Fiscal Sponsorship Application Guidelines
Fiscal Sponsorship allows individual artists and cultural organizations without 501(c)(3) status and have at least one year of residency in Boulder County to apply to funders under the auspices of the Boulder County Arts Alliance, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Fiscal Sponsorship is an artist support service for grant awards and contributions to specific pre-approved artists or organizations intended for purposes directly related to the Boulder County Arts Alliance (BCAA) purpose as it appears in our Articles of Incorporation: The purpose/mission of the organization shall be to provide leadership and resources for arts organizations, artists, educators, and the community of Boulder County. And in our vision statement: To ensure that arts and culture thrive at the heart of our communities.
Fiscal Sponsorship requires that the Arts Alliance accept programmatic and fiscal responsibility for the applicant. Fiscal Sponsorship is offered to members who demonstrate a high level of professional practice in the management of their endeavors. Accordingly, the attached application is designed to provide the BCAA Fiscal Sponsorship Committee with sufficient information to determine whether or not to accept the Fiscal Sponsorship responsibilities on behalf of the applicant.
- Fiscal Sponsorship is an opportunity extended to Boulder County Arts Alliance members only. Membership does not guarantee approval for Fiscal Sponsorship, and the Arts Alliance reserves the right to revoke its Fiscal Sponsorship at any time if the member does not comply with Arts Alliance regulations for use of that status. If you are not currently a member you can learn more on our Membershp page.
- Eligibility for Fiscal Sponsorship is determined through an application process (see below). Once approved, the member artist(s) or group remains eligible for sponsorship upon receipt of yearend report on activities due on January 15 unless there is a significant change in the name, mission/purpose, or personnel affiliated with the applicant. If this is the case or a year-end report is not filed, the application must be renewed. BCAA has the exclusive authority, at its discretion, to determine what is "significant". Each entity that is approved for Fiscal Sponsorship status MUST submit an annual report as per BCAA guidelines by January 15th. If such report is not received by the deadline, that entity's Fiscal Sponsorship status will be revoked. Re-initiation of that status can only be obtained by submitting all reports due and reapplying for said status.
- BCAA Fiscal Sponsorship is not applicable for the purchase of goods or the receipt of services, and does not include such things as using BCAA's bulk mailing permit, BCAA sponsorships of facilities use, or use of BCAA to obtain liquor licenses. The Arts Alliance is not able to provide its tax-exempt status to members for the purpose of making purchases.
- Recipients are asked to seek counsel to review the tax ramification of the grants or contributions they receive through Fiscal Sponsorship to determine if such contributions are to be considered income and how to account for it on their tax returns.
- Recipients and/or sponsored organizations will not, and will not permit their projects to, participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, or otherwise engage in then carrying on of propaganda (within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986). The recipient and/or sponsored organizations are also responsible for abiding by the law as defined in the same section of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
- Complete and submit the Fiscal Sponsorship Application with all required support materials to the Arts Alliance office (2590 Walnut St., Suite 9, Boulder, CO 80302). Make certain you file a complete application with all required supporting materials and fees. (See application check list at the end of these guidelines and on the application.)
- Include a check made out to BCAA for the $50.00 application fee. This fee does not include BCAA membership fees. If you are not currently a member, you can learn more on our Membership page.
- The BCAA Fiscal Sponsorship Committee will review your application within three weeks after submission.
- The Arts Alliance will then notify you of the committee's decision. If approved you will be required to attend an orientation meeting, the date and place of which will be announced. Once you are approved for Fiscal Sponsorship and have attended the orientation, you can receive individual donations and other contributions of restricted (project) and unrestricted (general operating) funds and apply for grant eligibility (see below) with BCAA acting as your Fiscal Sponsor.
- Incomplete applications will be rejected.
RECEIVING DONATIONS & CONTRIBUTIONS:
To receive individual donations and other contributions of general operating funds:
- You must first complete the Application Process above and be approved.
- Once approved for Fiscal Sponsorship, you can receive unrestricted donations from individual donors either as part of a fundraising campaign or as an unexpected contribution. Checks should be made out to "Boulder County Arts Alliance" with your name, or the organization's name in the memo field. Failure to have your name in the memo field will possibly result in the Arts Alliance assuming it is a direct donation to them.
