Fiscal Sponsorship

A Chapter in Mastering Foundation Law:
The Council on Foundations Compendium of Legal Resources

Fiscal sponsorship provides a valuable tool for charitable entrepreneurs to realize their vision by working with an established charity that takes in tax-deductible donations and private-foundation grants to fund their charitable activities. Yet there are many counterintuitive aspects to fiscal sponsorship, as well as popular misconceptions about what it involves: the idea that a charity could accept donations and pass them on to a non-exempt project while providing a tax advantage to contributors seems strange, even suspect. When set up correctly, however, a fiscal sponsorship works legally, helps charities to have a greater impact, and facilitates charitable entrepreneurship in the broader community.

This chapter is divided into three parts:

The Basics

Part One explores the concept of fiscal sponsorship, illustrating its key attributes, debunking some common misperceptions, and exploring why projects may want to consider fiscal sponsorship.

The Varieties of Fiscal Sponsorship

Part Two examines the predominant models of fiscal sponsorship and examine their relative advantages and disadvantages.

The Mechanics of Fiscal Sponsorship

Part Three delves into the more mechanical aspects of fiscal sponsorship, focusing on practical issues that commonly arise and how a fiscal sponsorship agreement might address them.