Application Process

Every program is a little different, but this general process will bring you to a place where you can begin raising tax-exempt funds for doing the good things you want to do.

  1. Check us out! Read some testimonials and visit our program pages to get a feel for our community. Look over the services we provide and read the FAQ’s. Does this information resonate with you?
  2. Check your eligibility. First things first-our missions must align. We fiscally sponsor programs that make the world a better place for some sector of humanity. We want to help you help others. Check out our various fiscal sponsorship tracks. Eligibility requirements vary for each one.
  3. Fill out the online application below. It is important that you are as thorough as possible.
  4. If it looks to us like you are a good candidate for fiscal sponsorship, we will contact you for an interview. Don’t worry if you can’t make the pilgrimage to Bethlehem, we can call or video chat!
  5. Consideration by the Program Committee. We may ask for clarification or extra documentation at this point, but don’t worry if we don’t.
  6. If the committee votes to recommend your program to the Board of Directors, your program will be on the agenda at our next board meeting. At this time we will ask for a $250 set-up fee to get your accounts established and to cover the costs of bringing your program on board. Check our calendar for meeting dates for the Board and Program Committee.
  7. If the Board of Directors approves the Program Committee’s recommendation, you will receive a contract which, when signed, will allow us to begin our relationship with you as your fiscal sponsor! Otherwise, your account set-up fee is returned to you.

Fees & Services

Program Services

Both the Acceleration and the Certified Grantee Programs carry an application fee of $250 to cover to cost of preparing your organization to enter fiscal sponsorship on strong footing.

Acceleration – Do Something!

You have developed your organization or project, and you have funding pending or have already received funding. You need access to tax-exempt funds to take your program to the next level. This type of program, Colvin’s Model A, places your organization comprehensively within the legal framework of Humanitarian Social Innovations.

Acceleration is a program for the project that has a complete business plan to include a clear mission and vision. The project is ready to raise funds or earn revenue, and you, the project leader, have an advisory committee you can rely on. The project is not its own legal entity, but carries on the charitable mission as a part of HSI through the project’s own goals.

The project in Acceleration enjoys the following benefits:

  • Legal and fiduciary shelter of the HSI Board of Directors
  • Basic liability insurance
  • Accounting and bill paying services
  • Tax form 990 preparation
  • State fundraising registration
  • Access to online donation platform
    • No upper limit for donations
    • Ability to collect recurring donations
    • Credit card fees are not passed along to your organization
  • Access to tax-exempt funds
  • Consultation services to help you build your organization

Certified Grantee – Go for Impact!

Your organization is an established, board-run legal entity with a charitable mission that aligns with that of Humanitarian Social Innovations. Furthering the clear mission requires federal tax exemption in order to access tax-exempt contributions and grants.

You apply for the opportunity to solicit grants and tax-exempt contributions into a restricted fund that HSI will establish for you. This type of program, Colvin’s Model C, places your organization in a position responsible for your own tax returns, insurance, liabilities and other legal obligations.

The project in the Certified Grantee Program enjoys the following benefits:

  • Tax form preparation
  • Access to online donation platform
    • No upper limit for donations
    • Ability to collect recurring donations
    • Credit card fees are not passed along to your organization
  • Access to tax-exempt funds
  • Consultation services to help you build your organization
Acceleration Program Services (click to view)

Fiscal Sponsorship

  • Ability to solicit tax-exempt funds
  • Federal and state tax exemption on project revenue

Financial Management

  • Bill Paying
  • Accounts payable
  • Cash receipts
  • Quarterly financial statements
  • Financial coaching
  • Processes all payments for the project via check, electronic check or wire
  • Payments issued as reimbursements to project team, or direct pay to vendors of the project

Tax Prep and Compliance

Because Humanitarian Social Innovations extends its 501(c)(3) status to our projects, we ensure you comply with all nonprofit tax regulations with the following services:

  • State Fundraising Registration Management
  • Federal, state, and local tax and informational filings
  • Receive tax-deductible donations and grants
  • Acknowledgment of all donations and gifts in kind, no matter the amount
  • State and local business licenses

