Let INN be your news organization’s fiscal sponsorship while you start up or convert to nonprofit status
A fiscal sponsor is an established 501(c)(3)-certified organization that accepts funds on behalf of the sponsored program and ensures the funds are spent to advance the program’s mission. This allows new nonprofits to receive tax-deductible donations while they are ramping up their operations or awaiting IRS charity status.
INN offers fiscal sponsorships to qualifying news organizations that apply for membership, and keeps fees as low as possible to support the nonprofit news industry’s growth and to ensure the sponsored organizations’ editorial independence. INN gives news organizations an independent sponsor so they can avoid any perceived conflict of interest, as could arise if they sought a community-based sponsor.
In the case of established companies converting to nonprofit status, INN can provide short-term fiscal sponsorship.
Organizations converting to or spinning off as nonprofits
INN is one of the few fiscal sponsors that welcomes short-term sponsorships, so we can serve as a “bridge sponsor” for commercial media converting to nonprofit status, setting up nonprofit arms or spinning off from existing nonprofits.
Fostering strong nonprofit news startups is a big part of INN’s mission. We do not require minimum levels of committed funding at the outset of sponsorship, as many fiscal sponsorship programs do. There is a $500 fee to cover setup costs, but then programs can meet minimum fees as they go.This allows sponsored programs the time to build their fundraising operation and ramp up.
Organizations unsure if they will need short-term or long-term sponsorship
INN does not have minimum or maximum sponsorship periods. We are flexible and you can figure out how long you need sponsorship as you go. Many organizations seek sponsorship while seeking their own 501(c)3 status, and then may either go independent quickly, or determine it makes sense to operate longer under sponsorship. Some nonprofit financial experts now advise nonprofit startups to stay in sponsorship at least until they reach revenues around the $500,000/year mark. Whenever a sponsored program is ready to go on its own, we work closely to help them start operating as independent 501(c)3 organizations.
Don’t just take it from us. Graduates of INN fiscal sponsorship are doing great journalism around the world. We’re proud to have played a part in the successful foundation of news organizations. Hear from a few of our members who we have fiscally sponsored in the past.
Rates: $500 setup cost to cover bookkeeping and banking enrollment, monthly administrative fees based on revenue, plus occasional additional fees
Download our Fiscal Sponsorship Program Manual for details on how it works.
To apply for fiscal sponsorship, your organization must be eligible for INN membership. Applications for new membership and fiscal sponsorship may be considered in tandem.
To begin the application for membership, please begin here.
To apply for fiscal sponsorship please begin here.
“Thanks to INN’s fiscal sponsorship, we were able to begin accepting donations as soon as we announced our switch to nonprofit status. Sue and her team worked closely with our staff to make sure the somewhat complicated process was as easy for us as possible, including helping with accounting tools that we did not previously have. It’s a great relationship to have if you’re waiting on IRS approval but want to start building a membership and grants program.” – Patti Epler, Editor and General Manager, Honolulu Civil Beat
“We were so busy during our first year at the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism that having the Institute for Nonprofit News agree to fiscally sponsor us was a real godsend. INN made it simple. They accepted donations on our behalf, paid our bills, filed our 1099s and sent us detailed monthly and annual statements. We were able to focus on the many other areas of building the business without worrying whether the money was being properly managed. INN is considered a credible sponsor, which was important in seeking grants and donations. And when we were ready, INN was helpful in advising us how to obtain our own 501(c)(3) IRS designation.” – Nancy West, Executive Director, New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism
As our director of finance and operations, Chip supports the growth and financial success of the INN membership network by overseeing INN’s fiscal sponsorship program, expanding the portfolio of business services as well as supports INN’s staff to help their work to the benefit of INN members.