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Fiscal Sponsors

fiscal sponsor

Overview

We love fiscal sponsors and also strongly recommend consulting tax and legal professionals before working with one. We also encourage any project owner to make sure that it is a sound financial decision to run a crowdfunding campaign through a fiscal sponsor. Keep in mind that both organizations — Seed&Spark and the Fiscal Sponsor — keep a small percentage of funds raised.
For most campaigns the average contribution amount is $100 and the most common contribution is $25. Typically people contributing at these levels are not interested in the tax write off so in some cases it won't be a particularly strong incentive to have contributions be tax deductible. It’s a good idea to check in with your network and audience first to assess if working with a Fiscal Sponsor will make an impact on your ability to raise your goal.

Requirements

If you don't see your preferred partner listed on this page, have them download and complete both our services agreement and a w9 form and send it back to your crowdfunding specialists.
Before launching your campaign you'll also need to grant them admin access to your project so they can enter their bank details for receiving the payout after the campaign.

FAQs

Below are the most frequently asked questions and the most crucial information when working with a Fiscal Sponsor. These are also listed in our Agency Agreement:
  1. All Campaign Funds Must Go Directly to Fiscal Sponsor
    Funds cannot be transferred to the project owner directly if you want them to be tax deductible. The Fiscal Sponsor is then responsible for issuing the funds to the project owner.
  2. Issuing Receipts
    The Fiscal Sponsor is responsible for issuing all tax related receipts. Seed&Spark will issue a receipt for all contributions but these cannot be used for anything tax related.
  3. Contributor Information
    On the Campaign Dashboard, which is accessible by all project admins, there is a downloadable Audience List ( a spreadsheet with all contributors information: date, name, email, contribution amount, selected incentive, etc. ).
  4. Fees
    Seed&Spark’s platform fee is 5% and credit card fees are 3%. However, we offer contributors the opportunity to cover Seed&Spark’s fee, and most do, so on average you'll only pay around 2% ( plus the 3% credit card fees ). We already have the lowest fees in the industry so unfortunately we do not offer lower fees when working with fiscal sponsors.
  5. Minimum Threshold
    Fiscal Sponsors may set a minimum threshold for contributions that will receive tax deductible receipts. However, ALL funds, less Seed&Spark and credit card fees, will still be issued to the Fiscal Sponsor.
  6. Remember Partial-Deductibility
    This is extremely important for campaigns that are run as nonprofits ( which would be true for all campaigns run through fiscal sponsorship program ). Whenever your offer rewards to a donor in exchange for their contribution, their donation is partially deductible above and beyond the fair market value of the rewards that they are receiving. So for example, if for a donation of $100 you give a donor a ticket to your show that normally costs $10, the tax-deductible value of that donation is $90 ( the amount above the value of the reward that they received ). The Fiscal Sponsor will need to issue tax receipts stating non-deductible values, so it is your responsibility to provide info about the fair market values of your rewards.
  7. Receiving Funds
    Funds will be issued to the Fiscal Sponsor 5-7 business days after a successful campaign. Since we do not charge your contributrors until the campaign ends successfully, there will be a percentage of pledges that will be declined and the corrected contributions will trickle in over a couple of weeks as they fix their payments.
  8. We Do Not Allow Fiscal Sponsors to Store Bank Account Information for Multiple Projects
    Even if your fiscal sponsor has worked with us before, they will need to input their financial information into each crowdfunding project. We apologize for the inconvenience but this is a measure to protect the most sensitive data.
Thank you! This list is pretty exhaustive and will probably bring up a few questions so again we urge you to speak with tax and legal professionals before running a campaign.

Our Current Partners

THE FILM COLLABORATIVE

film collaborative

The Film Collaborative is the first non-profit committed to distribution education and facilitation of independent film. Launched in early 2010, TFC offers independent filmmakers a full range of services, including fiscal sponsorship, education about distribution, and distribution and marketing service. To be considered for Fiscal Sponsorship projects must be film or film related, consistent with the TFC’s charitable purposes, be creative, artistic and/or educational, and represent an imaginative contribution to the film or video art form. For more information please explore our fiscal sponsorship page and read the FAQs!


