Leading Through Crisis: NMV Announces 2020 Groups to Watch
We’re thrilled to recognize the leadership of these inspiring entrepreneurs.
Our 2019 portfolio of nonprofits and for-profits includes frontline organizing groups, progressive tech ventures, new media startups, and organizations strengthening our democracy.
We look beyond expected opportunities to invest in innovative approaches to change.
Sunrise is building a movement of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. By investing in the leadership development of young people from across the country in 2019, Sunrise Movement will build the political power we need in 2020 to make the Green New Deal a reality.
Founders: Varshini Prakash, Sara Blazevic, Evan Weber, Dyanna Jaye, Stephen O’Hanlon, Victoria Fernandez, William Lawrence
As 2020 approaches, it’s more important than ever that grassroots social movements like ours translate people power into political power.
— Varshini Prakash
Avalanche provides deep insight into the values and priorities of communities to empower progressives to resonate, mobilize, and win. How we think about things shapes how we talk about them. Avalanche uses AI-enabled psychographic listening to understand how people think and feel, and what will motivate them to take action.
Founders: Michiah Prull, Tovah Paglaro, Alex Loewi
NMV’s support will accelerate and strengthen our ability to support progressive organizations to deeply understand their communities and inspire them to take action.
— Michiah Prull
Luz Collective disrupts false and inaccurate media narratives about Latinas through high quality digital content, and builds community through in-real-life programs, experiences, and opportunities. Luz Collective celebrates Latina strength, creativity, and success through storytelling — going beyond the stereotypes and superficiality of most mainstream stories.
Founder: Lucy Flores
Latinas are underserved, underrepresented, and misunderstood — Luz Collective aims to change that. We built Luz Collective because there is strength in numbers and together we are unstoppable.
— Lucy Flores
Wonder Media Network is a pioneering audio-first media company that uses stories to inspire action, promote equality and justice, and introduce empathy into politics, business, and culture. WMN presents the stories we seldom hear and the perspectives we often miss — especially about women stepping up to enact change.
Founders: Jenny Kaplan, Shira Atkins
At Wonder Media Network, we’re working every day to amplify underrepresented voices and tell stories that are missing from the broader media landscape.
— Jenny Kaplan
“We believe that those most impacted by an issue are the best suited to imagine & build its solution.”
Upsolve helps low-income families in financial distress file for bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. In their first three years, they’ve been able to directly help thousands of low-income families relieve their debt.
Founder: Rohan Pavuluri
As we enter the next phase of growth, advocating for structural change will become a core part of our mission. NMV is the right partner to help us get there.
— Rohan Pavuluri
Survey 160 creates text messaging tools to improve the quality and availability of data used by analytics groups, researchers, and pollsters, particularly for audiences underrepresented using traditional methods. The technology bridges a gap emerging between telephone interview methods — which are increasingly expensive — and online panel interview methods, which often struggle to reach particular audiences.
Founders: Nathaniel Lubin, Kevin Collins
We can improve the quality of data used in research at the same time as we make it easier to source that data.
— Nathaniel Lubin
CommunityConnect Labs is the leading provider of mobile messaging tools for local government agencies and service providers to count low-income and hard-to-reach communities in the Census, or to connect them with the services they deserve such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, utilities assistance, and workforce development opportunities.
Founder: Perla Ni
The 2020 Census requires technology designed to reach hard-to-count communities. We’re building technology that meets residents where they are.
— Perla Ni
New/Mode is on a mission to empower real people and communities to participate in decisions that impact their lives. New/Mode’s multi-channel advocacy and engagement platform already powers millions of civic actions, helping the world’s most important causes activate grassroots support, reach lawmakers, and win campaigns.
Founders: Steve Anderson, Shamus Reid
Civic tools must scale to meet the challenges before us and we plan to be an important part of the solution.
— Steve Anderson
Innovation comes in many forms. That’s why we fund c3 and c4 organizations, 527s, for-profit companies, and collaborations.
The M4BL App for Black Lives will politically mobilize millions, build the leadership of thousands, and move folks from online activism to organizing safely in their communities, so that Black political power is a force able to influence national and local agendas in the direction of a shared vision — BLACK POWER RISING: 2024.
Founders: M4BL is a leader-full movement of more than 50 organizations who collectively decision make across leadership tables that focus on policy, mass engagement, electoral justice, resource generation, organizing & base building.
This is a phenomenal moment when investors are stepping up to help resource Black self determination and a new era in tech tool development for liberation.
