Right Time for Fiscal Sponsorship

When we started Visions Made Viable almost two years ago we were confident fiscal sponsorship was a powerful, up and coming approach to social change.

As we've grown rapidly over the last few years, we've become more convinced than ever.

We believe some important trends have converged that make fiscal sponsorship an increasingly important alternative model for making a difference.

1. The explosion of available information shrinks the world and brings the need for social change into sharper relief than ever

Over the past 5 years, the sheer quantity and detail of information about individuals, communities, movements, new ideas, etc. available online has multiplied exponentially. Access to the widest array of media, blogs, and social networking sites brings important and constant exposure to challenges and needs locally and around the world as well as the opportunity to see what others are doing to innovate and solve those challenges.

2. The increasing celebration of entrepreneurs--including social entrepreneurs--as 'culture heroes' motivates more people than ever to innovate and tackle social challenges.

Simply increasing people's exposure to the lives and challenges of other people and communities locally and around the world doesn't necessarily lead to action. In fact, it can lead to emotional and spiritual paralysis in the face of so much need.

That's why the intensifying focus on entrepreneurs--including social entrepreneurs--as culture heroes is so crucial and important.

At precisely the same time we've all become more aware of the challenges people face locally and around the world, we 've chosen to celebrate entrepreneurs of various types more deeply than ever.

What we're really celebrating are the values associated with being an entrepreneur: the willingness to take risks, the ability to innovate, the vision to see an opportunity in what may look to others like a problem or an obstacle, an eagerness to tackle new challenges, the discipline and cleverness to create a lot of value out of few initial resources, and the nimbleness to respond quickly to changing circumstances.

When you combine a much greater awareness of challenges with a culture that celebrates social entrepreneurship, you end up with lots of folks that want to make a difference by creating new projects and nonprofits.

3. The end of the era of seemingly limitless resources underscores the value of fiscal sponsorship.

Not long ago it seemed as if anyone with a good idea--and even a lot of people with bad ideas--could get whatever financing they needed.

Obviously, those days are over. We believe the 'Great Recession' is bringing about a fundamental generational shift in attitudes about the scarcity of financial resources and the value of approaches that use those resources most efficiently.

In other words, we think that even as the economy recovers, people are going to keep a much closer watch on the bottom line. Frugality, efficiency, and making a dollar go a long way will be become more significant cultural values.

As a result, many of those social entrepreneurs and change agents who want to make a difference will be attracted to fiscal sponsorship as a model for social change.

Why? Fiscal sponsors like Visions Made Viable save a lot of money because we sponsor many projects simultaneously, thus allowing many efforts for social change to operate under a single efficient administrative system. No need to waste precious resources on reduplicating administrative structures.

In addition, through our consulting services, we can help new projects avoid costly mistakes that often set new efforts back financially.

Where do those savings go?

Right back into making a difference for people and communities

Projects that don't have to spend major time and money on administrative structures can invest those savings into getting their mission done.

The low overhead we charge for our services is also plowed directly into creating services for new projects for social change.

It's a virtuous cycle that stretches dollars and euros and yuan and allows those monies to make the greatest impact on the people they were intended to help.

If you want to explore fiscal sponsorship, or if you have a project you want sponsored, get in touch with us. We'd love to talk.

And if you like what you see on our website and you know of friends, family or colleagues that you think might be interested in our services, let 'em know about our work. In order to better serve our projects we spend very little on 'marketing,' so we rely on folks like you to spread the word.