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Vantage Blog

July 19, 2023

3 initiatives benefitting from fiscal sponsorship, and how yours can too

What if you didn’t have to spend precious time and energy running an initiative's back-end and could focus on driving social change? Social entrepreneurs can jumpstart progress more quickly and effectively by partnering with an experienced fiscal sponsor like Panorama.

Panorama's shared infrastructure offers social entrepreneurs a one-stop-shop for everything needed to get ideas off the ground: legal structure and compliance, human resources, budget management, grantmaking and grants management, and so much more. In practice, our services help lift, incubate, and accelerate emerging ideas, allowing our partners to jump right into the work at hand.

Read on for three examples of initiatives benefitting from fiscal sponsorship at Panorama and more on the benefits offered by sharing infrastructure.

You can also read more about Panorama's fiscal sponsorship services in earlier posts from this series:

Equal Measures 2030: connecting the data points for gender equality

As a fiscal sponsor for Equal Measures 2030—a collaboration connecting data and evidence with advocacy and action on gender equality—we provide tailored backbone infrastructure support. For instance, a dedicated Panorama relationship manager partners with Equal Measures 2030 (EM2030) staff to take care of the logistical, financial, and administrative details needed for the initiative to function smoothly.  At the Women Deliver conference in Kigali, the behind-the-scenes logistics for the organization of EM2030's side event was supported by Panorama. Specifically, we assisted with creating international consultancy contracts and processed invoices through Panorama's systems with attention paid toward critical timelines. This allowed the EM2030 team to focus on thematic/programmatic preparation ahead of the event. Beyond the setting up the events logistics to success, we provide financial, contracting, and grant-management support to EM 2030, so they can center their work on strengthening the capacity of feminist organizations and movements across the globe and further leverage their 2022 SDG Gender Index- the most comprehensive global index available to measure gender quality- to expose inequality and injustice and drive accountability.

Unlock Aid Coalition: shifting the conversation on access to international aid

The nonprofit ecosystem is ripe with funding opportunities, amounting to billions of dollars disbursed by international development agencies, philanthropists, foundations, and high-net-worth individuals annually. Despite this abundance of financial capital, emerging social change organizations aren’t likely to gain access to large grants due to perceived inexperience by funders that favor larger organizations with substantial infrastructure. For instance, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) gives most of its foreign aid grants to only 75 organizations, with only 6 percent of grants going to smaller organizations based in USAID-recipient countries. As a result, many grassroots organizations and social change initiatives (especially in the Global South and East) are unable to tap into large funds due to their newness and smallness, and consequently, perceived heightened risk of failure.

In such instances, the fiscal sponsor can alleviate distractions to address these challenges, enabling smaller organizations and ventures to receive critical funds. As a fiscal sponsor of the Unlock Aid Coalition (UAC)—a coalition of leaders and pace-setting organizations who are organizing to drive big structural change in global development—we provide a platform for jumpstarting progress. This enables the UAC to facilitate major shifts, such as driving big structural change in global development, advocating for legislative and executive actions, and promoting transparency and other incentives to support competitive and fair practices, which are critical to help aid agencies become more innovative and results-oriented in their funding practice. This partnership between Panorama and UAC creates a positive ripple effect within the sector, bringing about crucial sector insights, such as this white paper that outlines barriers preventing innovative organizations from working with global development funders with recommendations for shifting donor practice.

Hyphen: connecting federal, national, and local stakeholders

Generally, grants from government agencies and from foundations are subject to hefty reporting requirements, which require recipient organizations to manage burdensome narrative and financial reports. Through fiscal sponsorship, smaller initiatives can leverage the capacity and sector expertise of their fiscal sponsor, allowing them to more easily comply with potentially taxing reporting requirements and focus on serving their communities, and in some cases, serving as intermediaries themselves to enable further funding to flow to grassroots initiatives. As a fiscal sponsor of Hyphen, a funding collaborative that aims to strengthen public safety and expand economic opportunity and safety-net programs, we support them in implementing the vision for their White House Community Violence Intervention Collaborative.

Hyphen is engaged with the Biden-Harris Administration, philanthropy, state and local governments, and the nonprofit sector to accelerate structural change and support the equitable distribution of federal resources through the Racial Equity Executive Order, the American Rescue Plan, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In collaboration with Panorama, Hyphen has been able to provide microgrants to multiple organizations across the U.S. allowing them to expand services that are most relevant to their respective communities. By breaking down the administrative barriers, Panorama serves as a platform for Hyphen to work with smaller organizations to build their capacity and provide them with the infrastructure to execute their goals. The partnership creates the momentum that drives more funding to groups on the margins, through a fiscal sponsorship model that embraces the practices of systems change and nurtures the social bonds necessary to address today's most pressing challenges.

The benefits of shared infrastructure

Shared services — the collaborative use of resources across traditional organizational boundaries — have long been embraced by private sector companies. The shared services model has demonstrated that companies can excel when they focus on core competencies and shed the tasks and responsibilities that can be managed through shared services, outsourcing, and cooperative relationships. On the other hand, nonprofit organizations usually follow a traditional organizational structure, with their own accounting and finance, public relations, and human resources departments.  

In a crowded sector especially – in the U.S. alone there are nearly 2 million nonprofits – the premium placed on independence can be costly on several fronts: it diverts philanthropic resources into setting-up organizational infrastructure and it strains leadership as nonprofits struggle to implement operations systems while being undercapitalized and understaffed.

Fiscal sponsorship's shared infrastructure mechanisms significantly alleviate these burdens for nonprofit entrepreneurs, often removing the need for formal association. In fact, by allocating much-needed resources to multiple organizations, fiscal sponsorship can help alleviate the financial pressures that the nonprofit sector faces.

With a centralized infrastructure and dedicated staff, Panorama offers deep support to those who are innovating to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable society.

Read more about fiscal sponsorship at Panorama.

Powering organizations to help initiatives scale faster

By concentrating administrative resources under a single roof, Panorama enables economies of scale and drives efficiencies in order to support social change initiatives ranging from new organizations to unincorporated groups, to projects, collaboratives, and networks.

We equip our partners with the essential tools, skills, resources, capabilities, and expertise they need to effectively deliver and implement new ideas and solutions to the communities and populations they serve. As a fiscal sponsor, we work behind the scenes to help our partners leverage a broader bench of support in order to achieve an expansive goal and accelerate their social and sustainable impact efficiently and equitably.

Interested in learning more?

If you have any questions about fiscal sponsorship or would like to discuss which fiscal sponsorship model might best suit your needs, please feel free to reach out to our team at

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