The Social Sector Accelerator

The Social Sector Accelerator: Building stronger organizations, increasing investment in the social sector, and improving partnerships. The Social Sector Accelerator helps leaders, organizations, and networks become stronger, more resilient, and ensures they can achieve lasting change in their communities.

Building Stronger Organizations
Building Stronger Organizations

The social sector is an expression of all people’s right to organize separate from the state and the private sector. A healthy social sector is one which is plural, independent and resilient. Their unique role includes advocacy, monitoring and accountability. They also provide services and support to vulnerable and marginalized groups. We believe that non-profits, one form of social sector organization, and those who provide support to make them stronger can realize a capacity dividend or a “return” on their investment in the form of greater efficiency, effectiveness, and ultimately greater social impact.

Increasing Investment in the Social Sector
Increasing Investment in the Social Sector

Giving directly and democratically to local nonprofit organizations is both an expression of values and practical. We believe in community self-determination, as opposed to change imposed from outside the community. In addition to being socially just, we see funding directly and democratically as a cornerstone to sustainable development. If giving directly is both valued and practical, the Accelerator unearths and addresses the very real (and sometimes valid) concerns that get in the way.

Strengthening Partnerships
Strengthening Partnerships

Social change and the goal of just, equitable and sustainable development is not achieved by individuals, organizations, communities, or governments acting alone. It requires partnerships built on trust, equity and an understanding of one another’s self-interest. We believe in facilitating meaningful connections between grantmakers and the communities, organizations and networks with which they work to address shared questions and challenges with humility, evidence of impact, and an analysis of root causes.


Your impact is our purpose.

The world is faced with a multitude of complex challenges. The Accelerator’s role is to support those closest to the challenges to identify, prioritize, and seek solutions to their challenges. We support those with resources, expertise, and the will to help address those challenges with humility and evidence of impact — to address the root causes or underlying systems that perpetuate exclusion and obstacles.

Established in 2014, the Accelerator is a wholly owned subsidiary of Counterpart International and is a 501c3 non-profit. Working with foundations, non-profits, networks, and investors committed to addressing global challenges and improving the lives of people in their communities, the Accelerator offers an opportunity to maximize return on investment by strengthening and increasing the impact of groups you support. With our help your social investment will go farther faster, through an increase in what we call the Capacity Dividend.™ Our organizational strengthening support builds a virtuous cycle of impact, organizational improvement, and increased support from donors. An improvement we call the Capacity Surge™.

In this work, we draw heavily on design thinking to encourage continual experimentation, analysis, and innovation.


With every engagement, we emphasize:

  • Locally-driven solutions – Impact is greatest when solutions are led by the communities they are meant to benefit.
  • Evidence of impact – Social solutions must move beyond intuition and assumptions. Data and rigorous analysis are the key to accelerating measurable social change.
  • Cost-effectiveness – If our goal is to change the world, we must make sure every scarce philanthropic dollar spent is leveraged in the most effective way possible.

Through our network of global partners, we provide coaching to nonprofits and social enterprises, pairing intellectual rigor with our experience and commitment to communities to help donors and investors find the best locally-driven solutions to invest in.


We use an Acceleration Cycle to guide our engagement with clients and partners.

“Sometimes the right intervention at the right time can change everything. This was that intervention for me, and will shape our work going forward. Thank you!”

Learn More

Visit the Social Sector Accelerator online at

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