Fiscal sponsorship is a common mechanism used by nonprofit community foundations that enables individuals, groups, or organizations to start new projects or programs without establishing a new, separate 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
Fiscally sponsored projects, programs, groups and other initiatives get their charitable status from their fiscal sponsor. It saves money, reduces duplication of personnel, conserves resources, and simplifies organizational needs.
Fiscal sponsors are legally responsible for any project that they sponsor.
GGHF’s fiscally sponsored efforts are not separate and isolated entities; they are an integral part of the Foundation. We receive charitable donations and grants on behalf of our fiscally sponsored projects; maintain the necessary legal and financial infrastructure for all project activities; and, allow project leaders to focus their efforts on successfully achieving project/program goals.
The Foundation offers fiscal sponsorship to groups, organizations and individuals that aim to build, bridge and enrich the greater Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula through projects, programs and/or groups efforts that meet diverse community needs in five core areas essential to sustaining vibrant healthy communities across our peninsulas. These five core areas are:
- Arts & Culture
- Parks & Environment
- Social Capital
The Foundation fiscal sponsorship fees are 5% on all gifts processed for a given project, program, or community group. This fee helps to cover associated costs for the support and management services.
The Foundation’s Board of Directors is responsible for all legal, taxation, and regulatory issues associated with fiscally sponsored initiatives. Projects typically have their own committees or advisory boards that are the designated caretakers of their project’s mission, responsible for strategic planning, program oversight, fundraising, outreach, and assistance to and review of the project director.
Establishing an independent 501(c)(3) is expensive and takes time— costs can run from around $15,000 (even if time and services are donated, this is a cost) to upwards of $100,000 by the time all start-up costs are accounted for. From developing Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation and filing with the State of Washington (Secretary of State and the Charities Program) and to completing the IRS form 1023 exemption application, filing it and getting formal approval can take six months or more.
Being fiscally sponsored is extremely cost effective and saving money is important, particularly for organizations that are just emerging, testing new approaches to difficult social problems, run entirely by volunteers, or working on issues where funding may be scarce.
With funding for all nonprofits is on the decline and in a small community as ours it is important to strategically develop ways to leverage resources and not to compete for limited funds. Fiscal sponsorship is an efficient, economic way to reduce costs while maintaining the integrity of the project, program or group’s purpose.
We are your community’s foundation, we are your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, we have worked diligently to advocate and raise significant funding for community initiatives that directly benefit all who live and work here. We understand the vital importance of community stewardship and ownership in assuring a resilient, vibrant and sustainable future of our greater peninsula communities and are committed to building that foundation. The Foundation is committed to the missions of its projects and you can leverage on our experience to harvest greater support for your community project at extremely reasonable rates.
In addition to 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status, through fiscal sponsorship GGHF provides partners with the following support services:
- Meeting space
- Track revenue and expenses and provide financial statements
- Deposit donations and cut checks for project/program related expenses
- Track donations to the project/program and provide donor acknowledgment
- Required state and federal filings
- Post information about your project in the “Feature Story” on the Foundation’s Home page and in our quarterly e‐News which currently reaches about 2,000 community supporters
- Have your project highlighted in quarterly announcements, local news media, theater ads, and social network sites
- Provide a web page for your project on gigharborfoundation.org
- Online donation capabilities
- Fundraising consultation
- Assistance with event organization, management, mailings, publicity, ticketing
Please contact the Foundation at (253) 514-6338 or by email at email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about how GGHF can work with you or your group to provide fiscal sponsorship of your community-based project.