Fiscal Sponsorship with the Washington Peace Center
The Washington Peace Center's Fiscal Sponsorship Program provides a vital service to projects and organizations without 501(c)(3) status. Once approved into the program, these groups are able to carry out fundraising that provides their donors with a tax-deductible donation.
Providing fiscal sponsorships is one of the ways in which we build the capacity of the peace and justice movement locally and build bridges with national allies. We provide administrative support for smaller projects and groups whose work aligns with our vision of a world based on respect for people and the planet that is achieved through nonviolence, peace and social justice.
If you are unsure what fiscal sponsorship is, or if you aren't sure if you need a fiscal sponsor, please visit our Fiscal Sponsorship Basics page first.
Here are some of the most common questions folks ask about fiscal sponsorship with the Washington Peace Center:
- What is fiscal sponsorship?
- Why would I want a fiscal sponsor?
- What do you offer as a fiscal sponsor?
- What don't you offer as a fiscal sponsor?
- What are the basic guidelines we must meet in order to qualify?
- Who do you sponsor?
- Who don't you sponsor?
- How much does it cost to be sponsored by the Washington Peace Center?
- What are the terms of the contract? Can I see a copy of the contract?
- How do I apply?
If your questions are not answered here, please feel free to contact us by phone at 202-234-2000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see our Fiscal Sponsorship Basics page for more information about what our fiscal sponsorship relationship is like.
Please see our Fiscal Sponsorship Basics page for more information about why you might want the Washington Peace Center as your fiscal sponsor.
Fiscal sponsorees can use our 501(c)(3) status for any individual donations, in-kind donations or grant applications that need tax-deductible status. We can also offer an individualized Paypal button for their website to accept online and credit card donations.
We do not have the capacity to help with other administrative services such as accounting, fundraising, tracking or thanking donors.
When deciding who to sponsor, we look at the following:
- Size: We prioritize providing resources for smaller groups who might not always have access to administrative support. Larger groups are not excluded from this program.
- Location/Issue: We prioritize groups that are (1) based in the DC Metro area and working on local issues and (2) groups that work on national or international issues that WPC is actively engaged in, such as peace, anti-war and movement-building work.
- Politics: Groups we fiscally sponsor need to have read and agreed with our vision and core values and be able to explain how their organizational goals and objectives correlate with them.
- Lobbying: We can only accept groups who spend up to 5% of their resources on direct lobbying. This must be tracked and reported on annually.
- Relevance: The project must involve public education and/or other charitable (§501(c)(3)) activities that further the charitable goals of WPC.
For a list of our fiscal sponsorees, check out our Currently Sponsored Projects page.
- We do not sponsor locally-focused groups based outside of the DC Metro area. You can look through the national fiscal sponsorship directory to find a more appropriate sponsor: http://www.fiscalsponsordirectory.org
- We do not sponsor groups based in DC but working on national or international issues (versus local issues) unless they fall in into our central areas of peace, anti-war and movement-building work.
- We do not sponsor groups whose work is occurring internationally.
- We do not sponsor groups whose aims are not in accordance with our vision or core values
- We do not accept individuals into the fiscal sponsorship program.
- When making decision to approve, WPC may consider the impact on our reputation, work and 501(c)3 status due to association.
In order to qualify for fiscal sponsorship with the Washington Peace Center, groups must meet the following guidelines:
- Projects must have a thought out and defined mission.
- Groups must have an US-based bank account independent of WPC, preferably in the name of the project. We can give guidance as to how to open it. Occasionally we can issue checks to individuals’ bank accounts instead of projects, but that needs to be discussed and approved.
- WPC does not accept grants from the U.S. Federal Government and will not act as the fiscal sponsor for such grants. Projects seeking funding from City or State Governments must review the requirements of such grants with WPC prior to submitting such an application and receive approval to apply, which will be on a case-by-case basis. WPC reserves the right to refuse to act as fiscal sponsor for grants from City or State Governments.
- You cannot apply for or accept funding from the DC Humanities Council as that would prohibit WPC or any other fiscal sponsoree from applying as well.
- Projects must submit a year-end report to WPC annually. This report may include: program descriptions, your money spent, changes to your staff or board, tax receipts given to your donors, info on fundraising activities, mailings, or materials, any media you distribute, and more. This is due January 15th.
- Our contract agreement will terminate after 3 years unless we both agree to extend the contract. If projects need to end their fiscal sponsorship with WPC for any reason (such as gaining their own 501(c)(3) status), they must notify WPC in writing.
For fiscal sponsorship, WPC charges $25-50 sliding scale fee upon acceptance into the program. We also charge 7.5% of all monies received to cover administrative costs and overhead, as well as to support the Center’s social justice work. Any donations that funders ask to be tax deductible have to go through us and we'll take the percentage. Any donations that don't need the deduction obviously doesn't need to go through us and you can keep the full 100%. The funds less this administrative fee will be released and made payable to sponsorees as soon as they clear our bank. A copy of the original check will also be provided.
Projects can accept credit cards and online donations through our Paypal account online. Paypal also takes a percentage – 2.5% - and WPC’s 7.5% would come out of the total after Paypals’ cut. WPC can create individualized Paypal buttons for fiscal sponsorees’ websites so they can accept online and credit card donations.
For IRS purposes, all sponsorees will keep up-to-date financial records that can be made available to the Peace Center at any time with two weeks written notice. Sponsorees will also send us a yearly financial report annually accounting for funds earned and spent and estimated percentage of organizational resources spent on direct lobbying. This is due Dec 31 as part of the year-end report.
When you are accepted into the fiscal sponsorship program with the Washington Peace Center, you will have to sign a contract with us. In addition to having a copy of the contract, we will also provide you with the terms of the contract in plain English, to help you understand the most important aspects. Please review the full contract and guidelines here before applying to ensure you'll be able to fulfill all requirements.
To download a copy of our contract, click here.
To download a copy of our overall guidelines, reporting requirements and terms of the contract in plain English, click here.
You should read both the contract and plain English guidelines and contact us with any questions before signing your agreement with us.
- Applications are only reviewed three times a year. The next deadlines for applications are Nov 1, 2013 and May 1, 2014. [we can make exceptions for a different timeline in rare cases when necessary - please contact us if needed].
- Review the full guidelines carefully and be prepared to explain how you will be able to fulfill your obligations, particularly completing the year-end report.
- If you think your project fits the above criteria, fill out the online application here.
- We will contact you after the due date if we have any questions.
- Board will review applications for final approval within 1 month of the due date.
- If approved, WPC will request $25-50 sliding scale fee.
- Upon reciept of the fee, applicant and WPC sign contract and it all begins.