Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which a 501(c)(3) public charity sponsors a project that may lack exempt status. This alternative to starting your own nonprofit allows you to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations under your sponsor's exempt status.

Webinar Fiscal Sponsorship for Artists and Arts Organizations

During this one-hour webinar, Dianne Debicella, program director for fiscal sponsorship at Fractured Atlas, will discuss the fiscal sponsorship arrangement under which a charitable project without 501(c)(3) status might benefit from the tax-exempt status and administrative support of a sponsoring organization.

Video What You Need to Know About Fiscal Sponsorships

During this one-hour video, Rachel Epps Spears, Executive Director, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, shares the pros and cons of having a fiscal sponsor and what organizations can do to avoid potential problems when entering into a fiscal sponsorship agreement.

Since most grantmakers give to organizations, not individuals, fiscal sponsorship may help you qualify for more funding opportunities. Thus, you may be able to fund and start your project sooner. Meanwhile, you can work on getting your own nonprofit status if that is your ultimate goal. To learn more about fiscal sponsorship, please see:

  • Grantseeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts, our free recorded webinar.
  • Where can I find examples of policies, procedures, and guidelines for fiscal sponsorship agreements? links to guidelines of real fiscal sponsorship programs so you can see what is involved.
  •, an authoritative site by Gregory L. Colvin, nonprofit attorney and author of Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways to Do It Right. This site includes highlights from the book, sample agreements, and additional resources.

    How to Find a Fiscal Sponsor

    • Look for nonprofits whose missions are similar to yours. You might start with your current affiliations. Make a list of the professional societies, educational associations and institutions, religious organizations, social and recreational clubs, and other groups with which you are already associated, including employers.
    • The Fiscal Sponsor Directory allows you to search by state, service category, or keyword for nonprofit fiscal sponsors. Profiles include eligibility requirements, fees, services, and types of projects supported. The site also provides statistics and resources on fiscal sponsorship.
    • Foundation Grants to Individuals Online is available by subscription or for free at our locations. Do a Type of Support search for "Fiscal agent/sponsor" to find nonprofits with fiscal sponsorship programs.

    When approaching your prospects, be ready to give a verbal or written proposal that explains:

    • Your project: Why it's needed, and its goals, objectives, method, evaluation, staffing, and budget. This is similar to a grant proposal. To learn more about writing one, please see our proposal writing resources.
    • How it advances the nonprofit's mission.
    • Other ways the nonprofit can benefit from being associated with your project.

Topic(s) Collaboration Starting a Nonprofit Fiscal Sponsorship

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