NCRC: Annual Conference

Join NCRC and leaders from business, government, community non-profits, media and academia March 28-30, 2017 in Washington, D.C. for cutting edge dialogue and hands-on trainings, workshops, plenaries, and topical sessions on issues affecting America’s communities.

Why Attend the 2017 NCRC Annual Conference?
This event is the largest national gathering of community non-profits, policymakers, government officials, small businesses, media, and academia–all focused on how together we can create a more just economic framework to improve the lives of American families, our workers, our older adults, our children and our environment, while strengthening global access to credit and capital.

For nonprofit executives and practitioners, the conference is an opportunity to learn about successful strategies used in other communities, to understand how non-traditional solutions can address existing and emerging concerns, and to exchange ideas with colleagues from across the country. Topics will include community efforts to ensure consumer protection and responsible banking and lending, economic revitalization, workforce development strategies, how to use data for advocacy, and addressing the needs of older adults.

For fair housing professionals, the conference is an opportunity to engage with colleagues on issues such as mortgage servicing, exclusionary zoning, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, disparate impact, and other important community concerns. This includes gaining a clear understanding of emerging legal issues and cases, and how they may affect local communities.

For local, state, and federal policymakers, the conference is a chance to learn about the concerns that are at the forefront of community efforts across the country. These issues include consumer protection, age-friendly banking standards and practices, local responsible banking ordinances, and new opportunities for communities to work with and influence banks and regulators. It is also a chance for community leaders to hear from people who are in a position to enact policy changes that can improve communities.

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

We live in a fast-paced and interconnected world where breakthrough technologies, demographic shifts and political transformations have far-reaching societal and economic consequences. More than ever, leaders need to share insights and innovations on how to best navigate the future.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters remains the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of each year. For over four decades, the World Economic Forum’s mission – improving the state of the world – has driven the design and development of the Annual Meeting programme.

What can Social Impact Accelerators learn from Tech?


Tech Accelerators, led by companies like Y-Combinator (YC), TechStars and 500Startups, attract some of the best and the brightest from around the world. Over the past 15 years, they have helped launch hundreds of companies, including household names Uber (YC), Airbnb (YC) and TaskRabbit (500Startups). According to Seed-DB, over 10 billion dollars have been invested in accelerator graduates. These accelerators have a clear proposition to entrepreneurs: join us for the chance to build a big company, really fast.

Traditional tech entrepreneurs are not the only people to have received this message. Entrepreneurs and supporters in the social impact community have also seen it and over the past five years have led to the rise of the Social Impact Accelerator.

"The Rockefeller Foundation defines an Impact Accelerator as “any intermediary organization or platform working to scale impact enterprises by providing support for multiple impact enterprise needs.”

With more than 200 Impact Accelerators around the world, this is a community that will have a massive impact on improving lives. However, we have yet to see the same level of investment and high profile companies emerge from these accelerators as we see from the Tech Accelerators. In fact, Y-Combinator recently recognized the opportunities that social impact companies offered and hasbegun to admit not-for-profit companies to its cohorts.

As the Impact Accelerator community grows and matures, what can these accelerators learn from their Tech counterparts? How can they attract the top impact entrepreneurs into their cohorts and help them gain the investment and growth that the Tech Accelerators have been able to garner for their participants?

There are four key ideas that have emerged from examining the success of Tech Accelerators. In the coming months, we will be diving deep into these topics and more.

  1. Communicating Success: Entrepreneurs have an increasing landscape of accelerators to select from. How can Impact Accelerators communicate their business and social impact success to potential cohort members?
  2. Community is Key: The major resources that accelerators offer is community. A strong community of former participants, experienced mentors, cohort members and investors are key to attracting and supporting entrepreneurs. How can you build your community and communicate to potential applicants?
  3. The Value of Specialization: Each accelerator has a clear focus and specialization that is clearly reflected in their messaging. How can specialization propel an accelerator forward?
  4. Hunting for Unicorns: A Unicorn is a one-in-a-thousand company that is an outlier success for an accelerator. How do Tech Accelerators identify and foster potential Unicorn entrepreneurs?

The Impact accelerator community is growing rapidly. As it does, questions arise about how to ensure that the accelerators meet their social mission while maintaining viability. Accelerating the Accelerators has brought this community together to share best practices and move their collective mission forward faster. Through this collaboration, we have mapped the impact accelerator community and driven the discussion on how to measure impact.

Updated Accelerator Focus Map

In September 2014 we convened the first ever Accelerating the Accelerators @SOCAP14 day long workshop for program managers dedicated to building a stronger impact ecosystem.  In that session we built the first iteration of our Accelerators Focus Map in an effort to support stakeholders working to navigate the accelerator ecosystem.

We use the term Accelerators in it’s broadest sense - referring to cohort based programs that support entrepreneurs in launching their ventures. These include Incubators, Accelerators, Business Plan Competitions, and Fellowships.

In February 2015 at the Sankalp Africa Summit, we further expanded the map to include programs focused on the African Impact Ecosystem (which you can read more about here).

Since then we've received significant additions to the Focus Map and have just issued the latest version with a significant update.  In the original version below you can see that we had both large and small logos for each program in an effort to demonstrate primary (large logo) and secondary (small logo) area's of focus.

AA_Accelerator Focus Map

Original map created by participants in the Accelerating the Accelerators @SOCAP14 Workshop.

In the new version, we now only present one logo representing the primary focus area for each program.  In many respects this was due to the addition of a number of new programs and the need to make the map easier to read and understand.

Updated Accelerator Focus Map as of October 2015.

Please reach out to us at if you would like to see your program represented on the Accelerator Focus Map.