Mission and Team

We believe that by changing where capital is invested, we can shift the structures of power to benefit more people.
Theory of Change
Our Mission
We see investment as a mechanism for societal change.

Redirect capital:

We invest in progressive startups.

Spark civic engagement + Change culture + Build movements

This applies leverage at three critical points, creating momentum.

Shift power:

Smaller actions become great shifts, driving long-term political impact.

A Flexible Fund
We’ve designed a fund structure that allows us to invest flexibly across startups — for profit and nonprofit, mission-driven and political — for the greatest impact.
Action Fund
A 501c4 that enables us to support political action startups.
Education Fund
A 501c3 that enables us to provide entrepreneur support, engage the community, and provide thought leadership.
  • Educational programs
  • Entrepreneur support
  • Operations
  • Examples – NMV Summit , Tools for Change
Innovation Fund
A 501c3 fund managed by Impact Assets that enables us to make grants to c3 nonprofits as well as early-stage investments in mission-driven, for-profit companies. Return on these investments helps to sustain our work over time.
  • Mission-driven investing (for-profits)
  • Nonprofit grantmaking (c3)
  • Deal-flow to Investor Network
  • ExamplesBlavity , Vote.org
Investor Network
We invite our network to invest alongside us. By sharing deal-flow and diligence, we give individual and institutional investors the ability to make informed, strategic and impactful decisions.
# Team
photo of Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman is the President of New Media Ventures. Before joining NMV, Taren was a Senior Product Manager at Change.org, and the founder and Executive Director of global consumer watchdog SumOfUs. Taren also spent years in Democratic politics and the climate and labor movements, working for groups like MoveOn.org, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and the AFL-CIO.

photo of Shannon Baker

Shannon Baker,

Managing Director

As Managing Director at New Media Ventures, Shannon is responsible for spearheading the organization’s thought leadership and learning work, attracting new investors to the Innovation Fund, and sharing the good news about NMV and its portfolio organizations.

Shannon leverages story-telling, strategy, and organizational development to help mission-driven organizations grow. Her deep and diverse fundraising and communications experience – including running grassroots campaigns with the State PIRGs and securing major gifts at Stanford Law School, The Nature Conservancy, and Citizen Engagement Lab – allows her to design and execute winning programs and campaigns. And as the host of the annual NMV Summit, Shannon brings together leading innovators, thought leaders, investors, and donors to learn from one another and move the field of progressive innovation forward.

Shannon has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from University of Michigan, where she focused on strategy and social innovation. When not at work, she enjoys travel and photography, Oakland’s best eats and treats, and walking her rescue pup Hamilton.

photo of Jessica Salinas

Jessica Salinas,

Vice President of Investments

Jessica Salinas is Vice President of Investments at New Media Ventures. As VP of Investments, Jess is responsible for the cultivation of early-stage deal flow and portfolio management, building mission-driven partnerships, and leading the growth and direction of the investment team.

Previously, she was a Partner at an impact fund moving the world towards zero poverty, zero disease and zero pollution. Jessica was also the founding Social Impact Lead at Headspace and the founding Director of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education Program.

Jessica serves on the Board of Words Uncaged, which provides programming for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals in LA, and Plug in South LA. Jessica received her BA in Communication from Stanford and her MS in Social Entrepreneurship from USC Marshall School of Business.

photo of Arbour Decker

Arbour Decker,

Director of Partnerships

As Director of Partnerships, Arbour is responsible for leading NMV’s fundraising and partnership efforts, including developing and overseeing fundraising strategies, funder communication, internal systems, and external-facing events.

Arbour has served in development and relationship building roles for the past 12 years. Prior to joining NMV, Arbour held the position of Director of Strategic Partnerships at Aspire Public Schools, Director of Strategic Partnerships at East Bay College Fund (now Oakland Promise), Director of External Relations at OneJustice, and a variety of other development positions in higher ed and youth development fields.

