The Social Innovation Forum has named 29 nonprofit organizations as finalists competing for six $100,000 awards of cash and support services
WEST ROXBURY, MA (November 12, 2008) —The Social Innovation Forum, a Root Cause initiative, has selected Ethos’ AgeWell West Roxbury initiative as one of 29 innovative, results-oriented nonprofit organizations competing to receive access to over $100,000 in cash and services. More than 60 leaders in business, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector reviewed over 120 applications for the 2009 Social Innovator Award. The six Social Innovators will be announced and celebrated during an evening event in Cambridge on Tuesday, December 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Chris Gabrieli, a Social Investor and Chairman of Mass2020, explains the Forum’s model: “We are all looking for nonprofit organizations we can invest in with confidence. The Social Innovation Forum is a unique and impressive program that provides a great opportunity to learn, leverage our resources, and meet dynamic social entrepreneurs who are making a real difference in our communities.”
Through its in-depth work in West Roxbury, AgeWell West Roxbury, an innovative initiative of Ethos, helps elders happily “age in place” in their community and avoid being placed in a nursing home. It does this in two ways. First, it connects them and their caregivers with the services, programs and activities they need so they can stay active and healthy at home, out of costly nursing homes. Second, it mobilizes community resources to address unmet local needs and to promote a more “elder-friendly” environment.
“We are honored that our AgeWell West Roxbury initiative has been chosen as a finalist for the Social Innovation Forum,” states Dale Mitchell, Ethos Executive Director. “If chosen as a Social Innovator, it will allow us to better measure our social impact and create a prototype for “aging at home” that could be replicated in other neighborhoods.”
The Social Innovation Forum accelerates the development of enduring solutions to social problems by directing an alternative flow of local resources to innovative, results-oriented nonprofit organizations striving for efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability. The annual Showcase Event in the spring provides a unique opportunity for up-and-coming organizations to gain visibility and expand their networks. For 2009, the Social Innovation Forum has partnered with leading local foundations to feature six Social Issue Tracks. With these track partners, the Forum aims to identify highly effective approaches to address Greater Boston’s most pressing social issues and to initiate discussion on how to generate enduring solutions.
The Social Innovation Forum will choose one leading organization from each Social Issue Track. These Social Innovators will be invited to present their work to local leaders in philanthropy, business, government, and academia at the Social Innovation Forum’s Showcase Event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, 2009.
Social Innovators also receive access to support services from the Social Innovation Forum and its partners, including:
- A five-month consulting engagement from Root Cause;
- Participation in a peer-driven business planning and capacity-building process;
- The development of an investment prospectus and a marketing-oriented PowerPoint presentation;
- Executive advising from leaders in the business community who offer one year of guidance on building relationships;
- A capacity-building project in one of three areas—technology , marketing, or human resources— provided by Common Impact;
- Communication and presentation training from the Ariel Group;
- Additional executive coaching from the graduate training program of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology; and
- A Service Grant from the Taproot Foundation focused on marketing, information technology, strategy management, or leadership development.
For the third year, the Social Innovation Forum’s track partners are also able to offer financial support to Social Innovators. Each organization will receive $10,000 from the sponsoring track partner, with the potential of an additional $5,000 to follow a year later upon meeting specific milestones. These cash awards, in combination with the services listed above, thus provide each chosen Innovator with access to over $100,000 in cash and services.