Since 2005, New Sun Rising has supported communities to organize their resources and build capacity towards shared goals.  Through over a decade of practical experience learned by running these social experiments we realize that far too often, community economic development initiatives are planned and implemented without respect to the development stage (readiness or capacity) of the people who make up the community itself.  In order to build a replicable and scalable field of practice, NSR identified 18 best practice strategies designed to build community power across three phases of development: Ignite, Launch, and Grow. The Vibrant Communities Framework is now being used by a diverse and growing set of community leaders to strengthen their connectivity and inspire a commitment towards action.


The people most affected by the challenges of our time – poverty, climate change, education – are too often expected to solve them by using the least amount of available resources. This burden can become opportunity when communities recognize their assets and build their own capacity to lead and benefit from the future they envision.  New Sun Rising provides capacity building to over 150 leaders annually through cohorts like the Nonprofit Resilience Program, professional support services, and fiscal sponsorship. We take a wholistic and human centered approach by meeting people where they are at, understanding each leader’s definition of success, and recognizing the relationship between staff and organizational wellbeing. The Organizational Assessment Tool (OAT) survey helps us to identify opportunities and threats, guiding strategies to address them within the domains of Planning, Resources, Connectivity, and Identity.


Many nonprofits, small businesses, and collaboratives lack the financial capital necessary to ignite, launch, and grow their impact: especially those who are led by – or serve – marginalized communities. To make funding more accessible, New Sun Rising administers the Vibrancy Funds: an integrated capital program which provides grants, loans, awards, equity, credit enhancement, and technical assistance. Since 2009, NSR has invested over $6.5 million to make progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more about our underwriting framework and history of investment here.


Research has shown that social sector leaders who prioritize data have stronger operations and make greater impact. New Sun Rising’s Nonprofit Data Collection & Evaluation Survey uncovered just how challenging it is for them to incorporate this into their  practice.  We believe that all organizations and communities should have access to the information and tools necessary to maximize their effectiveness. Through the Power in Numbers initiative, we provide organizations with technical assistance, user-friendly data management technology, and data story reports. This support makes it easier to collect, analyze, communicate, and collaborate using data organized by the common language of the Sustainable Development Goals. Power in Numbers combines data science and storytelling advocacy to promote collaborative impact regardless of sector, size, or geography.

Explore the Vibrancy Index