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

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


Mission Statement

Educating and inspiring the next generation of problem solvers for humanity's toughest challenges

Background Statement

We believe that combining the best of a liberal arts education with mentor-rich, real-world learning opportunities can address critical issues facing U.S. colleges and universities while building a stronger talent pipeline for the social sector. Specifically, we believe College for Social Innovation can help reduce the cost of college while increasing self-discovery, learning, and skill development. In addition, we can help students build networks that will make it easier for them to get good jobs and to grow and contribute as workplace and civic leaders. 

We envision a new type of college that puts real-world experience and discovery of purpose at the center of a student’s college years. We plan to do this through College for Social Innovation, a new non-profit organization, incorporated in July 2015, focused on providing college students with apprenticeship-based service learning in the social sector. College for Social Innovation will start by partnering with leading colleges to place students in semester-long, full-time, 16-credit “Social Innovation Fellowships” with social sector leaders in the Boston area. Students will learn through job-related assignments and relevant seminars and reflection activities, all of which will help them build career-based competencies and a network. Over time we will scale College for Social Innovation to additional cities and enroll hundreds of thousands of students, helping to inspire and train a new generation of problem solvers. As we prove demand for and impact of the model, we will seek deeper partnerships with colleges in which students enroll with us not just for one semester but for two to four semesters. Our long-term vision is a model in which apprenticeship-based learning represents up to half of all credits needed for a bachelor’s degree, the cost of college comes down, and learning and purpose go up. 

Impact Statement

Our start-up phase will focus on the following organizational goals:

Establish initial partnerships with leading colleges and universities in which the colleges provide credit and funding to students who participate in CfSI. In FY16 we will establish 2-3 founding college partnerships and in FY17 and FY18 we hope to add 3 college partners per year. We seek to work with a diversity of institutions that serve academically competitive and socio-economically diverse students.
Build partnerships with leading social sector organizations, including non-profits, government agencies, and social mission businesses. In year one we seek to build partnerships with 15-20 leading Boston-area organizations. Each organization must complete an application showing a well-developed work plan for each Social Innovation Fellow and an identified staff leader to serve as a mentor for the service fellows they host.
Develop curriculum and training for our evening seminar, The Social Innovator’s Tool Kit, reflection and skill-building workshops, orientation and student research showcase. In addition, we plan to build a 3-4 day leadership curriculum for the young leaders who serve as mentors, providing our partners with a strategy for further developing existing staff through a management assignment and membership in a citywide leadership cohort.
Build a world-class team to establish and grow the organization. In year one the focus will be on hiring a great start-up team of staff and consultants and building a strong board and advisory board.
Raise initial philanthropic support to establish the organization and bridge to eventual scale through earned revenue. We estimate that we need to raise $750,000 in FY16 and an additional $4 million over the following three years to build capacity and cover the costs of the pilot.
Build the College for Social Innovation brand and contribute to social sector talent development and higher education reform through research and thought leadership.

Needs Statement

Our model requires ~$5 million of philanthropy over the next four to five years, allowing us to pilot and initially scale the model in Boston and two additional communities. By FY21 we believe we can be sustainable and scalable entirely through earned revenue, with college partners passing on $6,000 to $7,000 of student tuition for the semesters in which a student participates in the College for Social Innovation. 

CEO Statement

The social sector has always been at the heart of America’s success, from Ben Franklin’s lending libraries to Andrew Carnegie and the public library; from the Grange, abolitionists, settlement houses, and YMCA’s to our modern health centers, community development corporations, universities, and environmental agencies. In the future, we will need the social sector more than ever and the social sector will have to be more adept at solving complicated problems with maximum efficiency and collaboration.

The social sector is also growing much faster than other parts of the economy and by 2022 it is projected that 16 percent of all U.S. jobs will be in non-profit organizations – jobs at community health centers, hospitals, museums, social service agencies, environmental programs, colleges, after-school programs, farmer’s markets, and more. At the same time, while government is shrinking relative to the size of our population, government still represents 14 percent of all jobs and ultimately remains the way that citizens in any society set direction, choose priorities, invest in the future, and meet the community’s needs for everything from education to public health, poverty alleviation, and national defense. In some domains, social mission businesses also have huge potential to develop business models that accelerate social value without relying on philanthropy. The non-profit sector, social mission businesses, and government need great leaders at all levels – and lots of them. In fact, as with other sectors, the key to the success of the social sector will be the sector’s ability to continually grow, replenish, and improve its leadership pipeline.