SOUTHERN DOCUMENTARY FUND

southern doc fund

Southern Documentary Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization that cultivates documentaries made in or about the American South. Inspired by their core belief that documentaries have the power to change lives, SDF serves as a leading advocate for powerful Southern storytelling, providing filmmakers with professional support, fiscal sponsorship, and creative community. Seed&Spark is working with SDF in their fiscal sponsor capacity after seeing the care and dedication they invest in their films and filmmakers. The stories they choose to support are critically acclaimed and award winning. This year alone they added an Emmy and a prestigious Peabody Award to their cap. SDF will have their own curated crowdfunding page on Seed&Spark so we can help highlight their exceptional films.


CINEFEMME

cinefemme

Cinefemme is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization which helps women filmmakers realize their independent film, video, and new media projects. We serve as the Fiscal Agent and can confer our tax-exempt status to qualified projects, making donations tax-deductible and qualifying them for certain grants. Submissions accepted into the Fiscal Sponsorship Program are non-commercial projects with a woman director at the helm. We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the innovative and successful company Seed & Spark. Cinefemme projects crowdfunded through Seed&Spark will be discounted at 7% ( Cinefemme's usual fee is 10% ). For more information or to apply for fiscal sponsorship, visit our website ( click header link ). Please direct inquiries to Executive Director MichelleKantor at michelle@cinefemme.net.


FROM THE HEART PRODUCTIONS

from the heart

From the Heart Productions funds films that are unique and make a contribution to society. These are unfinished films with compelling and powerful stories told with passion, that without our help might never get made. From The Heart Productions has been helping filmmakers get their projects made for over 22 years through the Roy W. Dean Film Grant. Now, through our Fiscal Sponsorship program, From The Heart continues its mission to encourage and bring to fruition unique projects with compelling stories that might otherwise have never been made. Your job is to create. Our job is to make it possible for you to see your creation become a reality.


FILMMAKERS COLLABORATIVE

filmmakers collaborative

Filmmakers Collaborative ( FC ) has been providing low cost fiscal sponsorship to independent media makers since it was founded in 1987. It became a national organization in 2008, and is now the grantee of record for over 200 media projects across the country. Their mission is to sponsor and support the independent media community through fiscal sponsorship as well through programs that bring people together for learning and networking. These include annual Making Media Now, the Boston International Kids Film Festival that launched in November 2013, plus workshops, internships and mentoring opportunities.


CULTURAL MEDIA SERVICES

cultural media services

Cultural Media Services is a California based 501(c)(3) organization. Since its formation in 1985, CMS has produced and aired hundreds of educational radio programs in 15 U.S. cities and has produced 90 television interviews. CMSC's primary purpose is to provide an umbrella ( fiscal sponsorship ) to programs and organizations that need instant access to all the benefits of 501(c)(3) tax exemption, with a focus on film, arts and media projects.


Pitch Her Productions

Pitch Her Productions is a non-profit production company formed for the purpose of encouraging, fostering, and promoting the advancement of women in the film industry, including the creation of more roles for women, both in front of and behind the camera. They seek to enhance the female voice and to inspire girls and women of all ages. Their desire is to create work that benefits female artists and filmmakers, a demographic which has historically been underrepresented in the film industry.


Northwest Film Forum

Northwest Film Forum is Seattle's premier film arts organization, screening over 200 independently made and classic films annually, offering a year-round schedule of filmmaking classes for all ages, and supporting filmmakers at all stages of their careers.


Camp Reel Stories

Reel Stories Media Camp gives entering 13-18 year old young women the storytelling and production skills to tell stories from their unique point of view, while incorporating media literacy and leadership workshops. Lead and taught by current female leaders in the media industry, this camp empowers young women to broadcast their stories to the world!


International Documentary Association

At IDA we believe in the power of documentaries and the filmmakers who make them. For more than 30 years we’ve provided independent filmmakers with the tools that help get projects funded, finished and seen. With a full time staff, strong relationships with institutional funders, and access to IDA’s suite of educational opportunities, we are committed to supporting documentary makers of all kinds. IDA offers our sponsored projects the opportunity to utilize the power of a dynamic crowdfunding platform while offering a valuable tax deduction to donors.

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