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About Proximate

Proximate is a new, not-for-profit media platform that asks the question: how can we better solve problems together?

We produce solutions journalism about emergent participatory models that shift power to people with lived experience – those proximate to the problem at hand.

Launched by the team behind the award-winning book Letting Go, Proximate covers trends in collaboration across philanthropy, finance, policymaking, academia and the arts.

Our mission is to leverage bold, timely solutions journalism to celebrate and interrogate participatory-problem-solving models and practices, in order to inspire leaders across fields to embrace participation in governance.

Our vision is a world where systems are designed for people with lived experience to weigh in on the biggest problems facing their communities, from climate change to economic inequality.

We're a fiscally sponsored project of Possibility Labs.

Our Team

We are proud to be a women-led and Black-led organization. Between our co-founders, we have 30+ years in journalism, communications and writing/editing: 

Meg Massey

Meg Massey

Co-Founder

Meg Massey

Co-Founder

Meg is a writer and communications strategist committed to building a more just and equitable economy for all. In 2021, Meg co-authored Letting Go: How Philanthropists and  Impact Investors Can Do More Good By Giving Up Control with fellow co-founder Ben Wrobel — an experience that led to the founding of Proximate. 

In addition to her role at Proximate, Meg is the director of strategic outreach for the nonprofit impact investor Upaya Social Ventures. Previously, she consulted with a number of leading philanthropies and held senior communications roles at two social impact nonprofits. Her writing has appeared in Impact Alpha, Nonprofit Quarterly, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and more.

Meg has a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MA from Georgetown University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her dog, Zora.

Ben Wrobel

Ben Wrobel

Co-Founder

Ben Wrobel

Co-Founder

Ben Wrobel is a writer and an independent communications consultant. Before co-founding Proximate, he was Director of Communications at Village Capital, a pioneer in participatory investing. He started his career as chief speechwriter for the NAACP, and later raised money for voter registration campaigns including Stacey Abrams’ New Georgia Project.

In addition to co-authoring Letting Go: How Philanthropists and Impact Investors Can Do More Good By Giving Up Control with fellow Proximate co-founder Meg Massey, Ben has edited two best-selling books: REACH: 40 Black Men on Living, Leading and Succeeding and The Innovation Blind Spot.

Ben has a BA from the University of Rochester and an MBA from Georgetown University. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Kevin McClendon

Kevin McClendon

Co-Founder

Kevin McClendon

Co-Founder

Kevin is a strategic professional in the early-stage investment and philanthropy ecosystems. He is driven to create a more equitable world for his son through avid support of sustainable capitalism.

Kevin serves as a Co-Founder of Proximate. He also provides services for a variety of venture firms, entrepreneur support organizations, and non-profits. Kevin began his career in marketing for a diversity of industries, including entertainment, real estate, and health care. Kevin was a member of Transforming Power Fund's 2023 Giving Project cohort.

Kevin has a BA from Wayne State University. He lives in Detroit, Michigan.

What's in a name?

Why did we decide to name our magazine Proximate? A few reasons, actually – based on a few different meanings of the term.

(1) Proximate (adj): closest to; closest in relationship

We are driven by a fundamental belief in the power of proximate problem-solving – the idea that in this era of wicked challenges, the most effective solutions will be those led by people closest to the problem.

We will produce solutions journalism about innovative, community-led models that shift power over decisions and resources to people with lived experience – those proximate to the problem. 

(2) Proximate (adj): initial root cause

A proximate cause is the initial cause in a chain of events, leading to a good or bad outcome. We see top-down decision-making models as the root cause of so much that has gone wrong in our world and our institutions, from governments to philanthropy to the global economy.

Our journalism explores the possibility of alternative, community-driven models like participatory grantmaking, cooperative economics, and deliberative democracy. We celebrate the folks advocating for these collective decision-making models — they’re attacking our global polycrisis at its roots.

(3) Proximate (adj): very near; soon forthcoming

Finally, we believe that the ideas we write about are proximate, in that their adoption is just around the corner.

Our global community faces enormous, complex challenges. We cannot keep on doing things the way they have always been done. The past few years have shaken the world, and created a window of opportunity to redefine how we govern, redistribute money, think about the economy, and so much more.

The solutions are here. The question is whether we are ready to meet the moment.

Editorial Policies

We’re a mission-driven nonprofit

Proximate was founded in 2023 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization fiscally sponsored by Possibility Labs. We are not owned by any individual or corporation. We are accountable only to you—our readers.

Our revenue comes from multiple sources, including Patreon subscriptions, donations, foundation support, and earned revenue from reports and consulting. Proximate will make public all donors who give a total of $1,000 or more per year.

We will accept limited anonymous donations (including via Patreon) only if such donations make up less than 10% of our operating budget and it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.

We maintain editorial independence

Proximate subscribes to the standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News, and our editorial policies follow the guidelines put forward by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics and The Trust Project.