There are currently 9 million full-time students enrolled in four-year colleges and another 14 million part-time or community college students supported by an elaborate system of private and public funding. We should aim within the next generation to engage at least 10 percent of all college students in one to four semesters of fully credited experiential learning in the social sector. Doing so will help social sector organizations get things done. But more profoundly, doing so will help build a generation of societal problem solvers. 

With your help we can begin to accelerate the development of exceptional and diverse talent pool to address humanity’s largest challenges while also developing a pattern-breaking new model for higher education – a model that can ultimately lower the cost of college while increasing self-discovery and learning and preparing young people for fulfilled lives of purpose.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served


Organization Categories

  1. Education - Higher Education
  2. -
  3. -

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



Social Innovation Fellowship

College for Social Innovation students will get full credit serving with leading social sector organizations four days a week, for a semester. Every fellowship will be a little different, but in each case the student will have a dedicated mentor who is a hand-selected high-performing, high-potential leader. Students will spend roughly 20 percent of their time shadowing senior leaders, 40 percent of their time doing front-line service for the organization, and 40 percent working on a special project, such as researching a potential new initiative or organizing an event. Social Innovation Fellows will gain 400+ hours of fully-credited work-based learning, allowing them to learn more about themselves and their passions while also building their skills and their networks.
Main fellowship components include:
  • Social Sector Placement
  • The Social Innovator's Toolkit evening seminar
  • Skill-building and Reflection Workshops
  • Creation of a Digital Portfolio
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Students will have a digital portfolio of their work including the final draft of a policy memo, a PowerPoint presentation sharing research data and theories informed by the data, and short videos of student presentations. Students can link to their digital portfolios from their resume and potential employers will be able see real work product and a letter of support from their mentor, not just "same old" summaries of self-identified strengths. Students will also build a network, gain professional experience, and will bring back a new energy and maturity to the classrooms at their home institute. 
Social sector organizations will benefit from leadership development opportunities for the staff member who serves as a mentor, work toward their mission, and access to a pipeline of prepared and diverse entry-level talent. 
Program Long-Term Success 

We aim to develop a diverse pool of leaders who effectively address the challenges facing humanity, at the local, national, and global level and to inspire the $550 billion higher education sector – which already has society’s leadership development job – to develop more and better change makers.

Program Success Monitored By 
Our exact impact measures are under development, but they will likely include measurable impact/improvement in the following areas:
  • Skills in four core 21st Century skill areas
  • Customer satisfaction or net promoter score from students, social sector partners, and colleges
  • Stronger networks, higher job placement and/or job placement in social sector
Examples of Program Success  Our program will pilot in Fall 2016.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. Eric Schwarz
CEO Term Start July 2015
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Eric is also Co-Founder and former CEO of Citizen Schools, a successful social enterprise that has scaled to a $30 million annual budget and has had a positive impact on the after-school and extended learning time fields across the U.S.

Among other accomplishments at Citizen Schools, Schwarz and his team crafted four different degree-granting partnerships with U.S. universities to offer master’s degrees in education to Citizen Schools Teaching Fellows through special courses and seminars, including an education reform course taught by Schwarz and others. Schwarz is also the author of the critically-acclaimed book, The Opportunity Equation, published by Beacon Press in 2014, the co-editor of The Case For 21st Century Learning, a 2006 book published by Jossey Bass, and the author of numerous articles and book chapters, including “Calling All Citizens” in The New York Times best-selling Waiting For Superman, published in 2010 by Public Affairs.

Prior to starting Citizen Schools in 1995, Schwarz served as vice president of City Year, the national service program, and as a journalist at The Oakland Tribune and The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA) where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He is a member of the board of Beyond12, an organization focused on college completion for first-generation college students, and of Citizen Schools, and chair of the board of US2020, a national STEM mentoring initiative launched at the White House. Schwarz is a past board member of First Night, The Breakthrough Collaborative, Do Something, and the Harvard Outward Bound Project. He graduated from the University of Vermont (B.A.) in 1983 and from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (M. Ed) in 1997. Schwarz lives in Brookline, MA with his wife and two children.

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
Ariel Brooks Chief Program Officer

Ariel Brooks has worked at the nexus of higher education, nonprofits and K-12 education throughout her career. By happy accident, at first, and now by design, Ariel has played a start-up or intrapraneurial role in each organization she’s joined, working to build new nonprofits and innovative new programs within existing institutions. Ariel is thrilled to bring this experience to the College for Social Innovation’s founding design team.

As a college student at Harvard, Ariel engaged in deeply transformative service-learning experiences through the Phillips Brooks House Association, a student-led multi-service agency, serving more than 10,000 clients annually in greater Boston. Out of this grew a strong belief in and commitment to the types of experiential learning at the core of the College for Social Innovation model.

