Author: Lee Bodner, President, New Venture Fund
The New Venture Fund’s mission is to help nonprofit leaders make the world a healthier and more equitable place. We enable new and emerging nonprofits to get off the ground quickly and provide them accounting, human resources, legal and compliance services. It’s a practice called fiscal sponsorship, and it allows these leaders to devote themselves to creating real change rather than being bogged down in the minutia of administrative tasks.
As a 501(c)(3) public charity under the federal tax code, we file an annual IRS Form 990 that outlines our activities for the previous year. One of the things that makes New Venture Fund special is the wide range of projects we support through fiscal sponsorship. We are posting our recently filed public 2019 IRS Form 990 here to provide a window into the kind of work that we do.
New Venture Fund was founded on progressive ideals but is not a partisan organization. So much of what we do today spans the political divide or fits no ideological labels. Importantly, no New Venture Fund resources are used to support any political party or candidates for office. Our projects use philanthropy to shape a more just, equitable and sustainable future.
The Form 990 outlines the many grants that New Venture Fund projects made in 2019 to support other organizations in the United States and around the world. These are grants that help these various other entities to meet their mission while aligning with the priorities of our own projects. The Form 990 explains the process by which grants are made by New Venture Fund projects.
Most of New Venture Funds work is carried out internally by the projects we support directly. In 2019, the largest share of our resources – 27% – was used to support our Civil Rights and Social Action programs. For example, the Fines and Fees Justice Center is an effort to end punitive court fines and fees that disproportionately punish low-income communities of color. Eighteen percent of New Venture Fund spending went to our Youth Development and Education projects. Our education work includes projects like Trust for Learning, a philanthropic partnership expanding high-quality early learning environments, and Kode with Klossy, a learning program to introduce girls to coding and computer science.
Those two issue areas were followed by the 17% that went to our Environmental programs. For example, we were proud to support the Colorado River Sustainability Campaign, a project that provides strategic leadership and resources to groups working to ensure the health of the Colorado River from its headwaters to its Delta.
The rest of New Venture Fund’s resources in 2019 were divided among projects focused on Global Development & Health, Capacity Building, Agriculture, Food & Nutrition, Employment, Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness and Relief, Technology & Innovation, Human Rights & International Justice, Arts, Culture & Humanities, and Health. We’re proud of the work we did last year to help improve people’s lives. You can view the full public filing with the IRS here.