About Us

 
 
 

Brownsville Community Justice Center
Center for Court Innovation

Brownsville.jpg
 

Mission

Propel Capital supports bold leaders creating a just and equitable future. Through creative use of capital, we accelerate innovative, durable social impact solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. 

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 3.44.28 PM.png
 
 
 

Team

 
 
Jeremy is co-founder and managing partner of Scopia Capital, a hedge fund management company with over $6 billion in assets under management. At Propel, Jeremy works closely with the CEO on the organization's strategy and priorities. Since 2007, he has been active in building the field of impact investing, helping to scale innovative social impact organizations, and advancing progressive initiatives. He currently chairs the board of Root Capital, and served on the founding board for Sarona Asset Management. Prior to entering the financial world, Jeremy worked as a freelance journalist and wrote articles on economic, political and social issues for publications including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, SF Weekly and the Village Voice. He holds an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. 

Jeremy is co-founder and managing partner of Scopia Capital, a hedge fund management company with over $6 billion in assets under management.

At Propel, Jeremy works closely with the CEO on the organization's strategy and priorities. Since 2007, he has been active in building the field of impact investing, helping to scale innovative social impact organizations, and advancing progressive initiatives. He currently chairs the board of Root Capital, and served on the founding board for Sarona Asset Management.

Prior to entering the financial world, Jeremy worked as a freelance journalist and wrote articles on economic, political and social issues for publications including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, SF Weekly and the Village Voice. He holds an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

 
Sarah became Propel Capital’s first full-time CEO in January 2017, after launching this project with Jeremy in 2008. As CEO, she directs Propel’s strategy, investment and grant program design, and implementation. Before becoming CEO, Sarah led her own consulting firm, working with foundations, donors, and corporations on their giving and impact investing strategies. Sarah also led the Pfizer Foundation, with over $300 million in assets, overseeing the launch of their first international and social venture programs; designed -- with a coalition of activists, educators, and health experts – the nation’s first comprehensive HIV/AIDS education and condom availability program in NYC high schools at the height of the epidemic; and ran community organizing campaigns for pro-choice State Legislature candidates in Missouri. Sarah serves on a range of nonprofit boards, including the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Center for Prison Education, and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Sarah has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

Sarah is co-founder and CEO of Propel Capital, and directs overall strategy, investment and grant program design, and implementation.

Previously Sarah led her own consulting firm, working with foundations, donors, and corporations to strengthen their giving and impact investing strategies to have greater impact. She also led and launched the Pfizer Foundation, with over $320 million in assets, overseeing the creation of their first international and community-based health and social venture programs.

Sarah is also a lifelong activist. Working with a coalition of HIV+ organizers, educators, and health experts, she designed and advocated for the United States’ first comprehensive HIV/AIDS education and condom availability program in NYC high schools at the height of the epidemic. She also ran community organizing campaigns for NARAL’s pro-choice state legislature candidates in Missouri and has volunteered with individuals and families affected by the criminal justice system throughout her life. She serves on a range of nonprofit boards, including the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Center for Prison Education, and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Sarah has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

 
 
 
As Portfolio Director, Katya manages Propel’s operations and works closely with the Co-Founders on the organization’s overall strategy and implementation. Before joining Propel, Katya worked with foundations, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, non-profit organizations, and K-12 school systems to develop and implement high impact strategies and programs. Previously, Katya managed national initiatives to strengthen instructional quality and capacity in K-12 school systems; helped launch a comprehensive school reform plan in New Haven, CT; and provided strategy and implementation support to Fortune 500 companies as part of the Human Capital Consulting team at Deloitte. She began her career as a middle and high school mathematics teacher in Oakland, California. Katya has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in mathematics from Smith College. She was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and a Broad Residency in Urban Education.

As Portfolio Director, Katya manages grants and investments and works closely with the Co-Founders on the organization’s overall strategy and implementation.

Before joining Propel, Katya worked with non-profit organizations, school systems, and foundations, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, to strengthen their strategies and programs in K-12 education.

