New Left Accelerator

New Left Accelerator (NLA) helps progressive organizations build and sustain power.   We do this by running  a two-year accelerator program, providing capacity building support to progressive power-building organizations, and serving as a learning resource and hub for the progressive movement. 

Founded in 2016, NLA helped support the unprecedented growth in progressive, power-building organizations.  Over the last four years, NLA has worked, learned, and grown with partners and leaders across the progressive ecosystem.  The demand for their support and services outstripped their small team and they are looking to hire to support expansion of their work.

NLA’s Executive Director is Deborah Barron. Jennifer Cheyne, NLA’s second hire, who serves as the Director of Operations & Acceleration.  NLA works with a nationwide network of diverse consultants with deep experience across social justice and organizational change work to meet the unique needs of individual organizations or state ecosystems. NLA’s programs are highly collaborative, leveraging the strengths and extensive knowledge of leaders and partners, and centering deep collaboration. 

In 2019, NLA paused to re-ground their work in their values. NLA staff, board, and stakeholders engaged in a six-month process to explore how NLA might develop and live by a set of core values that guide their internal practices and partnerships. The values are a commitment to create systemic change; collaborate with stakeholders and leaders to build power, equity, and sustainability within the progressive ecosystem; and address systematic oppression. NLA has a 501(c)(3) called The Capacity Shop (TCS).

You can read more about NLAs work helping to build progressive power in the 2020 Impact Report

However, a short description of NLA  three core programs is below:

Accelerator Program

NLA runs the only capacity building accelerator program to support progressive multi-entity organizations building power by using  501(c)(4)s, corporate entities or PACs in addition to traditional 501(c)(3)s.  Each cohort is two years - one election year and one non-election year, and consists of 6-8 power building organizations working in different states.  NLA works in deep partnership with organizations to address key strategic and operational challenges and to help them build operations to maximize the impact of their work. The Accelerator Program is codesigned and led with RoadMap, a nationwide network of consultants with deep experience in equity and social justice work and serves progressive organizations working for and led by underserved communities and advancing a radical, social and economic justice policy platform.  Past cohorts include the New American Majority Cohort and the Progressive Infrastructure Cohort.

Technical Assistance

NLA and the Capacity Shop provide technical assistance (TA) to leaders on a range of issues from forming a 501(c)(4) to finding consultants to help with operating multiple legal entities. NLA defines TA as sharing

knowledge, tools, and resources to help a nonprofit carry out its work and connect to the support it needs. NLA’s TA offerings include:

  • Technical Assistance & Coaching Packages for Leaders and Organizations: NLA partners with leaders to create and scale the full range of legal entities they need to build power, maximize impact, and win.
  • Funder Partnerships to Provide Technical Assistance: NLA works collaboratively with (c)(3) and (c)(4) funders to design capacity-building programs that meet the unique needs of hybrid organizations. 
  • Free Technical Assistance for Emerging Organizations: NLA provides free, rapid, one-on-one TA support to emerging progressive organizations in one-hour appointments. NLA also offers referrals to vetted experts and consultants.

Empower and Protect State Pilot

In order to strengthen the ecosystems that support multi-entity organizations, NLA runs a collaborative

project to build capacity building infrastructure to support multi-entity power building work.  In 2020, NLA ran a pilot project to provide state-specific solutions, resources, and infrastructure to meet the unique needs of hybrid organizations in Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia. This project will continue into 2021 and may be replicated in other states in the future.