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Fiscal Sponsorships

Austin Community Foundation offers fiscal sponsorship support to select projects and organizations that align with our mission and strategic initiatives. 

Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which the Foundation enters into a pre-approved grant agreement with a project that has significant community benefit but lacks its own tax exempt status. Examples of fiscally sponsored projects include: coalitions and networks, high impact community projects, and projects with seasonal or time-limited programming. 

Criteria: 

ACF will consider a fiscal sponsorship of a project that meets the following criteria:

  • Aligns with ACF’s mission and/or strategic initiatives 
  • Serves communities in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Burnet or Caldwell county
  • Minimum projected budget of $50,000
  • Advisory board/project team in place
  • Separate entity documentation (The State of Texas offers several options for entity formation)
Fiscal sponsorship projects must also meet the following criteria determined by the Internal Revenue Service: 
  • A 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization accepts charitable donations or grants, acting as a guardian of the funds, for a project that does not have 501(c)(3) status
  • The funds received by the organization on behalf of the project must be used for specific charitable projects that further the organization's own tax exempt purpose
  • The organization retains discretion and control as to the use of the funds
  • The organization maintains records that establish that the funds were used for 501(c)(3) purposes

Capabilities

ACF provides the following services for fiscally sponsored projects: 

Administrative Services

  • Ability to seek funding through the Foundation's 501(c)(3) designation
  • Processing and distribution of tax receipts 
  • Annual fund review 
  • Annual fund statements 
  • Online access to fund information
  • Disbursements to support project activity

Donation Services 

  • Accepts complex gifts
  • Receipts in-kind donations 
  • Accepts foundation grants 
  • Accepts local government grants (city/state)
  • Custom secure online donation form
  • Event specific online donation form
  • Accepts wire transfers

Limitations

While the Foundation is equipped to support many charitable projects, a fiscal sponsorship may not be the best solution for the following types of projects:

  • Less than $50,000 per year in revenue
  • High transaction volume
  • Designed to benefit individuals 
  • Supports booster clubs
  • High volume of cash donations
  • Sales as a primary fundraising strategy
  • Politically focused efforts
  • Seeking federal grant funding
  • Existing 501(c)(3) organization

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