Grant Support

HSI will help your organization present it’s best work to current and potential funders. We help you manage your grants with the following services

  • Thought partnership in application development
  • Review of draft proposals
  • Financial tracking of grant funds
  • Grant-compliance monitoring
  • Grant-report monitoring and support

Risk Management and Insurance

  • No project is immune to risk. As a part of our community, you will be protected by HSI’s insurance package.  Even if you know the scope of the coverage you need, your organization might not have the financial means to access it. By pooling the risk among programs, we can provide affordable comprehensive coverage.
  • HSI offers the following protection to all of its Acceleration programs:
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Directors and Officers Insurance

Coaching

  • Call, text, or email for one-on-one coaching
  • Corporate feedback from HSI’s Board of Directors

Online Donation Management

  • Online fundraising platform that is free to you
  • Ability to accept ACH, one-time, or recurring payments
  • Your choice of a landing page, donation widget, or combination
  • Tax-compliant donor acknowledgment letters issued at the end of the fiscal year.
  • Tracking of donor contact information
  • Quarterly Donor Report

Community, Networking

  • Online program profile
  • Quarterly Networking Events
  • Quarterly Conference Call for Distance Programs

Office/Event Space

  • The Office Quarters
  • Flatiron Community Room
  • HSI CoOp Space

Memberships and Partnerships

  • Constant Contact
  • Google One Today
  • Grant Station
  • NNFS-National Network of Fiscal Sponsors
  • PANO-Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofits
  • AFP-Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Tech Soup
  • The Restaurant Depot
  • USPS Nonprofit bulk mail rates
  • Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley
Certified Grantee Program Services (click to view)

Fiscal Sponsorship

  • Ability to solicit tax-exempt funds
  • Federal and state tax exemption on project revenue

Financial Management

  • Quarterly financial statements
  • Financial coaching
  • Processes all grant payments via check, electronic check or wire
  • Payments issued as grants to the program from funds on deposit with HSI.

Tax Prep and Compliance

Because Humanitarian Social Innovations extends its 501(c)(3) status to our projects, we ensure you comply with all nonprofit tax regulations with the following services:

  • State Fundraising Registration Management
  • Receive tax-deductible donations and grants
  • Acknowledgment of all donations and gifts in kind, no matter the amount

Grant Support

HSI will help your organization present it’s best work to current and potential funders. We help you manage your grants with the following services

  • Thought partnership in application development
  • Review of draft proposals
  • Financial tracking of grant funds
  • Grant-compliance monitoring
  • Grant-report monitoring and support

Coaching

  • Call, text, or email for one-on-one coaching
  • Corporate feedback from HSI’s Board of Directors

Online Donation Management

  • Online fundraising platform that is free to you
  • Ability to accept ACH, one-time, or recurring payments
  • Your choice of a landing page, donation widget, or combination
  • Tax-compliant donor acknowledgement letters issued at the end of the fiscal year.
  • Tracking of donor contact information
  • Quarterly Donor Report

Community, Networking

  • Online program profile
  • Quarterly Networking Events
  • Quarterly Conference Call for Distance Programs

Office/Event Space

  • The Office Quarters
  • Flatiron Community Room
  • HSI CoOp Space

Memberships and Partnerships

  • Constant Contact
  • Google One Today
  • Grant Station
  • NNFS-National Network of Fiscal Sponsors
  • PANO-Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofits
  • AFP-Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Tech Soup
  • The Restaurant Depot
  • USPS Nonprofit bulk mail rates
  • Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley

Common Questions for Models A and C

These are the most common questions people ask us here at Humanitarian Social Innovations when they are trying to determine which model of fiscal sponsorship is the best fit for their program.
Models A and C are the most commonly practiced among fiscal sponsors and HSI offers both.

