HCN News & Notes

Beveridge Family Foundation Boosts Nonprofits Through Partnership with Innovation Accelerator

WEST NEWBURY — The Beveridge Family Foundation provides support to nonprofits within Hampden and Hampshire counties. While continuing that critical work, it has started investing directly into social-impact projects and ventures. By leveraging its endowment, the Beveridge Foundation is significantly increasing the amount of funding it can deploy.

Local organizations with proposals for economically sustainable programs can now apply for investments of up to $250,000. These proposals must be at the pilot stage or later and already have significant evidence of demand and viability.

At a recent Human Service Forum event, Ward Caswell, the foundation’s president, noted that “Western Massachusetts has one of the most developed nonprofit sectors in the country. We’ve invented techniques that are the envy of the rest of the country. If we can package those techniques right, they can create impact for millions of people and bring significantly more funding to our region.

“Funders like us have trained nonprofits to be very good at writing grants, and not at how to build sustainable business models,” Caswell said. “That is why we’re working with Innovation Accelerator. We’ve watched them help nonprofits come up with ideas and turn them into things that have real potential. We cover up to 50% of the tuition for participating organizations and provide direct feedback to help teams qualify for an impact investment.”

Innovation Accelerator trains nonprofits to develop high-impact social ventures. Alumni have gone from sticky notes on a whiteboard to live programs that have raised more than $1 million in seed funding. Each team that participates in the flagship accelerator program generates mission-aligned ideas, gathers concrete evidence, and receives direct feedback from the Beveridge Foundation and other funders.

Organizations seeking to qualify for one of the foundation’s investments should learn more about the accelerator and apply before the deadline on Monday, Sept. 28 at 11:59 p.m. Those fitting the foundation’s criteria can apply directly at beveridge.org.