Steven smiles in a purple button down
Former Program Coordinator, NDP

Each grant round, NEFA program staff respond to many questions from applicants about fiscal sponsorship. This post explains why and when NEFA grantees need fiscal sponsors and provides resources to learn more.

Most of NEFA’s grant programs require that grants be distributed to organizations with a 501(c)(3) (nonprofit) tax status. Where eligibility allows, individual artists and companies without 501(c)(3) status may apply to NEFA, entering the appropriate details from the applicant’s fiscal sponsor  in the application. If awarded, grant funds will be paid to the fiscal sponsor named on the request form. (Applicants whose fiscal sponsorship agreement will not be in place by the request deadline should contact the appropriate NEFA program staff.)

The particulars of fiscal sponsorship agreements vary–each artist has different needs and each fiscal sponsor has different requirements of (and offers different services to) the artists and projects they sponsor. Finding out more, however, is easy. Here is a list of resources with more information about fiscal sponsorships:

  • Foundation Center (a guide explaining fiscal sponsorship)
  • The Basics of Fiscal Sponsorship (other blog posts with tips on finding a fiscal sponsor)
  • Grant Space  (a comprehensive look at fiscal sponsorship with various resources, including in-depth explanations, webinars and videos, and links to many other resources)
  • Adler & Colvin (law firm with sample fiscal sponsor agreements - site contains a FAQ with answers to questions about applying for 501(c)(3) status and general financial reporting requirements)
  • Discovering Fiscally Sponsored NYC Dancemakers (a report from Dance/NYC about NYC dancemakers’ use of fiscal sponsors)

And, there are many good resources for finding a fiscal sponsor when you are ready, including:

Other good places to start your search for a fiscal sponsor are your local arts council or arts service organization and other artists in your discipline who have received foundation funding. 
If you have any other questions about fiscal sponsorship or any of our grant programs, please feel free to contact NEFA staff.