Fiscal Sponsorship: 6  Ways To Do It Right


Fiscal sponsorship’s origins (part 2)

Fiscal sponsorship’s origins (part 1 of 2)

LEAD STORY: Fiscal sponsorship models and how they evolved by Greg Colvin Part 2

So how many ways are there to do fiscal sponsorship right? Frankly, if we had left it to the IRS to define fiscal sponsorship, they probably would’ve come up with only one way. The alternatives we developed allow much more flexibility in the vehicles that can be used to sponsor projects. We came up with six models, the first three, A, B and C, were an outgrowth of analysis done by [the late] Tom Silk, a mentor to me and an inspiration for how to get these things done, who successfully defended them with the IRS.

In Model A, called comprehensive or direct sponsorship, the sponsor takes full responsibility for everything that’s going on. Those who work for the project get paid, usually as employees. In Model B, workers are engaged as independent contractors providing a service to the fiscal sponsor. Model B occurs in situations where a single consultant, a single producer of an event, or an artist producing a piece of sculpture or music is hired to do something for the sponsor. MORE

OTHER NEWS: Fiscal sponsorship history: A personal recollection by Greg Colvin Part 1

My engagement with fiscal sponsorship started in 1989 when John Edie, general counsel for the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C., published an article called “Fiscal Agents Can Be Illegal.” It caused quite a stir and was followed by a major article three years later, “The Use of Fiscal Agents: A Trap for the Unwary.”

“In too many communities,” Edie wrote, “it is generally accepted that when grants or gifts cannot be made directly, all one must do is launder the money through a convenient fiscal agent, which is frequently the local community foundation or some other well-established public charity.” MORE

Fiscal sponsors: create or update your agency profile helps connect community projects with fiscal sponsors. San Francisco Study Center created and maintains this directory based on self-reported information from the fiscal sponsors listed. Create your listing and help projects and other nonprofits find you fast. To update your profile send us an email. 

Projects: Find a fiscal sponsor

Use the directory to find the fiscal sponsor that best fits for what you do. To search by state: click on the map links below.

Search fiscal sponsors by state The Directory features 353 sponsors in 42 states, three in Puerto Rico and one in Canada.
The Fiscal Sponsor Directory thanks its supporters for their generosity. “It’s an honor on behalf of Nonstop Wellness and personally to provide support to San Francisco Study Center and its Fiscal Sponsor Directory. In an era of “fake news,”  targeted (and often abusive) political advertising and the deepening decay of polarized politics, Study Center stands apart — a throwback to the era when journalists were committed to the notion of a democratic society with true pillars of representation. Thank you for your team’s caring commitment and credible voice. It’s a privilege to support the Fiscal Sponsor Directory and the larger vision of your mission.” — David Sloves, CEO, Nonstop Wellness, Study Center’s Benefits Administrator
Adler Colvin Brand Nonprofit law leaders Adler & Colvin is deeply committed to serving the legal needs of the nonprofit sector. We bring experience and passion to our representation of tax-exempt organizations and individual philanthropists in the areas of fiscal sponsorship, charitable gift planning, grantmaking and social investing, nonprofit governance and ethics, revenue-generating activities, social enterprise, tax treatment of lobbying and political activities. LEARN MORE
Experienced fiscal sponsorshipLogo of the San Francisco Study Center Study Center sponsored its first fiscal project in 1975. We’ve been doing it right ever since. Savvy staff provide a spectrum of community services, serving as a sounding board for projects needing help getting started and a resource for those needing admin support. Our primary focus, financial management, uses a state-of-the-art system to keep you up to date and your project budget on track. Our mission is to help you succeed. Contact Executive Director Geoff Link for more information.   CONTACT