Fiscal Sponsorship

Access funding that will carry you through every stage of your project’s lifecycle — from development to distribution and beyond.

Ready to apply? Visit applications.filmindependent.org to get started.

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

Fiscal sponsorship is an arrangement between an existing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an individual or entity lacking the legal status needed to receive grants from foundations, individual donors and government agencies.

The fiscal sponsor agrees to provide administrative services and oversight to, and assume limited legal and financial responsibility for, the activities of groups or individuals engaged in work that furthers the fiscal sponsor’s mission, in this case, to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.

The clearest, though not the only, benefit to participating in fiscal sponsorship is that individuals are able to access charitable funding for their project while forgoing the time consuming and expensive process of creating and running a 501(c)(3) organization themselves. This especially applies to independent filmmakers for whom setting up a nonprofit for a particular project is rarely necessary.

 

Our Projects

Congratulations to I Was a Simple Man, our inaugural fiscally sponsored project. Learn more on the I Was a Simple Man project page and check back soon for the unveiling of more exciting projects… maybe even your own!

Benefits

  • Apply for grants and solicit tax deductible donations without becoming a 501(c)(3)
  • Access to Film Independent’s Membership offerings, including filmmaker networking events, continuing education opportunities, online filmmaking resources, Film Independent Spirit Awards voting privileges and a host of one-of-a-kind cinematic experiences
  • Receive a one-on-one project consultation with an industry professional
  • Sustained support throughout the lifecycle of your project, including newsletter and blog features and social media mentions
  • Access to full-time staff with years of collective experience in fiscal sponsorship and independent film
  • Offer your donors a variety of ways to give to your project by check, online, credit card, crowdfunding campaigns and even matching gifts from employers
  • Promote your project via your individualized online donation page
  • Offer a tax incentive to your crowdfunding campaign donors
  • Apply to specialized state and federal government grants like the National Endowment of the Humanities
  • Film Independent collects a competitive 7% administrative fee from contributions made to selected projects

Who Can Apply?

You must be a current Film Independent Member to apply for fiscal sponsorship. The program is open to independent narrative and documentary projects of any length and at any stage of development. Film Independent supports other types of projects and like-minded organizations that further our mission and are in the process of obtaining their 501(c)(3) status; including interactive media, podcasts, film festivals and more. Non-US applicants are welcome to apply.

How to Apply:

Fiscal Sponsorship applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration:

  • Project Description (logline, story summary/synopsis, topic summary, artistic approach, project stage and timeline)
  • Audience and Distribution (distribution and marketing strategy, intended audience)
  • Key Creative Personnel (bios for each creative team member, list of attached advisers or consultants)
  • Fundraising Strategy (overall fundraising strategy, funding to date)
  • Budget
  • Work Sample (director’s prior work or current work sample)
  • A non-refundable application fee of $45*

* All applicants to the Fiscal Sponsorship program are required to be current Film Independent Members. Application fee waived for Filmmaker Pro Members.

Selection Criteria

Film Independent is looking for unique projects from talented filmmakers ranging from first-time directors to those more firmly established in the indie film community. The project’s viability, both financial and artistic, will be considered by our review committee, as will the team’s collective expertise and the overall proposal presentation. Our ultimate goal is to work with you to get your film funded, finished and seen. Your written proposal and budget should show us how you plan to make that happen.

For more information, please contact Lisa Hasko, Manager of Fiscal Sponsorship and Documentary Programs, at [email protected].