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INN Fiscal Sponsorship

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.

In particular, fiscal sponsorship serves three main groups:

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.

Startup organizations

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.

How fiscal sponsorship works, in a nutshell:

Why INN for fiscal sponsorship?

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.

More questions? Meet the INN staff member who can help.

Chip Potts

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.

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