Your question Acceleration-Our Model A  Certified Grantee-Our Model C
Who hires employees? You choose the employees which are legally hired by HSI. Your organization chooses and hires employees.
Who chooses the advisory board? You choose an advisory board for your program.  The HSI Board of Directors is your BOD.HSI will assist you with AB selection if you like. Your organization chooses its own Board of Directors and an advisory board if you so choose.HSI will assist you with BOD and AB selection if you like.
Are there marketing/ fundraising guidelines, or does everything need to be approved before using? Any documents used to raise tax exempt funds must be pre-approved by HSI.
What if the project fails? HSI terminates the project after exhausting all mutually agreeable action plans and transfers the assets to a 501(c)(3) organization that has a similar mission to that of the project. Project dissolves its incorporation and transfers the assets to a 501(c)(3) organization that has a similar mission to that of the project.
What type of accounting system is used by HSI? HSI uses fund accounting on a cash basis.
What if cash flow is in the negative? Project is not permitted to spend HSI funds from a deposit account that is exhausted. Project can suspend programming and raise money, or founder can input funds.
Who pays creditors? Project submits invoices to be paid by HSI from project funds on deposit. Project pays its own invoices from project funds on deposit in its own bank account.
How does it work with payments from consumers (credit cards) Using program funds, you purchase and set up a POS system that will accept credit cards and send the money to funds on deposit in your HSI deposit account.Donors may make credit card donations on your HSI fundraising page. Your organization purchases and sets up a POS system that will accept credit cards and send funds to your bank account.Donors may make credit card donations on your HSI fundraising page.
Who would sign a lease? HSI executes the lease agreement. Your organization executes the lease agreement.
Funds subject to administrative fees All-donations, grants, fundraising,sponsorships, fees for services Tax exempt donations and grants only

Fee Structure

Our aim is to make our fee structure uncomplicated and transparent. We don’t want you to have to worry about where the funds are for the good work you are doing.

New Program Set-Up Fee

$250.00

This fee is collected between your application’s positive vote for recommendation by the Program Committee and the Board Meeting in which your program appears on the agenda recommended for fiscal sponsorship. It covers the real cost in time and services for due diligence and onboarding your program. Visit our calendar for exact dates for these meetings. Both bodies meet monthly to expedite your progress towards approval. For your convenience, this set-up fee may be paid online below.

HSI Consulting Fee

$500.00

A fiscal sponsor is just the right place to come for information on how to start a nonprofit organization.  For $500, you get 6 customized hours of consulting to be used within six month’s time. If you choose to apply for fiscal sponsorship with Humanitarian Social Innovations at the completion of your Consulting, the $250 New Program fee is waived.

Administrative Fees-10%

This fee applies for most of our start-up programs. However, in certain cases as described below, a sliding scale applies. Please view our list of program services below to find the benefits that are yours when you contribute these funds to the shared overhead of the organization.

  • 12%    All government grants
  • 10%    $0 to $499K
  • 8%      $500K-$1M
  • 7%      >$1M

Other Fees

Our aim is to not charge these fees, however, we have them set up as an incentive for our programs to be mindful of their communication back with our organization. One of the most important responsibilities of the fiscal sponsor is accounting for funds used by and activities of its sponsored programs.

Late Submission Fees

  • Late submission of fundraising or marketing documents for pre-approval- (less than 5 business days prior to deadline)-We are currently evaluating this fee-check back soon or contact us for details.
  • Late submission of required reports: $75
  • A report will be considered late if submitted between the 16th day and the  last day of the month submission is due.

Non-submission Fees

  • Non-submission of  fundraising or marketing documents for pre-approval-We are currently evaluating this fee-check back soon or contact us for details.
  • Non-submission of required reports: $150
  • A report will be considered  not submitted after the last day of the month submission is due.

Application for Fiscal Sponsorship

If you'd like to save your progress and come back at a later time to finish the form, you must register first and be logged in.
You can do so by visiting our homepage and filling out the registration form HERE. 

CLICK TO VIEW FISCAL SPONSORSHIP APPLICATION

CLICK TO VIEW INTERNATIONAL FISCAL SPONSORSHIP APPLICATION