Rootcause
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MathPower
2011 Social Innovator

Invest smart. For every $1 donated to the Social Innovation Forum, innovators see a $3 increase in budgets. Donate today.

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Cooking Matters
2012 Social Innovator

Gain visibility and build capacity. Become a Social Innovator or Impact Entrepreneur.

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Social Innovator Showcase

Go deeper. SIF provides promising alternatives to traditional philanthropy.

Social Innovation Forum

Social Innovation Forum Overview

The Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is Root Cause’s demonstration of how resources can be allocated based on performance to accelerate progress on social issues.


Since 2004, SIF has directed close to $13 million in cash and in-kind support to 59 Social Innovators and Impact Entrepreneurs. For every $1 donated to the Social Innovation Forum, our innovators and entrepreneurs have seen a $3 increase in their budgets.

Through our rigorous selection process and intensive programming, we bring together more than 1,500 philanthropists and other investors, foundation staff, and business people who share a common goal: to improve performance in order to ensure the growth of innovative nonprofits and businesses that address important social issues.

Each year, SIF identifies five early-stage nonprofits (“Social Innovators”) and four to eight for-profits and hybrid organizations (“Impact Entrepreneurs”) through an intensive six-month due diligence process. Our team then helps them gain visibility, expand their networks, and build capacity.

Our cohort of for-profit and hybrid organizations addresses social issues while generating financial returns through their products or services. The Social Innovation Forum connects them with investors who provide the capital to grow their businesses.

SIF works closely with a community of funders and investors who get involved with the program on a variety of levels. What brings these funding partners to the process includes:

  • a desire to become better philanthropists and investors, gain visibility, and learn more about a particular social issue sector
  • a chance to get to know and invest in the most promising early-stage nonprofits and businesses
  • an opportunity to network with and learn from other philanthropists and impact investors
“Working with SIF made an enormous impact on the growth and sustainability of My Life My Choice. We were named a Social Innovator at a time when our organization was at a real inflection point. To be frank, we had been severely hurt by the recession. SIF helped create a plan for financial sustainability. Since that time, we have tripled our budget and tripled our staff, and we continue to look toward growth. We are immensely grateful to SIF.” Lisa Goldblatt-Grace, Program Director, My Life My Choice