Guest post written by Susan Musinsky
Back in December, Root Cause celebrated 10 years of innovation at their Winter Reception. They also announced the 2014 Social Innovators and Impact Entrepreneurs, both part of the Social Innovation Forum (SIF). Below Susan Musinsky, Executive Director of the SIF, shares a bit more about the program and what they have accomplished. Thanks to Susan and Root Cause for the exemplary work they continue to do to improve our community!
The Social Innovation Forum was founded in 2003 as a program of Root Cause to accelerate progress on critical social issues facing Greater Boston. The December event brought together our diverse community of non-profit leaders and funders, and celebrated the unique venture philanthropy model we have built together.
Over the past 10 years we have welcomed 59 non-profit organizations into our portfolio, and more recently, 11 Impact Entrepreneurs whose businesses have a core social purpose. We have truly woven together a unique fabric and created opportunities for promising non-profit organizations, as well as local funders and supporters to find and assist these groups with their next-stage growth.
Take Jon Feinman, Founder and Executive Director of Inner City Weightlifting. Two years ago, Jon and ICW were welcomed into the Social Innovation Forum community. Jon received consulting and coaching, meetings with our in-kind providers, and connections throughout our community, including Aimee Sprung, Microsoft New England Research and Development Center’s Civic Engagement Manager. Aimee invited Jon and the young men in his program to come into Microsoft and conduct personal training sessions with employees. Aimee was intrigued by the potential dual benefits of the program. Now nearly a year into the training, Aimee states “I’m so impressed by the students in Inner City Weightlifting and what our staff is able to both give and gain from them. It’s all about the students building relationships and getting exposure to the outside world. It’s been rewarding to be a part of that process.”
The Social Innovation Forum has collected data and published a report card on our work—each $1 invested in the Social Innovation Forum corresponds to $3 increase in budget in our social innovators within 24 months. What that really means is capacity building for organizations, the creation of a unique community with lots of caring people, and a mechanism to drive social change forward. Our process really can have an impact. We are looking forward to our next 10 years, and to deepening our partnership with Microsoft as we move along this exciting road.