The Village Earth approach is a bottom-up approach to community empowerment. Rather than carrying out projects directly, Village Earth works to create a support structure that enables grassroots organizations to realize their own strategies and solutions. Traditionally, international non-governmental organizations decide what projects they are going to do based on their funding and/or their expertise in a single sector. As a result, the supposed beneficiaries have had very little say in the overall goals, reducing their participation to making minor modifications to predetermined strategies and objectives. Village Earth Global Affiliates have access to the following support services.
Information, Training and Support
The goal of Village Earth is to provide a support structure for intermediate and grassroots organizations. The cornerstone of this structure is the ongoing information, training and support we provide. The global peer support network is the crucible where new topics and issues are identified for our training program. Furthermore, affiliates often become the developers and trainers for these courses, providing additional opportunities for affiliates to generate income.
Fiscal sponsorship is a relationship between a pre-existing non-profit/non-governmental organization and one that is not (the sponsored project). Fiscal sponsorship allows the sponsored project to solicit grants and donations through the sponsoring organization, usually for a nominal fee. Since the sponsoring organization becomes legally liable for the use of funds by the sponsored project, they usually create certain conditions that the sponsored project must comply with to ensure the continuation of their sponsorship.
For small grassroots and grassroots support organizations based in countries with low GNP and GDP, there are numerous advantages to having a fiscal sponsor based in the United States. These include:
- The United States has a relatively strong culture of individual philanthropy, totaling 37 billion dollars in 2008. In the same year, this exceeded official development assistance from the US by 10 billion dollars!
- The U.S. government gives a tax-deduction to individuals for 100% of all donations made to registered non-profits.
- Village Earth is also a registered contractor for the United States Government as well as the United Nations making it possible for affiliates to receive grants and contracts from these sources.
Marketing and Fundraising
Village Earth affiliates have access to a number of tools essential for managing and promoting their projects. We also provide the training and technical support needed to fully utilize them. They include:
- Promotion on Village Earth’s website and in our monthly e-newsletter.
Assistance creating brochures, videos and other publications needed to get your message out.
- Direct-mail services.
- Access to numerous online giving platforms such as Globalgiving.org, Indigogo.com, Crowdrise, etc.
Facilitation and Networking
Upon request, Village Earth can provide various facilitation and network services for its affiliates or with the communities it supports. This can include facilitating workshops, mediation support, or networking with stakeholders, technical experts and possible funders.
Research and Advocacy
Village Earth also leverages its networks to advocate on behalf of affiliated projects by conducting research, education, lobbying, media and letter-writing campaigns, petitions, organizing rallies and protests and other forms of direct action.
Village Earth provides a number of promotional outlets for affiliated projects, as indicated above. In addition, Village Earth reserves the right to promote projects in its materials and publications, including but not limited to the web, e-newsletter, quarterly newsletter, donor letters, etc. Village Earth may refer to projects in donor appeals, but any funds directed toward a particular project will go into that account under MOU terms.