Call for expressions of interest

The Social Innovation Lab is an experimental approach to action that is collective and community-led, and in which a diverse group of actors work together to create new solutions to tackle family separation in Roma communities.

If you are a Roma activist, facilitator, or an organisation with Roma leadership in Bulgaria and are interested in leading an innovative approach with members of the local Roma communities to collaboratively create new solutions for addressing the issue of family separation, check out this opportunity.

Past programme information

Are you an NGO working to prevent unnecessary child-family separation in Bulgaria? Do you have a solution or service that has been successfully evaluated and proven, and could have an even greater impact? Would you like to gain the support needed to expand the reach of your solution in a sustainable way?

Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children seeks to double the number of people within Bulgaria who will benefit from impactful solutions for family stability and create collective and widespread change for, and alongside, the communities most affected by this issue – including Roma populations and people living with disabilities.

Made possible thanks to the support of Tanya’s Dream Fund, hosted by Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, Scale Accelerator provides fully subsidised consultancy support to scale up solutions that ensure children grow up in families where they can thrive. We define ‘scale’ as sustainably expanding the reach and impact of solutions that have been proven to be effective, and supporting organisations to shift policy, practices and behaviour at a national level, so as to drive systemic change.

The programme will provide you with intensive, tailored one-to-one support. By taking part, you will work collaboratively with our team of specialised scaling consultants as well as experts based in Bulgaria, who will offer hands-on technical assistance to help you:

  • Build a foundational strategy for scale.
  • Develop actionable and clear scaling and financial models, and build the internal operations needed to make the journey to scale achievable and financially sustainable.
  • Engage national initiatives, the public sector and government responsible for child protection and family welfare in your approach to scaling up, so you can maximise your solution’s potential for long-term profound impact.

Applications for this programme are closed.

Two programme routes

1. Expert Consultancy: up to 3 years of fully-subsidised, tailored consultancy for NGOs with a solution or service that has high potential for success at scale. Our team of scaling consultants and local experts will provide hands-on technical assistance to identify how you can best achieve long-term, sustainable and widespread impact. Applications are closed.

2. Social Innovation Lab: a community-driven, collective action approach for Roma individuals, community groups and organisations keen to co-design new solutions to tackle family separation within Roma communities. Call for expressions of interest available here.

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Expert Consultancy

Who it's for

To be selected for Expert Consultancy, the solutions will be aimed at preventing children being unnecessarily removed to an institution or other form of residential care. Read more about the criteria below and take the eligibility quiz to understand whether this is the right fit for you.

Focus area

Preventing children being unnecessarily removed to an institution or other form of residential care. Focus areas include:

  • Strengthening protective factors that help keep families together 
  • Resourcing communities to respond proactively and in a timely manner to child wellbeing needs to prevent family separation 
  • Incentivising gatekeeping to tip the balance in favour of supporting family stability over separation

Examples of solutions include, but are not limited to: 

  • Parental skills, such as providing access to knowledge on parenting & child development; building parental resilience 
  • Engaging and mobilising extended family support networks; promoting positive practices & structures in communities that support families  
  • Mobilising locally led groups to identify child protection instances and ensure appropriate responses
  • Ensuring any separations are tested to ensure they are in the best interests of the child, and there are pathways to family-based alternative care 

Essential criteria

  • Solutions that demonstrate clear evidence of impact and value for beneficiaries, have been proven to work  in the Bulgarian context, and have documented evidence of their effectiveness
  • Solutions that have been running for at least 2 years
  • Solutions that have great potential to catalyse positive community transformation and system-wide impact when scaled, and are involving or intending to involve national initiatives and institutions or governmental bodies
  • NGOs with an ongoing track record of successful delivery and strong leadership capabilities and capacity to engage meaningfully in the consultancy support

The programme will prioritise NGOs and solutions led by and/or supporting groups most affected by child-family separation, including solutions led by Roma communities and solutions with a focus on disabilities.

