By: Gaby Saldaña-Lopez, Fiscal Sponsorship Manager
What is Fiscal sponsorship? That is a question I have received many times since becoming SE Uplift’s Fiscal Sponsorship manager. Well, I’m here to give you the basics!
Fiscal Sponsorship extends a nonprofit’s tax-exempt status to other start-up organizations, groups and individuals so that they can engage in fundraising activities for a project. This service allows for building community and organizational capacity within start-up groups. Every organization that provides this service has a different process for admitting new projects as well as various systems related to sponsorship fees, which in general range from 3-10% of all managed funds.
The SE Uplift Fiscal Sponsorship program in the past has served many Neighborhood Associations, several community projects, and partners from within our small grants program. While the program reached capacity several years ago and applications for new projects were not accepted during that time, we are proud of current plans to re-open the application process. We’ve had several projects “graduate” and become their own 501(c)3 organizations! So we are now opening the application process, with a deadline of March 29.
If you are interested in applying to become a SE Uplift fiscal sponsee, your work needs to be within our boundaries and be aligned with SE Uplift’s mission. The main objective of our program is for projects to gain strong organizational skills and eventually become an independent nonprofit organization. We provide support for your project to engage in fundraising and grant-seeking activities to build your capacity.
The following image can help guide you in the application process.
Although fiscal sponsorship is often a hidden behind-the-scenes support, the service has helped fuel many of the nonprofits and projects that you know and love such as these. Three notable examples are:
Montavilla Jazz Festival, celebrating its 5th year, started out as one of the many events that were put on by the Montavilla Neighborhood Association. It became a huge success and grew to become its own 501(c)(3). Their mission to “support and strengthen local music culture and enrich the community by showcasing PDX’s best jazz” is reflected every year in August during a two-day festival. They also support music education with proceeds from ticket sales going to Montavilla Schools Music Fund which helps Montavilla public schools teachers to develop music programs. See more in their website.
SEPTL- SouthEast Portland Tool Library started with 560 members and over 950 tools in 2010. In 2016 right before becoming their own 501(c)(3), they stood with over 1,500 tools and over 5,000 members. This is a place that set out to “empower citizens with the tools, education and other resources to improve their home or neighborhood that may otherwise be too expensive” and it has done so by having everything from lawn mowers to table saws to drain uncloggers. Learn more on their website.
Impact NW started in 1966 through the communal efforts of four SE neighborhoods, focusing on providing social services with the intention of supporting neighbors against poverty. They demonstrate that through dedication, collaboration, and a strong mission your work can expand and grow. Learn more on their website.
All of these nonprofits started off as an idea that was then put into action. Whatever idea that your community may have could become a reality! If you are interested in learning more about fiscal sponsorship, there’s a wonderful online resource called FiscalSponsorshipDirectory.org that has a lot more information. Their website also contains some other organizations that may be resources for offering fiscal sponsorship. For questions about the SE Uplift fiscal sponsorship application and process, email email@example.com or look at our application here.