PROPEL firmly believes that engaging with the community is one of the most important factors in building a successful career and meaningful life. The In Focus series was conceived in 2015 with a grant from the Maine Development Foundation through the Realize Maine Network. Today the series stands on its own and provides a means for young people to learn about nonprofits, identify opportunities to volunteer, offer free professional services, and serve on nonprofit boards in Greater Portland, Maine. 

When You Attend An In Focus Event, You Will:

  • Meet leaders from local nonprofits

  • Learn about the nonprofit's mission

  • Raise money - ticket sales, donations and bar proceeds can be matched and given directly to the nonprofit

  • Learn about open nonprofit board seats and meet the leaders looking to fill them

  • Mingle with fellow Mainers interested in engaging with the community

New and exciting things are always happening at and as a result of our In Focus Events.  Due to the success of our Taste the World event, PROPEL actually started a brand new program, the New Mainer Culinary Entrepreneur Program to support New Mainer culinary entrepreneurs! 

If your organization would like to be featured at an event, then follow this link to fill out the contact form.



Taste the World in 2018

In November 2018, PROPEL hosted its second Taste the World event at Fork Food Lab. During the event several New Mainer Entrepreneurs shared their food and art, including: Nanuska Bat, Zehra Abukar, Pigeon, Ameera Bread, and Foodie Friends. Niyat Catering, the first recipient of Propel’s New Mainer Culinary Entrepreneur Scholarship was present to help raise $2,580 towards the next scholarship. The funds raised included a $1,200 matching donation from the 2018-2019 In Focus Series Sponsor, Machias Savings Bank.


In Her Presence

PROPEL featured the non-profit In Her Presence at an event in September 2018. Those who attended raised $1,200 for the organization, which included a $500 matching donation from the 2018-2019 In Focus Series Sponsor, Machias Savings Bank. Beer was donated by Rising Tide Brewing, and the space was donated by Red Thread.


Girl Scout Cookie Takeover at Fork Food Lab

In March 2017 PROPEL partnered with the Girl Scouts of Maine to takeover Fork Food Lab.  Fork Food Lab member chefs prepared delicious and fun Girl Scout Cookie concoctions for everyone to try while the Girl Scouts of Maine sold cookies and shared stories of how they smash leadership stereotypes. The event was sponsored by Maine Technology Institute with beer generously donated by Austin Street Brewery

Winter Carnival: Fun with Spurwink

In February 2017 PROPEL and Spurwink co-hosted a Winter Carnival at Thompson's Point. The carnival was a family friendly event with fun for all ages, including ice skating, tubing on The Rink at Thompson's Point's new tubing hill, and a winter obstacle course.  Beer was donated in support of Spurwink by Shipyard Brewing Company, and Dirigo Coffee joined in the fun, keeping everyone warm with hot chocolate galore. 

Taste the World

On November 2, 2016 PROPEL joined forces with Fork Food Lab to bring attention to the work of Coastal Enterprises, Inc.'s StartSmart Program, Maine Access Immigrant Network, and Maine Public Health Association. At the event, sponsored by Live and Work in Maine, guests were able to Taste the World through an introduction to delicious foods prepared by local New Mainer restaurant owners. Event profits supported New Mainer entrepreneurs.

Season Kick Off: JAM Fest South

PROPEL and Junior Achievement combined forces to honor its volunteers from the previous year and recruit those for the coming year. The inaugural 2016 event hosted over 150 people at Portland House of Music and Events. There was live music from Model Airplane, dancing, passed appetizers thanks to Fork Food Lab, and a great mix of young and seasoned professionals. 


Strike Out Cancer in Kids

On a cold February night in 2016 PROPEL, Thompon's Point, The Rink, The Bar Association united to Strike Out Cancer in Kids. Over a 100 attendees skated, drank, ate, and raced at The Rink. Even Slugger made a special appearance to join in the fun. All event proceeds went to support Strike Out Cancer in Kids.

Center for Grieving Children

In March 2015 PROPEL brought its members to the Center for Grieving Children office to share what their organization does for children in our community. Guests toured the office, learning about the different programs provided there.

Big Brother Big Sisters

November 10th, 2015 at Allagash: PROPEL and Big Brothers Big Sisters took over the Allagash Brewery and celebrated roughly 100 attendees to learn more about becoming a Big. Thanks to a gracious donation by Allagash Brewing, beer was free all night!

The 2018 - 2019 In Focus Series Sponsor is Machias Savings Bank.