After graduation, Ariel worked as the Founding Program Manager for Strong Women, Strong Girls – a now international nonprofit mentoring program that connects college women with 3-5th graders. She then served as the first Student Development Coordinator for the Phillips Brooks House Association, where she was as the lead staff member devoted to training, reflection and evaluation. In collaboration with student leaders, Ariel built the Public Service Academy, administered the Stride Rite public service scholarship and fellowship program, and led reflection and evaluation efforts for the organization as a whole. During this time, Ariel also earned an M.Ed. in Instructional Design from UMass Boston.

Following a year teaching secondary English Language Arts and Social Studies in Malawi, Ariel returned to the US to become the Founding Director of Non Degree Programs at Marlboro College in southeastern Vermont. At Marlboro, Ariel built and managed a portfolio of twelve programs ranging from summer pre-college programs for teens to a community-based board fellows program that trains young professionals to become nonprofit board members.

Just before transition to the College for Social Innovation, Ariel is serving as the Interim Dean of Students, supervising housing and residential life, the Total Health Center (covering both physical and mental health), the College’s outdoor and recreation programs and the Career and Life Path Center.

Dr. Lisa Jackson Co-Founder, Managing Director

Lisa is excited to join the team at College for Social Innovation as it gives her a chance to get back to work in the field of Education. Though her most recent experience was in philanthropy, Lisa began her career as an educator. Following graduate school at Stanford University, she came to Boston College as an assistant professor at the Lynch School of Education. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, Lisa conducted research with high school students in the Boston Public Schools. Finding her passion working with students and staff at the high school, she took a leap of faith and left Boston College to become the Project Director for GEAR UP Boston (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). In this role she managed partnerships between colleges and universities and Boston public middle schools to increase access for middle school students to after-school programs focused on college preparation. In addition to providing technical assistance to the individual partnerships, Lisa also developed systems that fostered collaborations across partnerships in a variety of areas including curriculum development, staff training, and evaluation.

In the intervening years Lisa took on several roles in the social sector leveraging her skills in evaluation and management, and developing new skills including fundraising, and grant making strategy. Lisa was the Vice President for Performance and Outcomes at The Home for Little Wanderers – the largest human service agency in Massachusetts. There, she had the unique opportunity to build a department dedicated to measurement and risk management from the ground up, integrating the value of data for the purpose of program improvement. Continuing on this path, Lisa joined the Center for Effective Philanthropy as the Vice President for Research. She worked closely with a variety of foundation leadership teams to use comparative data for the purpose of assessing their effectiveness.

Lisa joined New Profit, Inc. in 2011 to lead the Pathways Fund – an effort supported by the Social Innovation Fund at the Corporation for Community and National Service. The Pathways Fund is a community of social entrepreneurs and funders who come together to learn and partner on the issues of college access, success, and living-wage employment. Lisa built a high-performing team that delivered outstanding results and received continued Social Innovation Fund support year to year. In 2013 Lisa was promoted to Managing Partner for Portfolio Investments at New Profit. Lisa was responsible for the portfolio of 32 investments, investment management (including investment selection and support), and investment monitoring and performance.

Lisa is on the national boards of several organizations including Year Up, College Advising Corp, and The Reset Foundation. She is also a School Committee member for the Public Schools of Brookline, MA where she and her family live.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 9
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): Iranian
Gender Female: 7
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

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

Risk Management Provisions


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


Board Chair Mr. Eric Schwarz
Board Chair Company Affiliation College for Social Innovation
Board Chair Term July 2015 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Tom Craig Monitor Consulting, Shockwave International Voting
Tulaine Montgomery New Profit Voting
Eric Schwarz College for Social Innovation Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Donna Cowan Retired Bolt, Beranek, and Newman; Past Chair The Hestia Fund --
Tom Craig Monitor Consulting, Shockwave International --
Nancy Hoffman Jobs for the Future --
Dr. Lisa Jackson College for Social Innovation --
Ellen Kurz iVote --
Raj Melville Deshpande Foundation --
Tulaine Montgomery New Profit --
Steve Mooney Jack Morton Worldwide --
Paul Reville Former Massachusetts Secretary of Education; Education Redesign Lab, Harvard University --
Len Schlesinger Former President of Babson College; Professor, Harvard Business School --
Eric Schwarz College for Social Innovation --
Alan Solomont Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University; Former US Ambassador to Spain; Former Chair of the Board of the Corporation for National & Community Servic --
Barbara Vacarr; Former President of Goddard College --

