Exciting Changes at Propel

Propel Nonprofits

We are thrilled to announce exciting changes happening at Propel Nonprofits in 2023. Please join us in celebrating new and newly promoted staff whose leadership and expertise will help shape programming across Propel.

“Welcoming and fostering new leadership at Propel is always exciting, and this time especially so. I am confident in our team’s ability to champion nonprofits, our goal day in and day out, and am looking forward to seeing how our team grows and changes as Naima, Sara, Hibo, and Sarah share their vision for what Propel can be.” – Kate Barr, President & CEO of Propel Nonprofits

Naima Farah, Capacity Building Director

Naima Farah joined Propel in December 2019, weeks before the pandemic began. She successfully guided a cohort of 12 nonprofits through Propel’s Capacity Building Initiative for Family Engagement during the pandemic, launched another cohort of NIGP grantees, and much more. Read Naima’s bio.

“I joined Propel 3 years ago and it has been tremendously rewarding to partner, co-create and support the capacity building and mission impact of many grassroots, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-led and serving nonprofits. Propel believes our nonprofit partners should be trusted, supported, and invested in with resources, capital, and expertise, and I am excited to be a resource to organizations as they grow.

Our Capacity Building team is invested in stewarding strong community connections, strategically supporting our nonprofit leaders and the communities they serve with the capital, resources, care, and attention they need. Supporting organizations and communities that are traditionally underinvested and undercapitalized is truly rewarding and excites me to continue building power, co-creating, and championing our partners efforts as they create more just, equitable communities. I am excited to continue to work with my colleagues as we grow our capacity building and support the much-needed capacity/infrastructure building of our sector partners.” – Naima Farah

Sara Wessling, Training Director

Sara Wessling has worked at Propel for five years. In her time at the organization, she has coached over 100 nonprofit leaders in the Financial Leadership Cohort program, convened Leaders Circles©, and been the first person many participants meet at trainings or conferences. Read Sara’s bio.

“I’m so excited to continue working with the training team at Propel – they are the best.

Propel gets to connect with a wide range of organizations and partner with them through various stages of growth and challenge. Being their cheerleader during this time is why I love my job.

I’ve been at Propel 5 years and I’ve gained a deep appreciation of what it means to be a nonprofit financial leader through my role, and I’m looking forward to bringing that knowledge into my leadership of the training program. The type of support we can provide to organizations is unique; we work hard to try and make our programming accessible to many budget sizes, and kinds of organizations. I’m excited to continue to work with my team to show up for our partners and live out Propel’s values through our curriculum.  “ – Sara Wessling

Hibo Abdi, Loan Fund Director

Hibo Abdi joined Propel in November 2022 as the Loan Fund Director. She brings a vast amount of experience to the work of Propel’s loan fund; she previously worked for Seward Redesign’s lending program where she focused on developing, implementing, and growing the program there. Read her bio and reach out to say hello!

“I am excited to join such a passionate and dedicated team of professionals, in our mission to help nonprofit organizations achieve their goals and support the Minnesotans they serve.

As Loan Fund Director, I am committed to making sure my team is out in the community meeting nonprofits where they are. I want nonprofit leaders to have access to capital and resources so they can continue to do their important work.” – Hibo Abdi

Sarah Bauer Jackson, Portfolio Director

Sarah Bauer Jackson has worked at Propel for five years. In her time at the organization, she has made loans, developed and presented trainings, and offered technical assistance to nonprofits. In her new role, she will ensure operations of Propel’s loan fund runs smoothly and assess the fund’s impact; she will also continue lending and training. Read Sarah’s bio.

“We make over 100 loans a year to nonprofits across the state that support artists, community service providers, housing organizations, schools, and more. I’m excited to play a role in assessing our impact in the community and ensuring my colleagues can serve our clients well.

We are one of the only CDFIs in the country that is focused on lending to nonprofits, which means we have a unique understanding of working with nonprofits, understanding their business models, unique challenges.  Making sure we can work toward our goal to invest capital into historically undercapitalized communities is core to my excitement for taking on this position.” – Sarah Bauer Jackson

More staff who recently joined Propel!

If you haven’t visited recently, here’s who you might’ve missed!

Heather Allen

Heather recently started at Propel as the Fiscal Sponsorship Consultant. Her bio is coming soon!

Sindiswa Georgiades

Sindiswa is a Strategic Services Consultant at Propel. Read her bio.

Ellie O’Brien

Ellie is the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Propel. Read her bio.

Sheila Adams

Sheila is the Senior Training Associate. Read her bio.

Visit our staff page.

Staff Author

Propel Nonprofits