fiscal sponsorship.

About Fiscal Sponsorship
How to Apply for Fiscal Sponsorship
         Eligibility Requirements
         Project Proposal Guidelines
Once a Project is Accepted for Fiscal Sponsorship
Processing Donations
The Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement

About Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal Sponsorship is used primarily when a non-profit film/video project or event wants to secure funding from foundation, government or corporate sources that give only to nonprofit organizations with IRS tax-exempt status. To be considered exempt, an organization must hold a current 501(c)(3) certificate from the IRS.

Rather than attempt to secure tax-exempt status for a film/video project or production company (a lengthy, involved and costly process), individual filmmakers may contract with a fiscal sponsor to extend tax-exempt status to that specific project.

As a fiscal sponsor, the Film Collaborative collects all funds for a project, redistributes the funds as necessary, keeps a separate ledger for all funds accepted for the individual's project, and makes records of such transactions available to those who might require it. The Film Collaborative maintains these records in the form of account status reports and other disclosures required by grant guidelines and/or federal law.

Like most fiscal sponsors, the Film Collaborative charges an administrative fee for any monies granted through our Fiscal Sponsorship program. This 5% fee covers the cost of our management of donations to your project (including costs associated with bookkeeping, check distribution, fiscal reporting to funders, inclusion on our web site, donations accepted through our web site, and on-going technical assistance).

The primary advantage to working with a fiscal sponsor is that it allows an individual to solicit funds from government, foundation, individual and other philanthropic sources. Furthermore, these donations are then tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

According to standard principals and law, projects contracted with a fiscal sponsor must be consistent with the fiscal sponsor's charitable purposes. In terms of the Film Collaborative, this means that any project you are proposing must be noncommercial and represent an imaginative contribution to the film or video art form.

Having a nonprofit fiscal sponsor does not make an individual "nonprofit" or "tax-exempt" — only the IRS can make a tax-exempt ruling.

How to Apply for Fiscal Sponsorship

  1. Join The Film Collaborative;
  2. Pay the $35 fiscal sponsorship application fee;
  3. Fill out and submit the online application form, which contains a place where you can upload a PDF of your project proposal.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. You must be join the Film Collaborative at the Contributor level or higher. Sign up here.
  2. Project must be consistent with the Film Collaborative charitable purposes, is noncommercial and/or educational and represents an imaginative contribution to the film or video art form.
  3. Project is not a "work for hire."
  4. You must be seeking donations in the form of grants from public agencies, foundations, corporations, or individual donors including fundraising benefits.
  5. You do not need to live in the Los Angeles area or be a U.S. citizen to apply for fiscal sponsorship. At least one of your project’s named project directors will need to have a Social Security number (SSN), Employer Identification Number (EIN), Independent Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or other type of IRS registration.

Project Proposal Guidelines

Guidelines for your Project Proposal can be found on the proposal guidelines page.

Once a Project is Accepted for Fiscal Sponsorship

  1. We will send you a copy of the Fiscal Sponsorship contract and a W9 form via email. Please sign and return to the Film Collaborative within one week of acceptance.
  2. We will send you a welcome packet which includes a fiscal sponsorship support letter that you can send out with your grant applications, tax ID number, a copy of your signed contract and information on how to set up online donations.
  3. Donors to your project can contribute online or write checks to the Film Collaborative and should indicate which project the donation is supporting on the FOR/MEMO line.

Processing Donations

  1. When checks and credit card donations are received the funds will be disbursed to the filmmaker. Checks are deposited and must clear before starting they will be disbursed. Funds will be disbursed once a month at the end of the month.
  2. Checks are sent out with copies of donor check so that the filmmaker may contact them directly with thank you notes.
  3. The Film Collaborative will send each donor out thank you letter stating the tax deductible donation was received (for donations over $250).
  4. Twice a year status reports are sent out to filmmakers so that the Film Collaborative aware of how the filmmakers project is progressing. These reports must be submitted and up to date to keep fiscal sponsorship active.

The Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement

When a project is approved for Fiscal Sponsorship, the filmmaker will enter into a signed agreement that stipulates that the filmmaker must:

  • keep track of all expenses connected with the project;
  • complete and return the Project Status Report every six months;
  • spend funds administered to you through the Film Collaborative only for the project and in accordance with the budget approved by the Film Collaborative;
  • comply with restrictions and requirements imposed on the Film Collaborative by donors and with government requirements regarding information and required reports;
  • maintain an account with TFC at the join level of Contributor or higher for the length of the sponsorship.

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