A note from New Media Ventures’ new President, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

I am writing this at a moment of great uncertainty for the U.S. progressive movement, our country, and the world. We are in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, which I believe could be the most consequential event of my lifetime so far. And even in the absence of a pandemic that magnifies the stakes further, the 2020 presidential election would arguably have been the most important in decades.

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

In this critical moment, I am honored to have been chosen to be the next President of New Media Ventures.

Starting a leadership role at a new organization during a pandemic is certainly challenging timing. But there’s no place that I’d rather be right now than NMV.

Over the past decade, outgoing President Christie George and her team have built NMV into the heart of innovation in the progressive ecosystem. I’ve personally experienced the impact NMV can have, via my own startup, SumOfUs. Back in 2011, when I was embarking on the ambitious project of launching a new global, multilingual campaigning organization, Christie helped me hone my pitch, invested in me directly, and connected me to additional donors.

That round of NMV seed funding gave me an essential few months of runway, allowing me to build SumOfUs into the organization that has now engaged over 15 million people and won hundreds of campaigns for corporations to treat workers fairly, become more environmentally sustainable, combat human rights abuses, and more.

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman with two other activists, at a 2012 SumOfUs petition delivery. The petition called on the Berenstain Bears to pull its kids meal toy from Chik-fil-A, due to Chik-fil-A’s support for anti-LGBTQ organizations.

NMV has a portfolio of more than 80 of the most impactful progressive digital and media startups of the past decade, from SumOfUs to Blavity, from Mijente to Swing Left. NMV also serves as a key connector between progressive funders, investors, companies, and nonprofits. In this moment of crisis, communication and alignment among these groups is more important than ever.

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, speaking at New Media Ventures 2017 summit. NMV’s annual summit brings together progressive for-profit and non-profit entrepreneurs, foundation and political funders, and impact investors.

The decisions that NMV and other progressive funders make over the coming months will affect our movement for decades. Will we be paralyzed by uncertainty — or will we proactively invest in the innovation that inevitably flowers during crisis? Will we allow a major, but temporary, shift in revenue streams to destroy core progressive infrastructure — or will we act decisively to save organizations that we will need again as soon as the pandemic is over?

There’s no one I’d rather be facing these challenges with than the funders, investors, and entrepreneurs that make up the NMV community. I look forward to leading our organization into its next chapter.

New Media Ventures

Investing in the entrepreneurs & activists wrestling with…

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

Written by

Progressive entrepreneur & organizer; founder of SumOfUs.org; management & data nerd; lover of science fiction & redwood trees. Now Senior PM at Change.org.

New Media Ventures

Investing in the entrepreneurs & activists wrestling with the biggest challenges facing our democracy.

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