In 2017, New Profit, John Legend’s FREEAMERICA, and Bank of America teamed up to take on this challenge and launch Unlocked Futures, an accelerator program with two key areas of focus: Backing entrepreneurs who have direct experience with the criminal justice system and changing the public mindset about renewal and the constructive role people who are formerly incarcerated can play in society. In its first year, Unlocked Futures has supported eight early-stage entrepreneurs with unrestricted funding and strategic support.

Topeka K. Sam and Ladies of Hope Ministries raised $750k and expanded their team to four full-time staff and six part-time contractors who have all been impacted by the criminal justice system, enabling them to employ an additional 12 impacted people by Q1 2019 and expand to new sites next year.

Read more about Unlocked Futures and find lessons for donors.

Learn more about the Unlocked Futures Fund.