Proximate retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and all sources of revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Proximate may consider donations, grants and sponsorship opportunities supporting coverage of particular topics, but our staff maintains editorial control of the coverage, and such sponsored coverage will be clearly labeled as such. We will cede no right to review or influence our editorial content.

Unauthorized distribution of our content is prohibited. 

We report accurate, unbiased information

Proximate is committed to publishing accurate information across all of our platforms, and we strive to quickly and transparently correct any errors.

Our writers seek and report the truth, minimizing harm by treating sources, subjects, colleagues, and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect. We investigate claims with skepticism and seek to independently corroborate claims made by sources or entities and make explicit the origin of information and data.

While we do not allow sources to review a story prior to publication, we may share relevant quotes or data with a source to confirm accuracy. Because of Proximate’s unique mission, we strive to include perspectives that are often not included in mainstream media, particularly those of people directly impacted by the topics on which Proximate reports. However, this focus in no way negates Proximate’s commitment to publish balanced, factual reporting and analysis, in addition to clearly labeled commentary and opinion.

Contact Us

We're just getting started, and we're excited to work with people, build out partnerships and hear ideas from all corners.

Support us on Patreon

Our Patreon subscribers are the reason we can commission stories and offer fair compensation to our writers and other creators. For as little as $1/month, you can help us keep doing that. Plus, you get fun extra perks as our way of saying thanks! 

Pitch us

We are always looking for new writers and new ideas, even (especially) if your story does not get a ton of attention from mainstream outlets. Check out our editorial guidelines and then let us know what you got.

Partner with us

As a new kid on the block, we’re eager to connect with other organizations that share our commitment to shifting power. If you’re interested in sponsoring content or collaborating on stories or events, get in touch.

Got another question?

Send it to hello@proximate.press, an email address that we check regularly. We'd love to talk!

About Proximate

Proximate is a new nonprofit magazine covering proximate problem-solving across politics, philanthropy, finance, knowledge creation, and the arts. We practice solutions journalism, because we believe those closest to the problem are the ones with the insights that can solve it.

What's In a Name?

Why did we decide to name our magazine Proximate? A few reasons, actually – based on a few different meanings of the term.

(1) Proximate (adj): closest to; closest in relationship

We are driven by a fundamental belief in the power of proximate problem-solving – the idea that in this era of wicked challenges, the most effective solutions will be those led by people closest to the problem.

We will produce solutions journalism about innovative, community-led models that shift power over decisions and resources to people with lived experience – those proximate to the problem. 

(2) Proximate (adj): initial root cause

A proximate cause is the initial cause in a chain of events, leading to a good or bad outcome. We see top-down decision-making models as the root cause of so much that has gone wrong in our world and our institutions, from governments to philanthropy to the global economy.

Our journalism explores the possibility of alternative, community-driven models like participatory grantmaking, cooperative economics, and deliberative democracy. We celebrate the folks advocating for these collective decision-making models — they’re attacking our global polycrisis at its roots.

(3) Proximate (adj): very near; soon forthcoming

Finally, we believe that the ideas we write about are proximate, in that their adoption is just around the corner.

Our global community faces enormous, complex challenges. We cannot keep on doing things the way they have always been done. The past few years have shaken the world, and created a window of opportunity to redefine how we govern, redistribute money, think about the economy, and so much more.

The solutions are here. The question is whether we are ready to meet the moment.


About Proximate

Proximate is a new nonprofit magazine covering proximate problem-solving across politics, philanthropy, finance, knowledge creation, and the arts. We practice solutions journalism, because we believe those closest to the problem are the ones with the insights that can solve it.

What's In a Name?

Why did we decide to name our magazine Proximate? A few reasons, actually – based on a few different meanings of the term.

(1) Proximate (adj): closest to; closest in relationship

We are driven by a fundamental belief in the power of proximate problem-solving – the idea that in this era of wicked challenges, the most effective solutions will be those led by people closest to the problem.

We will produce solutions journalism about innovative, community-led models that shift power over decisions and resources to people with lived experience – those proximate to the problem. 

(2) Proximate (adj): initial root cause

A proximate cause is the initial cause in a chain of events, leading to a good or bad outcome. We see top-down decision-making models as the root cause of so much that has gone wrong in our world and our institutions, from governments to philanthropy to the global economy.

Our journalism explores the possibility of alternative, community-driven models like participatory grantmaking, cooperative economics, and deliberative democracy. We celebrate the folks advocating for these collective decision-making models — they’re attacking our global polycrisis at its roots.

(3) Proximate (adj): very near; soon forthcoming

Finally, we believe that the ideas we write about are proximate, in that their adoption is just around the corner.

Our global community faces enormous, complex challenges. We cannot keep on doing things the way they have always been done. The past few years have shaken the world, and created a window of opportunity to redefine how we govern, redistribute money, think about the economy, and so much more.

The solutions are here. The question is whether we are ready to meet the moment.


Proximate
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