A full look at whether and how a fiscal sponsor and its sponsored organizations can use Give Lively technology. Spoiler: They can!
What is a fiscal sponsor?
Before a charitable cause is incorporated as a nonprofit and/or recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS, it may need to raise funds.
One way of doing so is to register with a "fiscal sponsor" that extends its own registered and recognized standing to the charitable cause. The services provided may include fiduciary oversight, financial management and other administrative support.
Importantly, funds raised by the charitable cause are donated to the fiscal sponsor, which in turn grants them to the sponsored organization.
Can a fiscally sponsored organization become a Give Lively member?
If an organization is operating under a fiscal sponsor, it is not yet eligible to become a Give Lively member; membership is open to U.S. nonprofit public charities (not private foundations) with 501(c)(3) status and a GuideStar Nonprofit Profile. But the fiscal sponsor may apply! It must apply for Give Lively membership using its EIN and an email address from its organization, and by connecting a Stripe account to Give Lively. (If a sponsored organization attempts to apply with its fiscal sponsor’s EIN, the application will not be processed.)
If its application is approved, the fiscal sponsor can open a Give Lively account and then arrange with its sponsored organizations to make the most of our platform.
Remember: All funds raised will be sent to the fiscal sponsor’s bank account via Stripe or PayPal. How these funds are then disbursed to sponsored organizations by the fiscal sponsor is something that must be managed directly between them.
What do fiscal sponsors need to know about Give Lively membership and products?
As the Give Lively member, the fiscal sponsor is responsible for maintaining its Give Lively account and overseeing the fundraising efforts of the organizations it sponsors. It should keep the following in mind:
- The fiscal sponsor decides whether to allow sponsored organizations direct access to the Nonprofit Admin Portal, the Give Lively back-end management system where nonprofits manage their online fundraising and donor data. Note that all users given a login to the Nonprofit Admin Portal have full admin access, which includes the ability to add and delete other users.
- The fiscal sponsor maintains frontline responsibility for all of the fundraising pages published through Give Lively. This is especially true if the fiscal sponsor does not permit access to the Nonprofit Admin Portal by its sponsored organizations, in which case it must collect the materials for, set up, maintain and troubleshoot its sponsored organizations’ fundraising pages.
- All donations received through Give Lively will be disbursed to the fiscal sponsor’s bank account. The fiscal sponsor is then responsible for redistributing funds to its sponsored organization.
What do sponsored organizations need to keep in mind?
Organizations working under a fiscal sponsor should be aware of the following:
- Only the fiscal sponsor’s application for Give Lively membership can be considered for approval. The fiscal sponsor must apply using its unique EIN, an email address from its organization, and by connecting a Stripe account to Give Lively. (If membership is approved, an integration with PayPal is also possible.) If a sponsored organization attempts to apply with its fiscal sponsor’s EIN, the application will not be processed.
- The fiscal sponsor will decide whether to allow its sponsored organizations direct access to the Nonprofit Admin Portal, the Give Lively back-end management system where nonprofits manage their online fundraising and donor data, as all users given a login to the Nonprofit Admin Portal have full admin access.
- Design flexibility with Give Lively fundraising pages makes it possible for them to be fully branded by the sponsored organization. There will however be a small reference and link to the fiscal sponsor’s Core Profile and all page URLs will carry the fiscal sponsor’s name in it. To bypass this, sponsored organizations can embed donation widgets directly in their own websites.
- All funds raised on Give Lively will be disbursed to the fiscal sponsor’s bank account before further distribution to sponsored organizations.
- Automatic thank-you emails sent to donors include the tax receipt information of the fiscal sponsor. To avoid confusion about this, the nature of the fiscal sponsor / sponsored organization relationship can be made clear in the body of the email, which can be fully customized by the sponsored organization.