The REDF Accelerator powered by
civic accelerator

The REDF Accelerator brings together a cohort of talented social enterprise leaders who are using the transitional employment model to help their employees overcome barriers to employment and successfully transition into competitive, long-term employment. In partnership with the Points of Light Civic Accelerator, our fellows receive expert guidance on core business competencies, employee support programs, and the opportunity to plug into a network of their peers. To hear more about the Accelerator experience from our alumni, click here to read their blogs and watch the video below.

Curriculum & Outcomes

The REDF Accelerator core curriculum focuses on the following key areas:

    • Marketing, messaging & communication
    • Strategic planning & operations
    • Financial planning
    • Employee supports & workforce development
    • Leadership skills & coaching others

The Accelerator also equips fellows with the tools to:

    • Improve strategic thinking and planning skills
    • Diagnose and overcome challenges by applying a “growth mindset” approach
    • Learn how to better identify and test assumptions
    • Pitch for funding more effectively
    • Create a vision of impact to better align and execute on strategy
    • Decrease “burn-out” and feelings of isolation
    • Expand local and national professional networks

By completing the REDF Accelerator, an enterprise becomes eligible to apply for REDF funding. These one-year strategic grants or recoverable funding allocations typically range between $10K - $40K. Participation in the Accelerator does not automatically qualify the enterprise for funding through REDF.

Program Schedule

June 12, 2017 Application Opens
July 24, 2017 Application Closes
August, 2017 Follow-up with Applicants (as needed)
September, 2017 Selected Applicants Notified
October 25 – 28, 2017 Session 1 | Chicago
February 7 – 10, 2018 Session 2 | San Francisco
May 2 – 5, 2018 Session 3 | Baltimore

Selection Criteria

To apply, the applicant and enterprise must meet the following criteria. If after reviewing this list, you still have questions about whether you are eligible, please contact us at


    • Must be the operating head of an employment-focused social enterprise and have full decision-making authority over the enterprise.
    • Willing to provide key data to REDF during and after the conclusion of the accelerator program. (This includes completion of the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative annual survey.)
    • Must be a member. Not a member yet? Register here. (Membership is free and you’ll get information throughout the year about webinars and gatherings REDF hosts.)


    • Can be a “stand-alone” enterprise or exist as a program that is part of a larger, parent agency.
    • Is in early or growth stage - must be revenue-generating and revenue should be between $25K - $1M per year. If revenue is above or below this range, please explain. For example:
        • 1) Revenue is currently $12K/year but there are active contracts that will bring the enterprise to $40K this fiscal year.

          2) Revenue is currently $1.2M/year, operating costs are high and the programmatic side of the enterprise is struggling since it lacks expertise in employee supports and workforce development.

    • Currently employs, or seek to employ, REDF’s target population and pays wages that meet local minimum wage standards through a transitional jobs model.
    • Located, and legally able to operate in the United States.

REDF will be evaluating applications on the following:

    • Mission Alignment | The strategic vision and mission is aligned with REDF’s priority to support social enterprises that provide transitional employment for those with barriers to employment.
    • Leadership Fit | Demonstrated interest in being an active cohort participant to learn from, share with, and teach others.
    • Growth Plan Fit | The growth plan is clear, comprehensive and realistic while offering a compelling vision based on feasibility, market need, and job-type fit for the population served.
    • Organizational Capacity | The enterprise is in an overall strong position – both operationally and financially – to build on what already exists and with the right support and resources, grow over the next 2-5 years.


REDF will provide accommodations and most meals for the duration of the in-person sessions:

Chicago, IL | October 25 – 28, 2017
San Francisco, CA | February 7 – 10, 2018
Baltimore, MD | May 2 – 5, 2018

Commitment Required
Fellows will be expected to sign a contract agreeing to the following terms:

    • Attendance at all sessions, including virtual. Note: all fellows must arrive the night before the start of each session.
    • Completion of all data-gathering surveys from both REDF and the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative.
    • Travel to and from each session. (A limited number of travel stipends are available – to be considered, complete the optional travel burden question in the application).

Still have questions? Here’s a few more resources:

The 2017 REDF Accelerator application is closed.