About Accelerate Change

Our Story

In the last decade, Accelerate Change has evolved from a scrappy incubator for new ventures to a full-fledged media lab that has helped develop some of the largest nonprofit media ventures in the country. We scale and invest in emergent and established cultural media properties, build influencer networks, run a digital media lab, and drive civic engagement campaigns.

2012

Founded by Peter Murray

 

2012

Open experimentation with new models for sustainable, scalable citizen organizing and incubating new ventures

2016-2020

Expanding our incubated ventures, developing cultural media networks, and rigorously testing the efficacy of our network’s civic engagement campaigns

2021-Present

Catalyzing impact through our main program areas.

VIEW PROGRAMS

2012

Founded by Peter Murray

2012-2015

Open experimentation with new models for sustainable, scalable citizen organizing and incubating new ventures

2016-2020

Expanding our incubated ventures, developing cultural media networks, and rigorously testing the efficacy of our network’s civic engagement campaigns

2021-Present

Catalyzing impact through our main program areas.

VIEW PROGRAMS

Our mission and theory of change

The Challenge

Our democracy is not responsive to or representative of all communities. This leads to policymakers who neither reflect all communities nor respond to all communities in making policies. These policy disparities disproportionately impact BIPOC and low-income communities, as well as other historically marginalized and excluded communities (including immigrants and LGBTQIA+ communities).

Our Solution

Our strategy is to increase civic engagement with BIPOC and low-income communities through digital media.

The Mission

Our mission is to develop and test new models for citizen organizing, particularly in communities of color, that are scalable, financially self-sustaining, and build deep, trusted relationships that can move people to take action.

Our Theory of Change

Our theory of change is rooted in functional organizing. Drawing upon lessons from some of the largest and most impactful social change institutions, functional organizing is the idea that membership organizations can experience explosive, financially sustainable growth when they provide a robust set of benefits and services that have an outstanding value to the people they seek to organize. Learn more about functional organizing in our article, “The Secret of Scale”  from the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Our approach
and ethos

Cultural Media

Functional organizing, our theory of change, guides us toward models that involve building deep, trusted relationships with audiences that add real value to their lives. Applied to a digital media context, that means building cultural media properties and networks. Cultural media properties and networks engage, add value to, and build trusted relationships with audiences through culturally resonate content, such as interests in food, music, fashion, beauty, animals, nature, celebrity, art, comedy, and more.

Lean Startup Methodologies

Our approach is centered on identifying challenges and unmet needs in people’s lives. We use lean startup methodologies to rigorously test ideas for services and benefits that could help address those pain points and provide real value in people’s everyday lives. Read more about our approach to experimentation in the article, “The Promise of Lean Experimentation” from the Stanford Social Innovation Review. To learn more about lean startup methodologies for the social sector, we recommend the book Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good by Ann Mei Chang.

Catalyst

In the movement to increase civic engagement with BIPOC and low-income communities through digital media, we see our role as being a catalyst. We hope there will be many more organizations advancing these strategies, and we work to catalyze investment in these strategies. Our ethos is to do everything we can to collaborate with, connect resources with, and support other organizations in this space. Visit our network page to learn more about our partners.

Programs

Scale emerging cultural media properties

We advise and support the growth of emerging digital cultural media properties.

Invest in established cultural media properties

 We invest in and seed or expand impact ethos in established digital cultural media properties, accounts, and networks.

Drive civic engagement campaigns

Organize nonpartisan civic engagement campaigns, such as the Civic Revolution

Lead a digital media lab

We run a digital media experimentation lab for R&D on content, growth, sustainability, and tech-enabled experimentation. We also incubate promising new projects for scalable, sustainable digital organizing.

Build influencer networks

We develop celebrity and influencer networks that have authentic connections with their audiences.

OUR impact

We run a digital media experimentation lab for R&D on content, growth, sustainability, and tech-enabled experimentation. We also incubate promising new projects for scalable, sustainable digital organizing.

We measure our impact through:

The collective scale, engagement, and impact of the emerging cultural media properties that we advise and support and invest in

The breakthroughs catalyzed and enabled by our media lab and the digital organizing success of the ventures we incubate

The efficiency of our civic engagement campaigns with our networks