How It Works
Many funding sources-including foundation, government, corporate and private donors-will give only to nonprofit organizations with IRS tax-exempt status. Since acquiring this status is a lengthy, involved and costly process, filmmakers often enter into a fiscal sponsorship contract with a nonprofit to receive tax-exempt status for a specific project or event.
The great advantage to working with a fiscal sponsor is that it allows an individual to solicit funds from a wide range of sources-notably government, foundation, corporate, individual and other philanthropic entities-who otherwise would not be inclined to give money to the project. Furthermore, these donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
As the fiscal sponsor, San Francisco Film Society receives all funds given to the project and passes these funds on to the filmmaker as necessary, keeping an accurate ledger and making records of transactions available as required by grant guidelines and/or federal law.
Like most fiscal sponsors, the Film Society charges an administrative fee for all monies received for the project. This seven percent fee covers financial oversight, bookkeeping, timely disbursement of funds, reporting to funders, financial documentation for prospective sources, Web listing of projects, grant-application and technical assistance, consulting services and more.
According to standard principles and law, projects contracted with a fiscal sponsor must be consistent with the Film Society's mission-driven purposes. All projects, thus, must be noncommercial and represent an imaginative, even transformative, contribution both to the film or video form and to society at large.
Fiscal sponsorship is available to the Film Society's Filmmaker Pro members. We can extend fiscal sponsorship sponsor to any entity (meaning an individual or a business) that has a United States IRS-issued Social Security number, tax ID or EIN and a valid U.S. mailing address.