We know that not all organisations will be able to meet every element of the criteria above, so we are also encouraging earlier-stage solutions that still require further innovating or adapting to apply.

Long-term change at scale

"The programme was truly transformational, not just for us as CEOs, but for the whole charity and therefore the people and organisations that we are supporting." - Scale Accelerator participant, 2021

Programme details


Expert Consultancy: The consultancy will last up to 3 years, depending on your organisation’s needs. It will commence in November 2023.

Social Innovation Lab: More details will be announced in late 2023. 

Local Associates

To ensure our support is rooted in a true understanding of the context NGOs are working in, we are delivering the programme in partnership with Bulgaria-based associates and advisors with local knowledge and experience. These individuals will play an integral role alongside Spring Impact’s scale experts, offering guidance, support and challenge to optimise the successful scale of solutions in the programme.

Consulting team

Our team is composed of specialised scaling consultants, with diverse lived experience and working knowledge, and a wide ranging expertise in scaling with government, working in partnership with other NGOs addressing a common goal, facilitating community adoption, and more scaling approaches.

Support to participate

The consultancy provided as part of this programme is fully subsidised by Tanya’s Dream Fund, and participants are not required to co-fund their participation. 

To ensure NGOs are not excluded from participating due to a lack of funds, limited staff capacity or other resource barriers, organisations selected for Expert Consultancy will be able to request resources and support to aid their engagement in the programme.

Alumni networks

Once selected for the programme, you will become part of our prestigious cohort of Scale Accelerator alumni and receive exclusive invitations to free training sessions, meet and learn from organisations on a similar journey, and gain networks of like-minded peers. 

The programme has given us the space to grow our thinking exponentially. We would not be the same organisation we are now if it wasn’t for the programme.

Scale Accelerator participant 2020


Spring Impact will walk the journey to scale together with you, aiming to really get to grips with your solution, context, and organisation, and provide you with expert guidance.  

You will gain the time, space and support to take a step back away from the ‘day-to-day’ and critically reflect on your long-term impact. What’s more, you will be equipped with new and unique skills, knowledge, and mindsets to help you deliver against your scaling ambitions beyond the lifetime of this programme.

“If you want to analogise it: people get personal trainers to keep them honest. Spring Impact was like our personal trainer for scaling.” – Previous Spring Impact client

Robust strategy and actionable plans

  • An ambitious strategy for scale that you know works in reality and creates impact and value for all stakeholders at scale
  • A detailed model for scale which maps out how you will achieve your scale strategy in the real-world
  • Knowledge of how to best align and engage with governmental/EU initiatives and policies in your approach to scale

Financial sustainability at scale

  • A well-defined financial model showcasing the costs and income associated with delivering your scale model 
  • An opportunity to think critically about who might pay for your solution at scale, whether government, EU initiatives, corporate partnerships, foundations, INGOs, as well as a strong case to bring to funders and potential partners

Upskilled leadership and wider teams

  • Develop a strong knowledge of our scaling methodology, and gain practical skills and knowledge to apply this within your organisation
  • Upskill your wider team within this methodology, so that they can use the principles and tools learned in their work, in other projects, in their future careers in the sector
  • Learn from other organisations on a similar journey

The mindsets, knowledge, and tools needed for scale

  • An impact-driven mindset, focused on long-term outcomes, rather than short-term project outputs 
  • A detailed understanding of what’s needed to accelerate the journey to scale in a sustainable way
  • An in depth knowledge of how to scale in partnership with others, reaching new locations otherwise unreachable, and making use of partners’ competencies, skills, and technologies

Interested in the Social Innovation Lab?

Register your interest

What do you mean by 'scaling impact'?

At Spring, we recognise that ‘scale’ can be a buzzword that’s talked about in different contexts but often not understood or practically defined. We define scale as a successfully tested and proven solution being expanded to reach more people with long-lasting impact and sustainability. 

This way, if your team is scaling a solution, you are dramatically expanding its impact in a way that better matches the size of the problem you’re trying to solve, in a way that is operationally and financially sustainable.