Board Demographics

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

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $1,765,620.00
Projected Expense $1,685,694.00
Form 990s --
Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Total Revenue $774,003 -- --
Total Expenses $682,792 -- --

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$601,944 -- --
Government Contributions $0 -- --
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $84,128 -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $37,773 -- --
Other $50,159 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Program Expense $442,379 -- --
Administration Expense $138,482 -- --
Fundraising Expense $101,931 -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.13 -- --
Program Expense/Total Expenses 65% -- --
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 15% -- --

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Total Assets $608,142 -- --
Current Assets $57,949 -- --
Long-Term Liabilities $217 -- --
Current Liabilities $90,994 -- --
Total Net Assets $516,932 -- --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

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

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
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? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 -- --
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 0.64 -- --

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

College for Social Innovation is in its first year after incorporating July 2, 2015.

Foundation Comments

The College for Social Innovation is a newer organization and received its nonprofit status from the IRS in February 2016. Prior to that, it was fiscally sponsored by Echoing Green Inc., beginning on June 16, 2015. Data in the charts and graphs above is per the College for Social Innovation.


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?

College for Social Innovation aims to develop a diverse pool of leaders who effectively address the challenges facing humanity, at the local, national, and global level. Over time, we hope to drive systemic change in the $550 billion higher education sector – which already has society’s leadership development job – to develop more and better change makers.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We will partner with existing colleges to offer more real-world relevance through structured, credit-bearing fellowships and greater focus on impact through a competency- based approach.

Our model is founded on four core design principles:

  • Fellowships: 1 to 4 semesters of credits earned through real- world job experiences and structured reflection, developing academic + social skills and pathways to good jobs.
  • Mentoring: Students will benefit from mentorship including professional, academic and career coaching. Technology will help us support alumni.
  • Competency-based approach: Students will work toward proficiency in a set of core competencies required in today’s workplace:
       - Effective Communications (oral and written)
       - Data analysis and data-based decision-making
       - Teamwork and Interpersonal Dynamics
       - Creativity and Innovative Problem-Solving.
  • Core and elective courses: Students continue to benefit from best of a liberal arts curriculum offered by their home college. CfSI will offer one intensive social change seminar per semester.

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

To date, CfSI has secured $640,000 in funding for its FY16 $650,000 spending budget. We have a goal of raising $750, 000 in FY2016 to provide a base for FY17. We have a team of 7 including 3 senior leaders and a part-time finance manager. Through a partnership with Bridgespan we have secured space for our headquarters for FY16 and are receiving strategy consulting to support our early efforts.

The Co-Founders of CfSI have extensive experiences as social entrepreneurs and innovators in the social sector. They bring networks to the organization that include higher education and social sector organizations. As a result, critical relationships have been formed with potential college partners and social sector host sites ensuring successful program implementation in fall of 2016.

In addition, both Co-Founders and the Chief Program Officer have expertise in program design, implementation and assessment. This will be brought to bear so that the program is high quality, meets the needs of a diverse cohort of students, and successfully produces identified outcomes.

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

College for Social Innovation will have a particular focus on building competencies in four core skills: Effective Communication, Data Analysis and Synthesis, Teamwork and Interpersonal Dynamics, and Creativity and Innovative Problem-Solving.

We are still developing impact measures; however, they are likely to include many or all of the following metrics:

1. Demand from colleges and students: Do significant numbers of colleges signup, including offering full credit and financial support for their students? Do students from participating colleges sign up? Do we have more than enough qualified applications for every available spot in the program?

2. Quality and diversity of students: Are 80% of participating students drawn from the top 20% of the academic distribution (nationally) as measured by SAT and GPA? Do100% of participating students demonstrate leadership qualities through their application essay and past extra-curricular activities? Do 50 percent or more of students meet federal department of education standards for under-served college students, including students of color, low-income students, and first generation students?

3. Feedback from participants: Positive “net promoter score” from participating students, college liaisons and faculty, and social sector host organizations.

4. Learning gains in four core competency areas: Where practical, do pre-program and post-program rubric or standardized test assessment in four core skill areas: Communication (written and oral), Data Analysis, Interpersonal Relations, Creative problem-solving. Where not practical to do pre- and post-assessments, at least do post- assessment and compare to peer groups of students not participating (from national data sets or partner campuses if available).

5. Promotion/graduation rates: Do participants have higher promotion and college graduation rates than peers nationally and at partner colleges?

6. Job placement in field of choice: Do participants have higher rates of placement and success in full-time jobs in desired fields compared to peers at same college and peers nationally?

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

The program will pilot in Fall 2016.