How It Works
We provide affordable, efficient, and equity-centered talent search services to mission-driven organizations. We specialize in finding stellar early-to-mid career talent (3-15 years experience) because this is the greatest unmet need for most employers and the most underserved population by traditional recruiters. Our sliding-scale flat fee structure is designed to make high-quality services accessible to employers of all sizes.
We provide culturally competent career advising services for early-to-mid-career emerging leaders who are committed to careers in social change. We specialize in advising people who are experiencing systemic barriers to meaningful advancement or who might otherwise be underserved by traditional career pathways and networks. We identify and select these leaders from our broad and diverse network in the social change sector and via our talent search operation. We are able to offer these services free of charge because they are supported by the work of knowledgeable volunteers and generous philanthropists.
Organizations are struggling to connect with the kind of stellar early-to-mid career talent they need to power their missions. It is hugely time-consuming for organizations to manage ad hoc searches, especially to reach the broad networks and to staff the proactive strategies necessary to find diverse talent. Our senior leaders are doing critically important work in intensely stressful conditions and deserve more support with this; it is unreasonable and inefficient to expect that those who already have such vast responsibilities should also be expected to do their own recruiting and to do it well. Yet, most talent search services are financially out of reach for small-to-midsize organizations.
It is difficult and disheartening for people in their early-to-mid careers to access information about mission-driven careers and to connect with meaningful employment. Traditional career pathways were never designed to be welcoming to diverse social sector talent; career advising is limited and tends to be focused on the corporate sector and for those who are not served by networks of privilege, it can feel impossible to find the right opportunity. Those who have the greatest potential to be our future leaders should be affirmed in their choice to dedicate themselves to public service; they deserve access to culturally competent career advising services and to participate in equity-driven hiring processes. Yet, most relevant career advising services are financially out of reach for most people beginning a social sector career.
Kate Brumage, Founder and Director
Kate Brumage is the Director of People Power, which she founded in 2019. Kate has a gift for identifying leadership potential and her vocation is connecting people with meaningful career opportunities, talents she uses exclusively in service to the movement for social justice.
Kate has an eclectic education and work history, which gives her insight into how career pathways are shaped in and by various institutions. She is driven by a genuine love and admiration for the people who, despite everything, continue to boldly lead us towards a vision of abundance and well-being for all.
In her previous role as the first Executive Director of Butler Koshland Fellowships (BKF), a role she held for 8 years, Kate served as matchmaker between executive directors and emerging leaders for year-long, full-time, fully-funded bidirectional mentorships. The central belief of BKF is that that a broad alliance of leaders working collaboratively across traditional boundaries is best equipped to realize systemic change. Mentor/fellow pairs were selected from a wide variety of fields, including: immigrant rights, public health, criminal justice reform, land conservation, arts, investigative journalism, philanthropy, and LGBTQ rights. Informed by the collective wisdom of this intergenerational community, Kate created People Power out of a desire to provide her colleagues with values-aligned talent services that centered their unique needs as social justice leaders.
Kate is also the former Director of Publishing Partnerships at Heyday, a Berkeley-based nonprofit independent publisher that specializes in celebrating California’s natural beauty and ethnic diversity with a special emphasis on Native publishing. In that role, she managed multi-institution partnerships, including an imprint for Yosemite National Park. With Yosemite, she served as editorial director for a series of best-selling multicultural children’s books with an editorial mission: to show women and girls being active in the outdoors and to represent the great ethnic diversity in our connection to our parklands.
Kate has an unusually broad educational background, having attended trade school, community college, a large public university, and a prestigious private university. Prior to graduation, she had worked for over ten years in the service industry—at a diner, a dive bar, and a beloved family-owned restaurant—and continued this work throughout her education and beyond, learning “school of life” lessons from her peers and customers that she credits on equal footing with her formal education. She holds an AA from Seattle Community College, graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an honors BA degree in English Literature from the University of Washington, and earned an MA in the Humanities from the University of Chicago. Both her undergraduate and graduate work concerned critical race theory and gender studies, with a focus on literary representations of racist, sexist, and homophobic pseudo-scientific theories of evolution. Her literary studies embedded in her a profound respect for the power of representation, and drive her to create opportunities for people to speak their own truths.
Kate lives in Seattle with her partner and young daughter, her greatest teachers of all.
Jasmine Jacobs, Community Engagement Manager
Jasmine T. Jacobs is an entrepreneur with a poet’s heart who works to create safe and affirming spaces for historically excluded and underserved communities. She is the founder of Black Remote She, a progressive system of job sharing for Black queer and trans women, nonbinary people, and allies interested in working remotely. She also serves as Community Engagement Manager at People Power, a nonprofit social enterprise and with a mission to create a new equity- centered model for identifying and developing talent to power the movement for social justice. A frequent vlogger, avid conference attendee, and creative writer, Jasmine loves connecting with people on the topics of entrepreneurship, career opportunities, and the transformative healing power of the arts. Her work has been featured in Stonewall, Out in Tech, Mogul Millennial, Gaye Magazine, and more. Born and raised in South Carolina, Jasmine now lives in Connecticut with her wife, “Queen.”
We need to harness the power we can have when we commit to creating a hiring culture that that proactively works towards creating a society where everyone has the opportunity, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and disability, to participate to their fullest potential. In our sector, we have the best intensions when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. But intentions aren’t enough. Many of our standard hiring practices actually perpetuate inequity and inadvertently exclude highly-qualified candidates. There are some simple steps that organizations can take internally to address some of these barriers, but other, more complex solutions require outside support and guidance. People Power aims to bring employment equity into the center of our sector’s work, enthusiastically embracing it as an ongoing learning process that will ultimately make our organizations more powerful and effective.
Leaders and staff at mission-driven organizations are experts in their fields, giving all they have to create a better world. But when we task already-overburdened staff with taking on the additional responsibility of managing hiring processes without providing them any additional resources or training, we are not likely to get the best results either for the individual search or our sector in general. This model can be harmful if mismanaged, with staff taking hours away from important mission-related work and candidates often involved in protracted processes. We need to recognize that it takes a tremendous amount of work and skill to find the right people, regardless of the position. And in order to create a deeply diverse talent pool for any given position, organizations must have access to a broad network. For organizations that hire only sporadically, it is very difficult to build such a network. By combining our resources and working together regionally, we can help keep organizations on mission while also creating a nexus of stellar talent that can help us seed our entire sector with emerging leaders who are representative of the communities we serve.
If we want to have representative leadership tomorrow, we need to attract the best and the brightest emerging leaders now and retain their talent for the sector over time. Building and sustaining this leadership pipeline begins with the basic concept that we should be welcoming to the people who have made the decision to dedicate their lives to public service. We owe applicants a hiring experience that is affirming, or at the very least, not alienating. But although most people would agree with that statement, many organizations simply do not have the time, experience, or resources to dedicate to intentionally developing these kinds of hiring processes. As a sector, we need to reclaim the joy around connecting with one another. Given the right resources and support, we can re-envision the hiring process as a place to affirm our candidates’ choice to commit to public service, while also giving our staff the opportunity to reengage with their own excitement for this work. With the right kind of support, organizations can be freed to lead from a place that’s unburdened by the technicalities of searching and instead come to the table refreshed by the opportunity to think more deeply and creatively about the broader concerns of leadership development and how to operationalize equity.