— Charles Long, Resource Coordinator
Contest Every Race is an unprecedented coalition working to improve Democrats’ & progressive allies’ ability to recruit candidates at scale on the state and local level. Contest Every Race brings together diverse partners in communities across the country to attract and support first-time candidates and provide all the resources they need to file and run.
Founder: Yoni Landau
For too long, Republicans have been the only ones competing in local, rural races. When we stop the GOP from running up the score in rural areas, we’ll start winning back state houses, governors’ mansions — and Congress.
— Yoni Landau
Pulso is an organizing platform working to increase the political power of the projected 32 million Latinx voters across the country by creating deep digital relationships with their subscribers. They uplift and empower Latinxs by celebrating everyday heroes and sheroes and recognizing the contributions often left out of history.
Founder: Liz Alarcón
Our stories center the issues that matter to the Latinx community and our contributions to American life.
— Liz Alarcón
Savi’s mission is to help student loan borrowers better navigate their path to student loan freedom. Savi is an advocate for student loan borrowers, saving them money and stress and unlocking new economic opportunity. In 2019, Savi will scale up to reach millions of student loan borrowers and bring on national channel partners.
Founders: Aaron Smith, Tobin Van Ostern
Savi is committed to fighting for student loan borrowers, and we are thrilled to have an investor that cares as deeply about impact as we do.
— Aaron Smith
Swing Left and Flippable are joining forces as a single organization to drive activists, volunteers, and donors to the most effective ways they can get involved in the 2020 elections. By providing donors with simple digital tools, customized recommendations, and transparent reporting, they hope to shift political resources to candidates and organizations that have traditionally had less access to national platforms and donor communities — and, in so doing, to shift the balance of power in the political arena.
Founders: Ethan Todras-Whitehill, Matt Ewing, Michelle Finocchi, Catherine Vaughan
We can make the grassroots more efficient, more effective, and ultimately channel all the amazing energy into victory up and down the ballot in 2020 and beyond.
— Ethan Todras-Whitehill
“Our goal is to shift the balance of power in the United States to benefit more people”— Julie Menter
Gather Voices makes it easy for organizations to increase their video production by empowering members, constituents, and staff to make compelling videos using the powerful cameras everyone already has in their pockets. Gather Voices uses technology to coach users — whether advocates, donors, members, customers or fans — to make videos on their own devices.
Founder: Michael Hoffman
Video is the most important type of content driving engagement and moving people to action. But everything about traditional video production is hard.
— Michael Hoffman
PeoplesHub is a progressive online platform that connects people to the support, analysis, stories, and skills they need to make positive change within their communities and in the world. They’re making it possible for people to connect and act online across geography, ability, language, and issue.
Founders: Sarah van Gelder, Dante Garcia, Jess Grady-Benson, Jeanne Rewa, Elandria Williams, Marcia Lee, Halima Cassells, Melissa Rosario, Linda Stout, Julieta Vitullo
We’re creating a hub for progressive trainers offering participatory online content. Funding from NMV will help fortify our work and support us in our next stage of growth.
— Elandria Williams, Executive Director
CTCL and Vote.org are partnering to help connect Americans with the information they need to make decisions about who represents their communities, even in “off” years. Together they will pilot open-source datasets, APIs, and user facing tools to surface ballot information to voters in local and state-level elections across the country.
Founders: Debra Cleaver, Tiana Epps-Johnson, Donny Bridges, Whitney May
Elections don’t just happen every two years, though the way resources are distributed can make it seem that way. In 2019, governors, state legislators, county and city officials and more are on the ballot.
— Donny Bridges, Co-Founder, Director of Civic Data, CTCL
Prism, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of Daily Kos, centers the voices of people from diverse communities, elevating their stories, ideas, and solutions, with a goal of creating a more reflective democracy. By challenging long-held ideas about who is a leader and what issues are important, Prism is moving us closer to a democracy that actually looks like America.
Founder: Iara Peng
In order to democratize power in this country, we have to change who is telling the stories and whose stories we tell.
— Iara Peng
We partner with visionary donors and investors to catalyze funding when it’s needed most.
We have evaluated thousands of startups over the last decade, giving us a unique perspective on drivers of success in the field. We’re looking for the right mix of vision, persistence, and execution ability.
Every year we recruit members of our community to join the NMV investment committee. These experts from across the fields of technology, social justice, media, philanthropy, investment, and government complement the NMV team’s expertise, help us surface critical information during the interview process, and ensure that we’re evaluating the startups in our applicant pool rigorously and efficiently.