Frequently Asked Questions

Fiscal Sponsorship is a formal agreement where a current nonprofit serves as a sort of incubator for new charitable projects created by someone else. Fiscal sponsorship can give you the ability to accept tax-deductible donations and apply for grants without 501c3 status. We act as a fiscal sponsor for many fledgling charitable programs and organizations across the US, as well as a few established nonprofits.

Ribbon is the online platform we use to manage the fiscal sponsorship program. In Ribbon, sponsees can view donor information and the amount of funds available for their program. Sponsees can create donation pages through Ribbon that accept donations online. Sponsees can also create debit cards to use for the charitable program, submit expenses for reimbursement, submit bills for online bill pay and more! You can see a quick video about Ribbon here.

You can apply for fiscal sponsorship by signing up for Ribbon and completing our application. It is free to apply for the program and sign up for Ribbon. If your application is approved, then you’ll have the option of which plan you’d like to choose. Once you’ve chosen a plan, you can sign the fiscal sponsorship agreement, pay your setup fee, and we’ll take it from there!

No, we do not provide funding and we do not accept funding proposals. We don’t offer professional fundraising services, though we do publish general fundraising content in our email newsletter, blog and on social media.

You’ll be able to login to Ribbon to view incoming donations for your program. There, you’ll see the information submitted by the donor like amount donated, name of donor and email address, usually within the same day the donation was made.

Yes, most of the time sponsees can use fiscal sponsorship for as long as they would like, as long as they’re in good standing. There are a few exceptions. One is for Sponsees who have received funding from a grant that is time-bound. We’re happy to answer questions on this topic, as it’s specific to each grant. Another is sponsees who signed up for our program through the Ribbon marketplace.

Our core services of fiscal sponsorship are included. This includes processing online donations, sending donation acknowledgements for all donations, reviewing your receipts for compliance, upkeep of the software used to facilitate your fiscal sponsorship and providing you with real time information about donations.

If you’d like additional services, please let our team know. We’re happy to see how we can help!

Sponsees must use funds for charitable purposes. Sponsees have access to a platform called Ribbon, where they can login on a web browser or in the app to submit information about how charitable funds are used. This can include submitting receipts for expenses within the app or online.

Yes! We’re able to provide fiscal sponsorship in every state in the US. If you’d like to see where we currently have fiscal sponsees, you can see that on our home page.

We don’t currently offer bookkeeping services. Ribbon, the platform we use to manage fiscal sponsorship, makes the bookkeeping process much simpler and easier for many of our sponsees.

Yes! We fiscally sponsor existing 501c3s for a variety of reasons including: providing 3+ years of financial statements for specific grants, soliciting charitable donations in all 50 states (we’re licensed to fundraise in every state that requires it), and managing the donation processing/acknowledgements for you until you are able to handle that administrative task.

Once you’ve signed the fiscal sponsorship agreement and paid the setup fee, you’ll get an invitation to Ribbon, the online platform used to manage fiscal sponsorship. You can get started accepting donations online as soon as you’ve fully setup your account in Ribbon. You can see how to setup a donation page in Ribbon here.

It depends on how the donor chooses to donate. Donations your project receives via credit card or debit card will often be available instantly. Sometimes donations made via check take a few days to clear the bank but will be available for use after that.

We fiscally sponsor charitable programs and projects in the United States that meet the IRS requirements for what is deemed as charitable, with a few exceptions. We currently do NOT sponsor HOAs, programs that are involved in politics or lobbying for positions or candidates, or films.

We respond to inquiries within 2 business days. Usually, we can send you an approval or denial within that time frame, but we might need to ask additional questions to ensure your charitable project meets the standards of our program.

Oftentimes, the answer to this question is yes! Please check with your grant provider to ensure they accept applications from fiscally sponsored projects, as each grant provider is different. Currently, we do not accept federal grants.

If your application is approved and you’ve signed the agreement and paid your set up fee, you’re ready to start fundraising! You’ll be able to accept donations online through custom donation forms and web pages. We also can accept check donations, stocks, ACH, and wire transfer donations. Please contact us for more information about that process.

Every financial aspect of the program is managed through Ribbon. In Ribbon, you can see the amount of donations, the amount available in your account, and who’s donated. You can also create debit cards linked to your Ribbon account so you can make purchases online and in-person as needed. Receipts for purchases must be submitted through Ribbon so we can ensure funds are being spent appropriately on your charitable programs. You can even submit invoices and bills to be paid through Ribbon!

We’ve got a step by step guide on the process with photos you can access here.