Client Spotlight: We Here® Lands Transformative $500,000 Grant From The Mellon Foundation 

We are excited to celebrate the launch of “We Here®: Dream-Shaping our Community”, a 3-year transformative project to expand education programs for library and archives workers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).    

We Here® began in 2020 as a Maryland LLC operating virtually to respond to deep-seated structural discrimination within the library and archives professions. Now 3,600 members strong, We Here® provides education, leadership, and mentorship projects and programs with marginalized and underserved people at the center, supported by essential allies to shape a more equitable future for BIPOC library and information science.  

When founder, director, and creative director Jennifer Ferretti was approached by the Mellon Foundation last year, she contacted Natasha Nazareth for legal support to identify, vet, and contract with a fiscal sponsor in order to accept the Mellon Foundation grant. Natasha leveraged her professional network to connect Jennifer to the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

Fiscal sponsorship is a legal alternative to securing a federal 501(c)(3) tax exemption as a nonprofit organization, which can take a long time due to current IRS backlogs. The fiscal sponsor receives donations and grants on behalf of the sponsored project and provides services and accountability for government filings, compliance tasks, and sometimes investment services.  

“There are many legal strategies to organize non-profit ventures effectively to allow community organizers to channel more of their time and effort towards their mission,” says Natasha. “I enjoy supporting clients who are building communities and their self-directed capacity for meaningful change.”