Arbour earned a B.A. in Communication from Western Washington University and an M.A. in Communication from San Diego State University. In her free time, Arbour enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones in beautiful Oakland, watching the Warriors win, dinner parties (pre-COVID19), cycling, and some karaoke when the mood strikes.

photo of Alex Blum

Alex Blum,

Fundraising & Communications Manager

As Fundraising & Communications Manager, Alex is responsible for coordinating grant proposals and reports, facilitating NMV’s interactions with its network and the public, and supporting the NMV leadership team.

Alex joined from Grassroots Campaigns, where he fundraised for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Southern Poverty Law Center, and other nonprofits. Previously, he wrote freelance book reviews and worked in Publicity and Online Marketing at Yale University Press.

Alex earned a BA in English from Yale University and originally hails from San Diego, CA. Outside of work, he loves running, surfing, and reading and writing fiction.

photo of Phillip Sanders

Phillip Sanders,

Investment Principal

As Investment Principal, Phil is responsible for leading investments in early stage mission-driven startups, managing in-bound deal flow, and supporting the growth of NMV's portfolio companies.

Phil served in a variety of roles at Ernst & Young and Rockwood Capital, managing financial duties for clients across technology, real estate, and venture capital. Most recently, Phil was a Fellow at Kapor Capital and an Investment Accounting Manager at the Kapor Center, where he managed various aspects of investing and financial processes at the fund.

Phil leverages his experience to advise early stage startups and serves as Board Chair at the Ella Baker Center in Oakland. This work allows Phil to bring together thought leaders, innovators, supporters, and investors to design communities and startups for good. Phil is from Chicago, Illinois and holds a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Bethune-Cookman University. When not at work , he enjoys his lifelong pursuit of the best cup of cappuccino and refining his cooking and salsa skills.

photo of Mia Orans

Mia Orans,

Operations Manager

As an Operations Manager, Mia is responsible for supporting both the NMV fundraising and leadership team.

Mia joins from Mazel Immigration Law, where she was in charge of operations for the firm, including customizing the firm’s database, establishing best practices for data management, and analyzing workflows to increase case preparation efficiency. Previously, she worked in Community Support and Operations for Kiva where she assisted Kiva lenders and provided operations support to her team.

Mia earned a BA in Economics from Carleton College, where she also played on the Varsity Softball team. Outside of work, she loves to spend time in the ocean, play sports, and try new recipes.

# Board
photo of Daaiyah Bilal-Threats

Daaiyah Bilal-Threats

Director for Strategic Alliances, NEA

Dáiyah (pronounced Dye-ya) Bilal-Threats is the current Special Advisor to the Executive Director and Director for Strategic Alliances at the National Education Association.

photo of Felicia Wong

Felicia Wong

CEO, Roosevelt Institute

Felicia Wong is the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute. She is responsible for overseeing all of the organization’s major program areas.

photo of John Schwartz

John Schwartz

Founder, Voqal

A public broadcasting advocate for nearly 40 years, John has founded community radio and television stations and brought wireless broadband services dedicated to schools and nonprofits to markets.

photo of Julie Kohler

Julie Kohler

Senior Advisor, Democracy Alliance

As Senior Advisor at the Democracy Alliance (DA), Julie plays a key strategic role in developing the DA’s investment strategy and investment recommendations.

photo of Sandor Straus

Sandor Straus

President, Firedoll Foundation

Sandor Straus is the Managing Member of Tigmera, LLC and President of the Firedoll Foundation.

photo of Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams

CEO, Propel Capital

Sarah is co-founder and CEO of Propel Capital, which invests in entrepreneurs, innovators, and changemakers building a more just and equitable society. Propel uses blended capital (political, investment, philanthropic) to accelerate durable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

photo of Cheryl Contee

Cheryl Contee

Chief Innovation Officer, Impact Seat

Cheryl is an innovator with deep expertise in media, tech, and politics. Attentive.ly – the (NMV-funded!) social marketing startup she co-founded – went on to be acquired by Blackbaud in 2016, making it the first tech startup with a Black woman on the founding team to be acquired by a NASDAQ-traded company. She’s also the Founder of Do Big Things and the author of Mechanical Bull: How You Can Achieve Startup Success.

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