A message from Kate Barr

Dear Propel clients and friends,

Today I am sharing some personally exciting news: On December 31, 2023, I will be retiring as President & CEO of Propel Nonprofits. For over 22 years, I have had the amazing opportunity to assist in bringing capital to historically undercapitalized nonprofits and communities, and in broadening the reach and impact of nonprofit organizations of all service areas and sizes across the state. I am proud of the work I have gotten to do with my colleagues to make Propel a go-to resource in the nonprofit sector.

I love people who work in nonprofits. I love people who lead nonprofits, and my favorite thing to do is talk to nonprofit executive directors.

I have also gotten to know so many of you. I love people who work in nonprofits. I love people who lead nonprofits, and my favorite thing to do is talk to nonprofit executive directors. Over the last two decades I have grown into a role that allowed me a bird’s eye view of the sector and offered me the chance to be champion and connecter for nonprofit leaders. I am proud of this work and am grateful to have the opportunity to do it.

This transition has been in the works for over a year and comes at a time of organizational strength with a strong community of allied nonprofits, committed funders and investors, an excellent board of directors, and an innovative, resilient staff.

Since 2017, Propel has successfully:

  • Provided $117 million in capital to nonprofits throughout Minnesota for working capital and community facilities through the loan fund.
  • Partnered with over 800 nonprofit clients for consulting engagements including strategic planning, board development, and accounting and finance coaching.
  • Cultivated financial leadership skills in over 260 nonprofit leaders through our Financial Leadership Cohorts.
  • Leveraged almost $10 million in grant funds and forgivable loans to benefit over 300 nonprofits.
  • Reached over 46,000 people with over 1,000 training events and created a robust resource library for on-demand resources in the areas of finance, strategy, and governance.
  • Supported hundreds of emerging nonprofit leaders as they built their organizations and achieved stability.
  • Acted as a champion for nonprofits, and built partnerships with philanthropy, civic leaders, and financial institutions

Propel’s Board of Directors has formed a search committee and begun a search in partnership with BroadView Talent Partners, a national, executive search firm More information about this search and a timeline of the process can be found at our President & CEO Transition page

I want to thank you for your continued trust and support both professionally and personally. It has been an honor to work with so many of you as President & CEO of Propel, and as Executive Director of the Nonprofits Assistance Fund before the merger with MAP for Nonprofits in 2017. From my experience leading the merger, working closely with my colleagues over the last few years, and preparing for this transition, I know that the organization is poised to continue championing your work and nonprofits for many years to come.

I look forward to connecting with many of you over the next seven months—there’s a lot of work to be done in our sector before December—and am looking forward to what’s next.


Kate Barr, President & CEO, Propel Nonprofits

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