Fiscal Sponsorship Additional Resources

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The National Council of Nonprofits does not serve as a fiscal sponsor however we’ve gathered resources for those exploring a fiscal sponsor relationship.

How does it work?

A project/organization identifies another nonprofit (one that is already tax-exempt and generally has a similar mission) to agree to serve as its fiscal sponsor, which means that it is agreeing to accept the administrative and fiduciary responsibilities of receiving charitable gifts on behalf of the sponsored project/organization.

  • The fiscal sponsor must first determine that serving as a fiscal sponsor is consistent with its mission (and does not jeopardize its own tax-exempt status).
  • Donations are made to the fiscal sponsor, not to the sponsored program/organization directly. Since the fiscal sponsor is tax-exempt, the donor’s contribution will qualify as a deductible contribution.
  • The fiscal sponsor then makes a "grant" to the sponsored project/organization.
  • The fiscal sponsor is responsible for sending donors gift acknowledgements and for reporting the income and expenditures in its own financial records (such as the IRS Form 990). The sponsor is also responsible for serving as a fiduciary for the contributions made to benefit the sponsored program, so honoring restrictions placed on the gifts by donors, and making prudent decisions about financial management and internal controls in connection with funds received, are all the responsibility of the sponsor.
  • The sponsored project/organization is responsible for whatever recordkeeping and reports it agrees to provide to its sponsor and anything else that is documented as its responsibilities in any written agreement it has with the sponsor, or if the sponsored project is a corporate entity, any legal filing obligations it may be responsible for under state law.

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