Two Vehicles, One Home: Fiscal Sponsorship and Donor Advised Funds

On June 1, Social Impact Commons hosted a great practitioner conversation on the intersectionality between fiscal sponsorship and donor advised funds (“DAFs”). The following is a description of the event: We increasingly see fiscal sponsors accidentally or intentionally developing Donor Advised Fund (DAF) programs and, likewise, organizations running DAFs finding themselves acting as fiscal sponsors. […]

Entering into a Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement

Fiscal sponsorship can be an effective and efficient alternative to starting and operating a new nonprofit organization. But there are great variations in how fiscal sponsorship relationships are established and memorialized in a written agreement. One of the first areas of confusion is who enters into the agreement with the fiscal sponsor. These are the […]

Article on Fiscal Sponsor Legal Obligations

In March 2022, NEO Law Group Principal Erin Bradrick presented on the topic of the legal obligations of fiscal sponsors to Fiscal Sponsor Conversations: The Weekly Forum for Fiscal Sponsors hosted on the Schulman Consulting website. The Fiscal Sponsor Directory published excerpts from Erin’s presentation in an excellent article edited by Marjorie Beggs of the […]

Stipulated Judgment Against Fiscal Sponsor for Misspending Donations

Fiscal sponsors must respect laws related to protecting assets restricted to furthering the charitable purposes of specific projects . If funds intended for a particular internal (Model A) project are diverted and used for other purposes (e.g., the fiscal sponsor’s general operating expenses), there may be legal repercussions. This was very recently exemplified in a […]

Fiscal Sponsor: Before You Accept a Project …

Many fiscal sponsors enter into relationships to support multiple fiscally sponsored projects (“Projects” or “FSPs”). Typically, these fiscal sponsors have some screening mechanism before agreeing to enter into these relationships, but often, the screening is superficial, resulting in significant risk exposure and/or undesirable administrative burdens for the fiscal sponsor. Proper screening is of critical importance […]

How to Find a Fiscal Sponsor

Social entrepreneurs have a number of options for housing a charitable project, and many recognize fiscal sponsorship as the best option. But how do you find and select a fiscal sponsor? What is a fiscal sponsor? While no legal definition exists, a comprehensive (Model A) fiscal sponsor is generally considered to be a tax-exempt organization […]

Incubating a Nonprofit Social Enterprise

  How can we incubate an innovative, profit-making nonprofit project? As covered in our last post, Starting a Self-Sustainable Nonprofit, it may be possible and advantageous to operate a sustainable, profit-making, charitable project as a nonprofit organization.  If this route is chosen, the leaders should ensure that the organizational, governance, and administrative structures are carefully […]

Fiscal Sponsorship is Maturing as a Field

There is a terrific article on fiscal sponsorship written by Melanie Beene, President and CEO of Community Initiatives*, in the Fall 2010 issue of GIAreader (published by Grantmakers in the Arts).  In "Fiscal Sponsorship is Maturing as a Field," Beene describes the evolution of the practice of fiscal sponsorship and emergence of a set of […]