Fiscal Sponsorship

Your Vision. Our Mission.

Our mission is to help movement leaders like you achieve their vision for creating social change.

Since 1994, Proteus has been nimble and effective in strategically directing philanthropic resources and energy toward some of the most complex and urgent social issues of our time. We have invested over $200 million in an impressive roster of social justice wins, through public education, grassroots organizing, advocacy, leadership development, communications, and research. Fiscal sponsorship of innovative, mission-aligned projects has become an increasingly critical tool in this endeavor.

Starting a non-profit organization is time-consuming, costly and complex. Fiscal sponsorship gives social change leaders the flexibility to pursue their vision while relying on a trusted partner to provide organizational infrastructure and management. Our two decades of experience in social justice philanthropy, expertise working with a wide variety of projects, and commitment to building a stronger philanthropic and nonprofit sector make us an effective long-term partner.

Our Approach

Our dedicated team provides the administrative and organizational infrastructure to allow project staff to focus on their programmatic and fundraising goals. We provide guidance and leadership on best practices around staffing structures, compliance, grantmaking strategies and more.

We are a leader in rapid response grantmaking and have extensive experience making grants to new and grassroots groups. We streamline requirements and processes to lessen the burden on grantees, allowing us to move funds quickly while ensuring due diligence and other best compliance practices.

Our stability and track record facilitates growth and transformation, supporting projects with missions measured on timelines of years, not months. This includes working with projects going through significant transitional periods.

We have deep experience in both lobbying and advocacy, and offer the option of parallel program design with our 501(c)(4) sister organization, Proteus Action League. This allows our projects the flexibility to use these critical tools in pursuit of their mission.

  • High-Touch Services

    Our dedicated team provides the administrative and organizational infrastructure to allow project staff to focus on their programmatic and fundraising goals. We provide guidance and leadership on best practices around staffing structures, compliance, grantmaking strategies and more.

  • Grantmaking Expertise

    We are a leader in rapid response grantmaking and have extensive experience making grants to new and grassroots groups. We streamline requirements and processes to lessen the burden on grantees, allowing us to move funds quickly while ensuring due diligence and other best compliance practices.

  • Long-Term Relationships

    Our stability and track record facilitates growth and transformation, supporting projects with missions measured on timelines of years, not months. This includes working with projects going through significant transitional periods.

  • Lobbying and Advocacy

    We have deep experience in both lobbying and advocacy, and offer the option of parallel program design with our 501(c)(4) sister organization, Proteus Action League. This allows our projects the flexibility to use these critical tools in pursuit of their mission.

Our Model in Action

growth

ReFrame Mentorship is building the next generation of strategic communicators across social justice movements in the United States. ReFrame was founded in 2015 as a six-month leadership and skills development program for social justice communications staff. ReFrame came to Proteus in 2018, looking for a partner to support the project on a radical growth trajectory. The project tripled its budget in two years and has now expanded to include a state-based technical assistance program on capacity building and communications infrastructure development, the SPIN Academy strategic communications training program, and the Radical Communicators Network (RadComms).

transition

Founded in 1996 as a 501(c)(3) organization, Third Wave Foundation was a multi-issue feminist fund that supported the leadership and vision of young women, queer, and trans youth of color. Following a period of uncertainty about their future, the Foundation recognized the wisdom of shifting to a fiscally sponsored model – and thus they became Third Wave Fund, a project at Proteus Fund. After only a few years, they’d saved several hundred thousand dollars in annual operating expenses and grew to their largest size ever. Moving to fiscal sponsorship enabled Third Wave to remain a leader in the field, and the only activist fund led by and for women of color, intersex, queer, and trans folks under 35 years old in the United States.

partnership

Human Rights Funders Network (formerly International Human Rights Funders Group) came to Proteus Fund in 2011. We are proud to have spent the last eight years in partnership with them, as their critical mission to advance human rights through effective philanthropy has adapted to the changing tides of their field. We have supported this project through an executive transition, changes in strategic plan, shifting composition of membership, a recent rebranding, and growth of their network to over 1,500 individual grantmakers and philanthropists around the world.

Learn more about the fiscally sponsored projects at Proteus Fund

Learn More

Get In Touch

If you’re interested in fiscal sponsorship, we’d love to talk to you. We are looking to partner with projects that:

  • Align with our mission, further our vision, and reflect a commitment to our values
  • Advance work on critical issues at the intersections of democracy, human rights, and peace
  • Further a tax-exempt purpose and conduct work that does not jeopardize our tax status
  • Have funding commitments that meet our budget guidelines
  • Have operational elements of the project based in the United States

Thank you for reaching out!