Our Approach

 
 
 

Drive Change

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Who We Support

Propel Capital invests in organizations and people working to reform the criminal justice system, advance progressive issues and elected leadership, and expand economic opportunity through inclusive access to capital. We focus on creative solutions to complex challenges, recognizing that game-changing ideas and exceptional leadership exist across sectors, demographics, and geographies.

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Our Initiatives

 
 
 
 
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Propel Democracy

We invest in rising leaders and early- and growth-stage organizations with a clear vision and strategy for building progressive power. Organizations within our portfolio are poised to play a critical role in local, state-wide, and national elections in 2018 and beyond, and represent diverse approaches that foster strategic experimentation and collaboration. This work includes creative, tactical approaches to building electoral power now as well as strengthening grassroots organizing and voter engagement capacity to ignite and sustain long-term transformation.

 
 
 
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Propel Justice

We provide catalytic support for organizations committed to ending mass incarceration and reforming the criminal justice system. The fund prioritizes elevating the leadership of system-impacted people, spearheading strategies to hold decision makers – such as judges and elected officials -- accountable, and designing actionable ways the criminal justice system can operate differently right now.

Source: Center for Prison Education

 
 
 
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Social Entrepreneurship

We support social enterprises building innovative, scalable solutions to issues of poverty and inequality. At Propel, we believe that those closest to the problem are best able to develop successful solutions and therefore prioritize social entrepreneurs whose lived experiences reflect the challenges they aim to solve.

Source: SHOFCO

 
 
 
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Impact Investing

We employ an integrated capital approach to catalyze broad adoption of business and investment practices that consider social and environmental impact. In the US, we focus on companies that create and support thriving wage jobs and organizations that foster healthy local economies and ecosystems for entrepreneurship.

Source: SOCAP

 
 
 

Partner Spotlight

 

Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO)

Shining Hope for Communities is a grassroots movement working to alleviate poverty in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum. Since 2009, the organization has implemented a community driven-approach that aims to catalyze transformation by empowering community advocacy platforms and providing water, health, and sanitation services and education access to all. A primary focus for the organization the advancement of gender equality and building long-term female leadership.  

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SHOFCO is closing the gender gap through its Kibera School For Girls, which was commissioned by First Lady of Kenya Margaret Kenyatta this past May. The school provides free high-quality pre-kindergarten through 8th grade education and leadership development. SHOFCO's most recent initiative is Growing Girl Gurus (GGG), a mind-body therapy program for young girl survivors of gender-based violence. Propel is excited to see the impact as this program develops and as SHOFCO scales its work in three additional urban areas facing similar challenges.

Mijente

Mijente combines digital and in-person organizing to create a hub for Latinx movement building with the goal of increasing participation of Latinx and Chicanx people in the wider movements for racial, economic, climate and gender justice. In 2018, the organization is building creative multiracial coalitions to mobilize voters across the nation with the goal of pivotal wins in Senate, gubernatorial, and down-ballot races. This Spring, the organization conducted a field campaign targeting the growing electorate of bilingual, bicultural people in Georgia. 

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These efforts helped to mobilize Latinx support for the primary, and as a result, early data indicated that the Latinx early vote quadrupled and that half of those who voted early were Latinx. In addition to this pivotal work win Georgia, the organization is leading a multi-city organizing tour in partnership with local grassroots organizations fight against the discrimination and economic exploitation of immigrant communities. The organization’s other work includes campaigns to confront police violence in Arizona, the criminalization of immigrant and black communities in Chicago, and the displacement of low-income residents in Colorado.

Sister District Project (SDP)

The Brennan Center for Justice’s most recent report entitled "Extreme Gerrymandering and the 2018 Elections" states that "because of maps designed to favor Republicans, Democrats would need to win by a nearly unprecedented nationwide margin in 2018 to gain control of the House of Representatives." Sister District’s mission is to win back power in the states in order to overcome the anti-democratic effect of unfair maps. 

 

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In pursuit of this mission, the organization channels donor capacity and volunteers towards critical down-ballot state races that bring strategic opportunity for Democrats for not just flipping a seat, but for having a long term impact on national elections. In May, Sister District announced their second wave of races, bringing their total to 21 state legislative candidates in five strategic states. With over 65 Sister District teams fundraising, phone-banking, and knocking on doors, it’s exciting to see their impact on the midterms take shape. This model has already proven successful in 2017 when Sister District won 14 out of their 15 target state races.