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. If you still have some questions, send an email to or drop an appointment for a phone call on our founder, Linda's calendar using this Calendly link.
  4. Fill out the online application below. It is important that you are as thorough as possible.
  5. If it looks to us like you are a good candidate for fiscal sponsorship, we will contact you for an interview if we have not already spoken. Don’t worry if you can’t make the pilgrimage to Bethlehem, we can call or video chat!
  6. Each month the Program Committee meets to consider applications. We may ask for clarification or extra documentation at this point, but don’t worry if we don’t.
  7. If the committee votes to extend fiscal sponsorship to your program, we are clear to move forward together. At this time we will ask for a $350 set-up fee to get your accounts established and to cover the costs of bringing your program on board. Please don't hesitate to reach out if this fee causes hardship for your team. We never want set-up fees to interfered with the good work you are doing. Check our calendar for Program Committee meeting dates.
  8. Upon approval, you will receive a contract which, when signed, will allow us to begin our relationship with you as your fiscal sponsor! You will be required to complete a video onboarding session with HSI Staff. Dates, times, and registration information for these sessions can be found on our calendar.

Fees & Services

Program Services

Both the Acceleration and the Certified Grantee Programs carry an application fee of $350 to cover to cost of preparing your organization to enter fiscal sponsorship on strong footing.

Acceleration – Do Something!

You have developed your idea or program, 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. Our Acceleration track, Colvin’s Model A, places your organization comprehensively within the legal framework of Humanitarian Social Innovations.

Acceleration is a track for the program 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 program leader, have an advisory committee you can rely on. The program is not its own legal entity, but carries on the charitable mission of HSI through the program’s own goals.

The program in the Acceleration track 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 program

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 a purpose that aligns with the mission of your organization. This track, 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 Track enjoys the following benefits:

  • 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

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 Advisory Board 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 Advisory Board 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 program 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 terminated program. Program dissolves its incorporation and transfers the assets to a 501(c)(3) organization that has a similar mission to that of the program.
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? Program is not permitted to spend HSI funds from a deposit account that is exhausted. Program can suspend its activities and raise money, or founder can input funds.
Who pays creditors? Program submits invoices to be paid by HSI from program funds on deposit. Program pays its own invoices from program 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. Note that funds channeled directly to the organization's bank account are not tax-exempt. Funds must be received by HSI to be tax-deductible.
Who would sign a lease? HSI executes the lease agreement. Your organization executes the lease agreement.
Funds subject to reallocation of administrative costs back to HSI nucleus. All-donations, grants, fundraising, sponsorships, fees for services Tax exempt donations and grants only

Fees and Cost Allocation Structure

Our aim is to make our fee and cost allocation 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


This fee is collected after your application’s positive vote by the Program Committee, recommending it for fiscal sponsorship by HSI. 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. The Program Committee meets monthly to expedite your progress towards approval. For your convenience, this set-up fee may be paid online below.

HSI Consulting Fee


A fiscal sponsor is just the right place to come for information on how to start a nonprofit organization.  For $625, you get 5 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 $350 New Program set up fee is waived.

Administrative Cost Allocation-10%

This following cost allocation structure 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 as a result of this efficient model of cost allocation and shared organizational and program overhead.

  • 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 with the central nucleus of our shared 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 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 required reports: $150
  • A report will be considered not submitted after the last day of the month submission is due.

In Kind Gift Processing Fees

  • No administrative costs are reallocated from the receipt and processing of in kind gifts.
  • A $5 fee is assess per in kind gift processed for your program.

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.