Open Space Institute Inc.

Open Space Institute Inc.

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

Jessica Watson
Conservation Communities Director

Year organization became a 501(c)(3): 1964
Year of first fiscal sponsorship: 1975
Number of sponsored projects: 27

Fiscal sponsorship fee:
The Open Space Institute’s fiscal sponsorship program, Citizen Action, provides two models of fiscal sponsorship: comprehensive (Model A) and regrant (Model C). The fee structure varies slightly depending on which model is put into use. The service fee for Model A projects is 8% of income received from individuals, charities, and private corporations or foundations, and 10% of income received from government entities (ex. grants or contracts from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation). For Model C, the service fee is 6% of income received from individuals, charities, and private corporations or foundations, and 8% of income received from government entities. OSI does not receive federal grants on behalf of fiscally sponsored projects. State and local government grant opportunities are reviewed by staff and approved on a case-by-case basis before an application may be submitted.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Aligned mission/values
  • Only projects located in our state or region
  • Minimum budget
  • Other: Committed, responsible leadership; cannot have a 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation from the IRS.

Types of projects or services we sponsor:

  • Open space/Parks
  • Other: Environmental education

Services we offer projects:

  • Auditing
  • Bill paying
  • Bookkeeping/accounting
  • Insurance
  • Receiving stock donations but not property donations for fiscally sponsored projects
  • 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 protects scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat, and sustain communities. We do so through land acquisition, financing, advocacy, park enhancement and grassroots efforts. A large part of our grassroots efforts is our fiscal sponsorship program, Citizen Action (CitAc). CitAc serves as an incubator for bourgeoning, environmentally focused grassroots organizations. The participants have ranged from community gardens and land trusts to environmental educators and promoters of nature-based arts and activities.