For the second year in a row, we had the pleasure of hosting Root Cause’s Social Innovation Forum Showcase to support local non-profit organizations positively impacting our communities. As a Cambridge based organization, the mission of Root Cause is to advance solutions to today’s toughest social issues surrounding the Greater Boston Area and beyond.
A core element of Root Cause’s programming is The Social Innovation Forum, an initiative that provides high-potential, socially focused, non-profit organizations with consulting and executive coaching services from industry experts. This year, Root Cause selected five Social Innovators from a competitive pool of 137 applicants to receive more than $107,000 in cash and in-kind services from Root Cause and its partners. According to Root Cause, such support enables the organizations to grow at an average annual rate of 31%, far exceeding the average national non-profit growth rate of ~5%.
During this flagship event, the Social Innovators pitched their core social issue and discussed their plans to impart meaningful change in New England. Here’s a snapshot of their projects:
Fiscal Health Vital Signs
Located in Dorchester, Fiscal Health Vital Signs is a proactive approach to assessing and improving financial health. The program puts individuals and families on paths to economic success and, by doing so, improves physical health.
With a mission to prepare motivated youth for quality early employment and post-secondary educational opportunities, Future Chefs inspires approximately 100 underserved high school students and recent graduates annually through their high-impact school to career program.
Mass Senior Action
Mass Senior Action is a statewide, senior-run organization that empowers more than 1,000 low and moderate income seniors to use their voices and experiences to create positive change and solutions to the problems that affect them.
Based in Boston, MathPower is dedicated to improving proficiency in mathematics for urban youth. Its mission has taken on greater significance based on recent studies that suggest that the best predictor of college completion within four years of graduating high school is proficiency in advanced mathematics.
Smart from the Start
Smart from the Start is a community engagement and family support initiative, of the City of Boston, that empowers vulnerable families, with children ages 0 to 5, by providing them with early learning opportunities and support programs.
In addition to highlighting these local innovators, The Social Innovation Forum also celebrated for-profit entity, Zipcar for its commitment to environmental sustainability. Founder and CEO of Root Cause, Andrew Wolk, presented the first-ever Business Innovator Award to Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar.
Scott shared the history of Zipcar, highlighting how the company expanded from just 5,000 members to becoming the leading car-sharing company in the world—with current membership surpassing half a million. As Zipcar achieved its record growth, they continued to drive positive social change in the communities where they operate. Zipcar has not only provided instant, affordable car service to its members, but they have also reduced pollution and congestion that constantly surrounds cities.
“Our work continues to help widen the bridge between those who have time, talent and resources to give and the innovative, results-oriented nonprofits that need their help.” Susan Musinsky, Director, The Social Innovation Forum
We are so thankful to host such a meaningful program and applaud the impact that the 2011 Social Innovators are making in our local communities.
Click here learn more about the 2011 Social Innovation Forum Showcase.