We will also support organisations to implement vertical scale, shifting policy, practices and behaviour at an institutional or systems level to better address problems. Scale up must address not only expansion, but also promote embedding innovations into policies, norms, programmatic frameworks, and operational guidelines to help create the conditions for sustainability.

What level of evidence do I need to apply?

In order to be ready to scale, your solution, intervention or service should have strong evidence for its outcomes, so it can prove that it’s making a difference to preventing family separation and gain buy-in from potential partners.

The level of evidence required will differ based on the type of solution you are delivering. Spring Impact looks for clear qualitative evidence of outcomes and a robust monitoring and evaluation process. The strongest forms of qualitative evidence are external or independent evaluations but we do not expect every solution to have this in place.

If there is a lack of evidence for the outcomes and impact of your solution, intervention or services resources would be better invested into developing this evidence before embarking on the scaling journey.

Can you tell me more about the 'support to participate'?

Expert Consultancy is fully subsidised by Tanya’s Dream Fund, and participants are not required to co-fund their participation.

To ensure NGOs are not excluded from participating due to a lack of funds, limited staff capacity or other resource barriers, organisations selected for Expert Consultancy will be able to request resources and support to aid their engagement in the programme.

This will especially prioritise engagement of the key staff assigned to lead NGOs scaling journey. The support will vary depending on the needs of the organisation and will be agreed on a case by case basis. 

There will also be opportunities to test ideas on a small scale with support from Spring Impact so that participants can try out new things and gather evidence of their impact as part of the programme.

What do you mean by systems level change?

When scaling up interventions to prevent unnecessary family separation in the child protection system in Bulgaria, it is essential we consider the interactions between different solutions and interventions, the broader service delivery system and the intended target populations and communities, including their specific needs and their demand for services. 

Does our organisation have to be large? Do we need to have a lot of staff capacity?

There are no requirements on the size of your NGO in order to apply, though we will look to work with organisations who are best placed to scale their impact. However, we typically request that 3 – 4 members of your staff team, including at least one member of senior leadership, are able to participate fully in the Expert Consultancy and embed the knowledge and learnings into your organisation over time. 

Resources and support are available to free up some of your staff time if that’s needed to ensure you can fully engage with the programme.

Is there any cost to the programme?

This programme is fully-funded so there will be no cost for organisations to pay if selected to take part.

However, in return selected organisations are expected to engage fully with the programme including ensuring the buy-in of their wider internal team and other key stakeholders. You can read more about the time commitment in the question below.

What is the time commitment?

We tailor our support to the needs of each organisation so it can look quite different from organisation to organisation. However, as an indication, the time required from you might look something like the following:

Expert Consultancy

For the duration of the programme, at least 3 – 4 team members including leadership will need to allocate a minimum of 1 day a month to:

-> Take part in bespoke, collaborative workshops with your Spring Impact consultancy team both in person and online

-> Attend regular check-in conversations

-> Become upskilled in Spring Impact’s scaling methodology

-> Spend time testing and innovating your solution and scale model

A nominated project lead will need to allocate up to 1 day a week for the duration of the programme.

Where will the programme take place?

Expert Consultancy will be delivered through a combination of:

  • In person workshops and meetings at the office (or a nearby location) of the selected organisations
  • Online workshops and meetings hosted using Zoom.

Previous Spring Impact clients

Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children
Village Reach focuses on designing responsive primary healthcare systems to improve the accessibility of health products and services to the hardest-to-reach communities. Through radical collaboration with governments, partners, and the private sector, we create sustainable solutions that are scaled and sustained beyond our direct reach. By working together, they have enabled 79 million people to access quality health care.
Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children
StrongMinds radically expands mental healthcare for people with depression globally.
Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children
A U.S nonprofit & Kenyan NGO that aims to alleviate poverty and build resiliency in the drylands of Africa.  To date, the BOMA project has impacted +44, 000 woman and children.
Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children

BeadforLife provide business training, programmes and support that enables women in Uganda who live in extreme poverty to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs thus, improving their livelihoods and well-being. One example is the Beading programme where fashionable fairtrade products are created in conjunction with business concepts such as accounting and quality control being taught.  We have worked with Bead for Life since August 2015 with the purpose of helping the organisation assess feasibility, develop a scale strategy and design a model for replicating their Street Business School (SBS), a programme that supports women to develop their capacity and business skills.

Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children
Village Enterprise equips rural communities in Africa with resources to create sustainable businesses and new business activities which promote environmental best practices. Through this, they strive to end extreme poverty in rural Africa.
Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children

Marie Stopes International (MSI) is one of the largest international family planning organisations in the world. Millions of the world's poorest and most vulnerable women trust Marie Stopes International to provide them with quality family planning and reproductive healthcare.

We work with MSI in Zambia on their Diva Centres initiative which is a human centred design approach to encouraging adolescents to access sexual health services. We are helping MSI to think about how this programme can be scaled and made sustainable.

Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children
At WEvolution, they nurture collectives called Small, Powerful Groups: meaningful, resourceful and accountable communities where everyone can be a change-maker and an entrepreneur.
Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (PPFA) works to protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care and education and provides support to its member affiliates. Planned Parenthood affiliates are separately incorporated public charities that operate health centres across the U.S. as trusted sources of health care and education for people of all genders in communities across the country.
Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children

Groundswell is a nonprofit which works to tackle homelessness by working with homeless people and enable othem to take more control of their lives, have a greater influence on services, and therefore set a chain reaction of togetherness and opportunity. We worked with Groundswell to scale the impact of their Homeless Health Peer Advocacy Programme that partners former homeless with current homeless, to ensure health appointments are met.

Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children

Silulo Ulutho Technologies have a social mission centred on bridging the digital divide through providing ICT services that are geographically and economically accessible. The organisation already have twenty six branches located in deprived areas of the Eastern and Western Capes of South Africa. Each café can serve 200-300 clients a day and Silulo have already trained over 12,000 students.

Silulo Ulutho Technologies was a participant in a South African Scale Accelerator programme we delivered in conjunction with The Rockefeller Foundation, Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Cape Town University and Franchising Plus.

Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children
Mayday Trust transformed itself from a traditional charity providing supported accommodation services, to a nationally-recognised voice for radical systems change. When Mayday heard from people that traditional services were failing to help and they were becoming trapped in broken systems, Mayday set about to transform the services it offered.
Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children

Save the Children runs world-class programmes to save children’s lives and challenge world leaders to keep to their promises to give children a brighter future. Save the Children is part of Rapid Routes to Scale; a unique group of stakeholders from the academic, social and private sectors, committed to ensuring people in low and middle income countries have better health by understanding how primary care can be scaled and acting upon it.

Members include ICSF, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Center for Health Market InnovationsGlaxoSmithKline, Innovations in Healthcare (formerly The International Partnership for Innovative Healthcare Delivery), Novo Nordisk, Merck & Co, Merck Serono and T-HOPE at The University of Toronto.

Rapid Routes to Scale undertook the first ever global in-depth study to identify healthcare innovations in developing countries that have the potential to be replicated to increase accessibility to affordable medicine. Find out more here.
Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children

RECLAIM is a social change organisation that challenges the homogeneity that exists in the leadership profiles across UK society and supports youths and the working class people.

Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children

The African Development Bank (AfDB) aims to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries, thus contributing to poverty reduction. AfDB funded a series of workshops, facilitated by the Social Fund for Development in Egypt, in which we participated by introducing social and micro franchising to the Egyptian market.

Through events and workshops, we discussed case studies, illustrated best practices, outlined financing mechanisms and drove awareness about the benefits of social and micro franchising to the country’s key stakeholders in large micro finance institutions (MFIs), corporations and NGOs.

Scale Accelerator: Solid Ground for Children
Social Bite is a social enterprise running an employment support programme for vulnerable and marginalised people experiencing homelessness across Scotland
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