January 25, 2016

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

Mission.Earth wants to help you raise money for your philanthropic work. We provide accessibility, efficiency and affordability. We work with groups, individuals and organizations to provide education and support for raising funds. There is a passionate community of philanthropic individuals, charitable foundations, and government institutions devoted to funding the social innovation. The catch is that most small groups and companies lack the 501(c)(3) tax status that makes them eligible to apply for grants and incentivizes individual gifts. What’s more, when someone launches a nonprofit, there’s little time for passionate innovation. The day-to-day business of administering a tax-exempt organization leaves scant room for anything else. We want you to spend time making changing the world, not filing paperwork. With fiscal sponsorship, you can solicit tax-deductible donations and apply for grants without going through the onerous process of launching a 501(c)(3). The sponsored “project” might be a one-time collaboration or even an established organization that does not have its own 501(c)(3) status. Our program is open and accessible nationwide and in every discipline. We won’t judge the quality or merit of your work. That’s not our job. Our job is to give you the tools you need to raise the money to make it happen.

The National Network of Fiscal Sponsors describes Fiscal Sponsorship as follows:

Fiscal sponsorship has evolved as an effective and efficient mode of starting new nonprofits, seeding social movements, and delivering public services. Fiscal sponsorship generally entails a nonprofit organization (the “fiscal sponsor”) agreeing to provide administrative services and oversight to, and assume some or all of the legal and financial responsibility for, the activities of groups or individuals engaged in work that relates to the fiscal sponsor’s mission.

Fiscal sponsors are tax-exempt, charitable ventures that, according to a recent IRS report “have the ability to receive charitable contributions for specific projects, the infrastructure to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws and adequate internal controls to ensure that the funds will be used for the intended charitable purposes.” Simply stated, fiscal sponsors place responsibility for implementing programs in the hands of project leaders while ensuring appropriate fiduciary oversight.

Additional Resources and Reading Materials:

Fiscal Sponsorship: A 360 Degree Perspective (March 2014)
Guidelines for Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship
Fiscal Sponsorship: A Balanced Overview
 White Paper: On Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship