Open Space Institute Inc.

Open Space Institute Inc.

1350 Broadway, Suite 201
New York, NY 10018
(212) 290-8200, ext. 307

Jessica Watson
Citizen Action and Education Manager

Year organization became a 501(c)(3): 1964
Year of first fiscal sponsorship: 1975
Number of sponsored projects: 40

Fiscal sponsorship fee:
The service fee for the Citizen Action Program is 8% of income received from individuals, charities, private foundations or corporations and 10% of income received from government entities (such as grants or contracts from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation). OSI also provides regrant fiscal sponsorship, the service fee for this arrangement is 6% of income received from individuals, charities, private foundation or corporations and 8% of income received from government entities.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Aligned mission/values
  • Other: • The Citizen Action program is open to groups that: have a mission and project goals that complement or further OSI’s own mission and programs; • Have a leadership group of individuals who are willing and able to commit to assuming responsibility for the project; • Have a budget, funding strategy and some record of success in raising funds to support the project and its activities; • Does not have its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation from the IRS. Applications are accepted at any time. All applications are subject to review by the staff and trustees of OSI. Applications are considered by trustees at regularly scheduled quarterly meetings. If you are interested in Citizen Action, the first step is to send an informal inquiry to Jessica Watson. Groups that pass an initial eligibility screen will be asked to submit an application letter that addresses each of the four major criteria listed above.

Types of projects or services we sponsor:

  • Environmenal education
  • Other: Outdoor access and recreation

Services we offer projects:

  • Bill paying
  • Bookkeeping/accounting
  • Tax reporting
  • Other: Additional services are available from OSI upon request. These may include human resources, legal, fundraising, strategy and accounting. Any services above and beyond the basic management services that are the subject of this agreement shall be provided at an appropriate hourly rate based on the level of expertise and support required from OSI for this additional assistance. For a current list of services and fees, contact the Citizen Action Program Manager.

Based on Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways to Do It Right: Our model(s) of fiscal sponsorship are:

  • Model A, Direct Project
  • Model C, Preapproved Grant Relationship: Model C Regrant Project

Organization description:
The Open Space Institute’s Citizen Action program fosters the growth and success of community-based organizations focused on environmental causes. Offering a range of technical and professional support and services, Citizen Action mobilizes newly formed nonprofits to achieve their mission and meet their organizational goals. Now in its fourth decade, Citizen Action has mentored, trained and launched nearly 150 grassroots start-ups in New York City and beyond. With a focus on open space access, outdoors recreation and environmental education, groups under Citizen Action all work in some way to protect the environment. Participants range from community gardens and local land trusts to environmental educators and promotors of nature-based arts and activities.