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Who is Embolden WI?

To embolden means to instill boldness, courage, or resolution enough to overcome apprehension or misgiving. Embolden WI works to help cultivate the courage, curiosity, community, and connection that strengthens the inherent power in all individuals. We believe those who have been systematically marginalized to the edges of democracy should be in the driver’s seat of change. We are the home for innovative projects and initiatives that advance health outcomes and civic health in Wisconsin and beyond.

Embolden WI, previously the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, has 20 years of experience with advocacy and innovative programing to advance equitable health and civic health outcomes. As a local nonprofit, we are intimately aware of the challenges to sustained impact in Wisconsin and can offer advice and guidance to new initiatives who are starting out or simply need a home to further advance their awesome work.

We wanted to let you know that due to an unexpectedly high volume of applications, we may not be able to accept all interested groups for fiscal sponsorship at this time. Our team is working hard to review each application thoroughly, but our current capacity is limited.

We understand this may be disappointing, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please know that we are committed to providing the best support possible to all our partners, and we are exploring ways to expand our capacity in the future. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate this situation together.

Fiscal Sponsorship

At the basic level, a fiscal sponsor gives your project tax exempt nonprofit status and the related benefits that entails. The process to become a 501(c)(3) can be slow and difficult to navigate, and staying in good standing is an ongoing challenge. A fiscal sponsor can get you up and running quickly and allow you to apply for nonprofit grants and solicit tax deductible donations right out of the gate. Comprehensive fiscal sponsorship goes beyond access to funding and supports your project administratively, freeing you up to focus on your goals instead of paperwork.

Pre-approved Grant Relationship (8% Revenue)

A preapproved grant sponsorship works well for a project or initiative that already has a funding source in mind but can’t apply without 501(c)3 status. You don’t need much from us in terms of guidance or administration. You’ve got this! The main benefit you see in a pre-approved grant relationship is no nonprofit red tape. We handle the board of directors, audits, and oversight necessary to qualify to accept tax-deductible funds. In this model, you do not become a part of Embolden. Instead, your project stays its own legal entity with its own tax and accounting responsibilities but with a wealth of new potential funding sources for your amazing work.

Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship (10% Revenue)

A comprehensive fiscal sponsorship model works well for projects just getting started, for short-term initiatives, and for projects that are feeling the weight of maintaining the administrative costs, both time and money, of their growing organization. Some projects that seek comprehensive fiscal sponsorship plan to “spin off” into their own nonprofit once they get their feet under them. Others want a permanent home so they can focus their efforts on the mission and let someone else worry about taxes and financial reports. Whatever your goal, a comprehensive fiscal sponsor can bolster your project with controlled, predictable administrative costs. Plus, when applying for grants, you get a leg up: our financial history is your financial history, all 20 years of it, to assure funders their money is in good, sustainable hands.

Benefits of a comprehensive fiscal sponsor

  • Everything you get as a pre-approved grant relationship. Plus:

  • Tax filing and auditing

  • Risk management and liability insurance

  • Processing accounts payable and receivables

  • Expense tracking best practices and monthly financial reporting

  • Payroll management and benefits administration

  • Access to key fundraising software

  • Ongoing guidance to navigate nonprofit life and grow your dream

  • “Spin off” support if you choose to leave the nest and become your own 501(c)(3)

Government Grant (15% Revenue)

We won’t mince words. Government grants are a headache. They come with more complicated and more frequent reporting. Their reports usually involve what can feel like convoluted categories that have little to do with how you track your expenses. They also require a higher level of oversight to ensure we stay in good standing for future funding. At Embolden WI, we are intimately familiar with such challenges and have successfully funded years of programming through government grants to the tune of $1,000,000. We will work with you to make reporting as seamless as possible.

Consulting Services

Do you need some guidance but not a sponsor? We do that too! Sara Finger, Executive Director of Embolden WI, offers 20 years of non-profit experience which she has shared with organizations such as Milwaukee Freedom Fund,and the Building Families Alliance. Consulting packages are tailored to your goals. Examples of consulting opportunities include:

  • Legislative advocacy

  • Coalition building

  • Program development

  • Community engagement

  • Leadership coaching

  • Grant writing and management

Need both a fiscal sponsor and extensive capacity building? Talk to us. Every project is unique, and we want to embolden your voice to your full potential. Get out there and be amazing!

Our Team

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