Propel Requests State Direct Appropriation to Support Nonprofits with Capital Projects

Propel Nonprofits

On March 13, 2024, Propel provided testimony on House File 4545 at the House Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee. Propel is requesting an appropriation in FY25 that would be used for capital and technical assistance in support of community-rooted nonprofits that primarily serve historically underserved cultural communities that are working on community facilities projects. This is an important issue for Propel; we know that having a safe, accessible, and functional space is essential for nonprofits to best carry out their missions. This appropriation would support nonprofits with capital projects and help to strengthen the State’s investments.

Propel is committed to supporting nonprofit facilities projects through technical assistance, capital, and continued advocacy.

Our Testimony

Henry Jiménez, President & CEO of Propel Nonprofits, and Ellie O’Brien, Vice President & CFO of Propel Nonprofits provided testimony that reaffirms our commitment to these projects and how Propel is prepared to continue to support our nonprofit partners.

Henry Jiménez’s Testimony

“Thank you, Chair Hassan, members of the committee, and to Representative Sencer-Mura. My name is Henry Jimenez, President and CEO of Propel Nonprofits, here to provide testimony in support of House File 4545.  

Minnesota nonprofits received appropriations from the State in 2023 to support transformational projects. Capital investments totaled nearly $225M to 68 nonprofit organizations.

Today I come to you representing Propel, as a community partner to ensure that these projects are supported across the finish line, and to ensure that the State’s investments are protected and strengthened.

Often projects face funding gaps, and run into challenges as they reach completion – construction, logistics, unforeseen operational expenses, and gaps in understanding from not having undergone large-scale projects before – which is where Propel’s financial expertise and nonprofit savvy come in.

As partner to these projects, Propel would provide loan capital and support throughout the projects, ensuring complete impactful community development projects, with expert technical assistance tailored to their needs.

There was an $85 million gap between what was requested and funded (and project costs totaling well beyond that)—of course you can’t fully fund them all. This is on average a $1.25M shortfall for each of the 68 organizations. Propel, with this appropriation, would provide targeted support to help manage and fill in these gaps.

I want to reiterate that having a patient, flexible project partner with capital and technical expertise is critical to the success of these projects. Your support of this bill will leverage and ensure your investments and have great impact on the many communities these nonprofits serve.   

Thank you.”

Ellie O’Brien’s Testimony

“Thank you, Chair Hassan, Representative Sencer-Mura, and members of the committee. My name is Ellie O’Brien, and I am the VP and CFO of Propel Nonprofits.  

In addition to what Henry shared, I want to share more about Propel’s capital access program. In addition to providing critical access to capital to expand programs or services, bridge cash flow gaps, and purchase or renovate buildings, Propel provides wraparound capacity-building supports to nonprofits. With expertise in nonprofit finance, strategy, and governance, Propel is a trusted partner to provide guidance and support for nonprofits as they navigate their financial and operational challenges and opportunities. You can see more information about our capital access program in your handouts.

Additionally, Propel, as ever, remains committed to accountability for responsibly stewarding state dollars, and to nonprofit organizations using sound fiscal management practices.

Thank you for your time. We appreciate the opportunity to be here with you today.”

What’s Next

We are hopeful that this bill will garner support in this session. Regardless of the outcome, appropriation or not, we will continue to advocate for supporting nonprofit facilities projects, for cross-sector funding and partnerships, and for the vital role nonprofits play in service to the community.

Propel recently kicked off its new fiscal year on April 1, 2024, and we are excited to continue working with nonprofits to provide access to capital and support as they build their capacities in finance, strategy, and governance. We’re especially excited to be launching a new real estate product later this spring. Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter for upcoming announcements.

To talk more about our legislative work, reach out to Garrett Backes, Chief Advancement Officer.

Staff Author

Propel Nonprofits