- Donated funds received other than thru a process that requires a grant proposal, require that you submit a letter stating what these funds will be used for (in keeping with a non-profit activity), listing all the donors and amount received and a budget that indicates how the funds will be used before receiving "re-granted" funds from the Boulder County Arts Alliance Fiscal Sponsorship Program. This cover letter and budget must be received along with checks for the funds for which you want us to act as your Fiscal Sponsor. This letter stating use of the funds and the donor list must be submitted with every "re-granting" request. This is to ensure that the funds are re-granted to you and the project and program are in keeping with our stated purpose and vision and to ensure that funds are accounted for using generally accepted accounting principles.
- After five business days for in-state checks and ten business days for out-of-state checks (or immediately for cashier's checks, bank checks, and money orders), BCAA will re-grant 75% of these contributions to the sponsored artist or organization. The Arts Alliance will retain 5% for administrative expenses and hold back another 20% pending receipt of a final/interim project report.
- If your funds do not require a final report from the grantor you must still submit a final project report and annual report to the Arts Alliance at the end of your project, or by January 15th each year. The report must be submitted as per the Arts Alliance report form and budget format. Both the final/interim and annual reports are available online. Failure to submit an annual report by January 15th will result in revocation of Fiscal Sponsorship status. Said status can only be renewed by submitting all delinquent reports and reapplying for said status as per the guidelines above.
- If no report is received by the Arts Alliance within a year of your receiving "re-granted" funds, you will forfeit the 20% of funds withheld, and your Fiscal Sponsorship status will be revoked.
APPLYING FOR GRANTS:
To apply for a grant or other project funding requiring 501(c)(3) status:
- You must first complete the Application Process above and be approved. Note: Since the dates for Fiscal Sponsorship approval do not necessarily coincide with grant deadline dates, you need to plan ahead and be sure to obtain Fiscal Sponsorship approval well in advance of any grant deadline dates. Remember you will not be notified if your application has been approved until at least three weeks after the application deadline date.
- Once approved for Fiscal Sponsorship, you may apply to the Arts Alliance to be sponsored for grants or funds that require 501(c)(3) status. To do this: Complete and submit a Fiscal Sponsorship Grant Review Application (at least 14 business days in advance of the funder's deadline) for each and every grant for which you would like to receive sponsorship. In summary you MUST:
- Complete and submit to the Arts Alliance a Fiscal Sponsorship Grant Review Application at least 14 days in advance of the grant deadline.
- Include the support materials that are required by the funders. The applicant is responsible for reading and following all funder instructions and informing the BCAA staff of materials they are required to provide.
- Include your original and one copy of the actual grant application
Note: You must complete a separate Fiscal Sponsorship Grant Review Application for every grant for which you would like Arts Alliance sponsorship.
- Members of the Arts Alliance Fiscal Sponsorship Committee and/or the Executive Director will review the grant proposal and the Executive Director will provide any Boulder County Arts Alliance organization materials required by the funders and inform applicants that their materials may be picked up at the Arts Alliance office. It is then the responsibility of the applicant to complete the grant-submittal process by the grant deadline.
- If the grant is funded and upon receipt of the funder's check, BCAA will disburse the funds in accordance with the guidelines of the respective funder. BCAA will issue a check for 75% of the total grant amount; retain 5% as an administrative fee and an additional 20% pending completion of the funded project and submission of a final/interim report.
- If the funder requires a final report, the final report (along with required support materials) must be submitted to the Arts Alliance office 10 business days in advance of the funder's deadline. The Arts Alliance Executive Director will review, and, depending on the requirements of the funder, either the Arts Alliance or the artist will sign and submit the original form and all support materials to the granting organization.
- The Arts Alliance will release the remaining 20% of the grant award to the applicant within three weeks of submission of any required final/interim reports.
- If no report is received by the Arts Alliance within the year of your receiving "regranted" Funds, or the entities annual report due on January 15th you will forfeit the 20% of funds withheld, and your Fiscal Sponsorship status will be revoked. Re-instating Fiscal Agency status will require submission of all delinquent reports and reapplying as per the application procedures described above.
REQUIRED SUPPORT MATERIALS:
Below for your use is a check list of support materials required to complete a Fiscal Sponsorship application:
- Three letter of reference-signed, on letterhead (or two signed letters and one final report from previously funded grant.)
- Completed IRS W-9 Form
- Sample budget
- A proposed fundraising plan narrative
- Last year’s tax return Schedule C
- $50.00 application fee
- Financial Report from last completed fiscal year
- Three signed letter of reference
- List of Board of Directors
- Articles of Incorporation
- Completed IRS W-9 Form
- Sample budget
- A proposed fundraising plan narrative
- $50.00 application fee