For the second year in a row, the Fiscal Sponsor Directory has won a prestigious San Francisco Press Club award for one of its news stories — community reporter Mark Hedin’s account of how, following the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, a fiscal sponsor in Puerto Rico helped its communities deal with the disasters.  

“Pioneering Puerto Rican fiscal sponsor leads grass-roots hurricane recovery effort,” published in the Directory in April 2018, documents how sponsor HASER’s support of six projects helped fill the post-storm vacuum left by the U.S. government.

Weekly dinners and workshops were organized by community members with Colmena Cimarrona in Vieques following Hurricane Maria. Photo by Ana Elisa Pérez Quintero

“The theme of fiscal sponsorship in Puerto Rico is brand new,” said Colibri Sanfiorenzo Barnhard, founder, board president and acting program director of HASER (Haciendo Acciones Socio-Ecológicas Resilientes, Making Social-Ecological Actions Resilient). “It’s connected to a catastrophic social and ecological event. Before the hurricane, fiscal sponsorship was not a common conversation between organizations, business and cooperatives.”

Hedin’s first-place win was in the digital media category for environment/nature reporting.

The 55-year-old Press Club’s annual awards contest recognizes the previous year’s outstanding work from Bay Area print, TV, radio and digital media journalists, graphic designers, photographers and documentary filmmakers.

Hedin, a journalist for decades, currently writes primarily for Ethnic Media Services. He formerly was a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and Central City Extra, and a copy editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner.

His award, an honor for the Directory, helps expand public understanding of the community benefits of fiscal sponsorship and its wide-ranging role in the nonprofit sector.

Marjorie Beggs is the Directory’s editor