Previously, Katya managed national initiatives to improve instructional quality and capacity in school systems; helped launch a comprehensive school reform plan in New Haven, CT; and provided strategy and implementation support to Fortune 500 companies as part of the Human Capital Consulting team at Deloitte. She began her career as a middle and high school mathematics teacher in Oakland, California. Katya has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in mathematics from Smith College. She was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and a Broad Resident in Urban Education.

 
Magda is the Program Assistant at Propel, where she supports the organization’s operations. Prior to joining the team, Magda taught bilingual special education as a Teach for America Fellow. Previously, Magda completed internships at the White House, United Nations, and State Department, where she worked with teams across public diplomacy and global programs. Magda graduated with a B.A. from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Her academic research focused on minority studies, educational leadership, and the politics of national identity in Jewish history.

Magda is the Program Assistant at Propel, where she supports the organization’s operations.

Prior to joining the team, Magda taught bilingual special education as a Teach for America Fellow. Previously, Magda completed internships at the White House, United Nations, and State Department, where she worked with teams across public diplomacy and global programs. Magda graduated with a B.A. from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Her academic research focused on minority studies, educational leadership, and the politics of national identity in Jewish history.

 
 
 

How We Invest

 
 

Propel Capital invests in organizations at critical junctures in their development with flexible, patient capital. We place significant trust in our partners and operate with a high risk tolerance for new approaches and big bets at catalytic moments. 

 
 

Leverageable Capital

While Propel is not the largest pool of socially responsible capital, we creatively structure our grants and investment to leverage additional resources, often by connecting our partners to other investors, taking a first-loss position, or providing other financing incentives. With select partners, our team will take a high-touch approach – taking a board seat, providing hands-on support, and actively connecting to our network.

 
 

Trust-based

Propel uses diligence and reporting practices that enable our partners – and potential partners – to stay focused on their work. Our team strives to minimize the time and effort spent on application and reporting requirements – accepting reports prepared for other funders, using a streamlined and simple application process and, in most cases, providing multi-year, general operating support. We learn from experts in the field, borrow from the due diligence of respected colleagues, and operate with a high degree of trust in the leaders and teams we invest in.

 
 

100% for Impact

Propel makes grants and impact investments through Propel Capital Network, LLC as well as the Propel Capital Fund, a donor-advised fund powered by ImpactAssets. To ensure all of our resources are leveraged for positive environmental and social impact, we work with impact vendors and service partners to support our operations and use 100% of invested assets to advance our mission.

 

To ensure that Propel Capital’s funding reaches the projects and communities that need them most, we intentionally keep overhead low and our own infrastructure small. As a result, we don't have the capacity to review unsolicited incoming funding requests and our application process is by invitation only. We do support intermediaries that conduct open call application processes or consider unsolicited requests and encourage interested organizations to learn more at Echoing GreenMovement Voter ProjectNew Media Ventures, and Village Capital.

 
 

History

Propel Capital was founded to use capital creatively for social impact.  

In 2008, sparked by a shared interest in cross-sector solutions to issues of inequality, we began working together to explore how we could have the greatest positive impact. We believed that investment capital could be cycled repeatedly for social impact and that entrepreneurial approaches could help fuel innovation and drive social change. As a result, we began making impact investments and grants to early-stage organizations to test our ideas and foster experimentation. 

We determined early on that all capital allocations should be aligned with our values - from operations to asset investments to grants - making Propel one of the first philanthropic entities to invest 100% for impact. This early decision remains central to our mission today.  

We established ourselves as a one of the first donor-advised funds at ImpactAssets and continue to partner with them to conduct grantmaking and impact investing. In 2016, we scaled up our work and formed Propel Capital Network, LLC to engage in a broader set of activities. Since we made our first grant, Propel has committed more than $30 million to over 80 social enterprises and impact funds working to create a more just and equitable future.


Jeremy Mindich and Sarah Williams, Co-Founders

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 3.48.13 PM.png