Naomi Gichungu

Impact Director - Special Initiatives at The Northpine Foundation
Propel Impact Consulting Fellow (2021/2022)
"Propel Impact allowed me to learn and be part of a community of people that are passionate about social impact. I had a chance to question, unlearn and relearn through the guest lectures, projects, teams of fellows, and the invested staff at Propel Impact."

What was your career path?

I started off with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Education then took a master's in Development Practice - Indigenous Development. After graduation, I worked in the settlement sector before joining United Way Winnipeg as a Community Investment Manager. My interest in social impact grew from questioning the conventional charitable model. Learning about social finance and innovation through Propel Impact Consulting Fellowship shifted my perspectives on how different business models can achieve social impact. At the beginning of 2022, I joined The Northpine Foundation as the Impact Manager - Special Initiatives. My work gives me so much joy, and I work with an amazing team that embodies kindness in all that we do.

How did Propel Impact help you grow?

Before I came across Propel Impact, I had been searching for an opportunity to learn about social finance and innovation for over two years. Propel Impact provided the platform to learn and connect with the Propel Impact team, guest speakers, past fellows, and fellows in our cohort. These folks have become my network of mentors and colleagues in the sector.

What issue do you most want to tackle in the world?

One of my priorities is to shift perspectives on social impact and access to capital in the charitable, private, and public sectors. Social impact and social finance instruments apply across any of these business models. However, often the private sector gets left out of the social impact conversation and the charitable sector isn’t necessarily ready for the various social finance instruments. Shifting these perspectives will allow us to have a better impact for the end-beneficiaries.