New Profit Announces New Portfolio Leadership and Partner AdditionsMay 9, 2022
New Profit announced today that Amina Fahmy Casewit and Molly O’Donnell, both Partners and longtime New Profit employees, have been promoted to co-lead the organization’s Portfolio team and serve on the New Profit leadership team. In addition, experienced social enterprise leaders Wendy Lee Haines and Max Polaner have joined the organization as Partners and will work closely with grantee-partners as trusted advisors.
As co-leads of New Profit’s Portfolio team, Amina and Molly will oversee the vision, strategy, and management of New Profit’s investing and strategic support for social entrepreneurs. Amina will primarily lead New Profit’s Build Investments, which provide $1M unrestricted grants alongside tailored capacity-building support for growth-stage organizations over 4-year terms; Molly will primarily lead Catalyze Investments, which provide $100,000 – $200,000 unrestricted grants paired with a peer learning community and capacity-building support for early-stage organizations and typically over a 1-year term. The two investment approaches allow New Profit to find, select, and support the most promising social entrepreneurs creating direct, widespread, and systems-level impact.
“Amina and Molly are impressive leaders with a deep commitment to equity, particularly in the way they deliver support to social entrepreneurs,” said New Profit Co-CEOs Tulaine Montgomery and Vanessa Kirsch. “Together, they will lead the Portfolio team toward its goal of supporting the largest number of social entrepreneurs in New Profit’s 24-year history.”
Additionally, Wendy Lee Haines and Max Polaner joined New Profit as Deal Partners on the Portfolio team. New Profit Deal Partners work shoulder-to-shoulder with social entrepreneurs, serving as the linchpin for the venture philanthropy organization’s support model and focusing primarily on developing strong adaptive leadership through coaching and board development. In addition, Deal Partners help New Profit portfolio organizations to develop and operationalize strategic multi-year plans, while learning with and from the social entrepreneurs.
These changes and additions on the Portfolio team are occurring as the organization accelerates critical work internally and across its partner network that aims to address the systemic injustices laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and the movements that arose following the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd.
As a priority in this work and based on original research released in 2020, New Profit has committed to increasing investment and support for Black, Indigenous, and Latine/x social entrepreneurs and other leaders who have deep lived experience and expertise with inequitable, interconnected systems like education, economic mobility, and democracy.
These leaders often create powerful ideas for transforming these systems that remain underinvested in philanthropy and elsewhere. Today, more than 80% of New Profit’s grantee-partners are led by people of color, and this year alone, New Profit will begin funding and providing support to more than 60 new grantee-partners across its Build and Catalyze portfolios. This represents the largest expansion of investments in a single year in New Profit’s history, and a demonstration of the organization’s mission to serve and accelerate the impact of social entrepreneurs driving equity and opportunity in America. Critical to this work will be New Profit’s commitment to learning, including concerted efforts led by Amina and Molly to interrogate and update assumptions in the way New Profit invests in and supports entrepreneurs.
Keep reading to learn more about the team:
- Amina joined New Profit in 2010 and has overseen and supported New Profit’s portfolio investment selection and performance measurement efforts. Prior to New Profit, Amina was at the Brookings Institute where her research focused on the Middle East and North Africa. Through this research she came across New Profit and became interested in its work as a source of innovation and sustainable impact.
- Molly joined New Profit in 2015, providing capacity-building support to social entrepreneurs in addition to providing internal strategic support to New Profit’s portfolio team. Molly began her career as a youth worker focused on student leadership and identity development and family engagement before shifting to non-profit consulting.
- Wendy Lee Haines joined New Profit this past January, after overseeing UBS’s philanthropic programs in the Americas region. Before that, Wendy spent more than a decade working to advance educational equity, including in leadership roles at two former New Profit portfolio organizations, New Classrooms and Citizen Schools NY.
- Before arriving at New Profit in February, Max Polaner served as Executive Director of iMentor NYC and before that as CFO of Achievement First, both former New Profit portfolio organizations. Max began his career as a public middle school teacher in Hayward, California.
Leave a comment to congratulate these committed leaders as they work to support the visionary entrepreneurs advancing equity and opportunity in America.
About New Profit
New Profit is a venture philanthropy organization that backs social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. New Profit exists to build a bridge between these leaders and a community of philanthropists who are committed to catalyzing their impact. New Profit provides unrestricted grants and strategic support to a portfolio of organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs to increase their impact, scale, and sustainability. It also partners with social entrepreneurs and other cross-sector leaders to shift how government and philanthropy pursue social change to ensure that all people can thrive. Since its founding in 1998, New Profit has invested over $350M in 130+ organizations and, through the America Forward Coalition’s collective advocacy efforts, has unlocked over $1.7B in government funding for social innovation. Learn more at www.newprofit.org or view New Profit’s 2021 Annual Report.