Founded in 2016, HASER’s is a 501c3 non profit organization with the mission to promote the social well-being in Puerto Rico through community-based projects working towards equity and quality of life. We partner with community-based organizations to build a network of projects that promote the social well-being of communities across the archipelago of Puerto Rico. We become Allies. Our focus areas are: food sovereignty, conservation of natural areas, social justice, environmental justice, arts and culture. Our projects and those implemented in alliance are diverse. For example: experiential ecological education for youth, agroecological farming in food deserts, solar-powered energy systems for rural communities, a community library, and community kitchens.
Our strategy is to potentiate social change action by building a network that shares a vision, resources, responsibilities, risks and opportunities. We are the first organization in Puerto Rico to use fiscal sponsorship as a mission-critical tool. The term fiscal sponsorship describes a relationship between a public charity with tax exemption and a project. The charity receives and expends funds to advance the project while retaining discretion and control over the funds to achieve charitable goals to further its mission. Fiscal sponsorship can provide individuals, grassroots groups, and organizations without tax exemption the ability to apply for funding and use resources available only to organizations with tax-exempt status. And donors and foundations can invests charitable funds in grassroots and community based projects.
Puerto Rico has a high number of registered non profit corporations. Yet many don’t apply for federal tax exemption, limiting their abilities to receive funds to support their actions. Furthermore, community-based organizations get burdened with legal, administrative and financial requirements, which can distract from their mission or even threaten their operation. The technical knowledge needed to manage groups with tax exemption is not always readily available, creating more barriers in communities that already suffer from social and historical inequalities.
Network of Actions is our main program. We create alliances with other nonprofits to complete charitable projects that are in alignment with our mission. As the project fiscal sponsor, HASER, Inc. becomes the compliant nonprofit home and strategic partner for implementation. Allies can then focus on program leadership and strategic thinking on how best to achieve project objectives and shared goals. There are currently five active Alliances in our network: Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas, Armonía en la Montaña in Aibonito, Tabonuco in Jayuya, ARECMA in Humacao, and La Colmena Cimarrona in Vieques. All are located in rural areas in the mountainous center and coastal regions of Puerto Rico.
The Capacity Building and Collaborations programs support the Network of Actions by facilitating an informed and self-directed process of organization, building capacity in nonprofit management, and connecting groups, institutions, companies and individuals working for equity and quality of life in Puerto Rico.