Starting and maintaining a nonprofit can be difficult and costly. Fiscal sponsorship and fiscal management are sustainable and cost-effective methods of advancing initiatives of social good through shared services.
Organizations that utilize Strong City as their fiscal sponsor are supported by a team of experts in the various areas of nonprofit management including finance, HR, administration, and compliance. Strong City has provided fiscal sponsorship for over 10 years, and currently manages more than $7 million in assets for over 100 projects aligned with its charitable mission.
Our program is not tied to our location. We can support organizations and initiatives, all over Maryland and across the country.
FAQs About Fiscal Sponsorship
What is Fiscal Sponsorship?
Fiscal sponsorship comes in 7 different forms, and generally means:
A nonprofit organization (the “fiscal sponsor”) agrees to provide administrative services and oversight to, and assume some or all of the legal and financial responsibility for, the activities of groups or individuals engaged in work that relates to the fiscal sponsor’s mission.
Fiscal sponsorship is the most economical way to do nonprofit work because it utilizes economies of scale – providing shared administrative services to multiple charitable programs. This means many project share the cost of professional accounting, legal, HR, and insurance needed by every organization. It comprises about 1% of all nonprofit work, and is practiced all across the country, typically regionally, but not always.
So, What Does that Mean, Really?
Through our comprehensive model of fiscal sponsorship, unincorporated initiatives and projects can come under the Strong City umbrella so that they can operate as a non-profit without having to secure their own 501(c)(3) certification. This includes being able to accept donations, grants and other charitable funds, offer donation acknowledgements and receipts, and utilize tax-exempt status. Projects in this program receive basic accounting, operations, donor data management support.
This form of fiscal sponsorship places responsibility for fundraising and implementing programs in the hands of project leaders, while Strong City ensures appropriate financial oversight.
Why Would I Want My Project to Be Fiscally Sponsored, Rather Than Setting Up an Independent 501(C)(3)?
Fiscal sponsorship with Strong City removes barriers. We use our established resources and infrastructure to pave the way for other non-profit work. Projects pay a fee and give up some autonomy, but:
- This frees up your time and energy to focus on the actual work you want to do.
- This Means you have the capacity to be in the nonprofit sector without being swallowed up or pushed aside by the big players.
- With our supportive system for projects to work in, you lower the risk of mismanaging your project.
Our Fiscal Sponsorship Program
By working within our supportive structure, project leaders learn best practices for running their nonprofit project that are applicable far beyond the scope of just the fiscally sponsored project. We help impart good business and management habits, and connect you with resources that help you learn even more.
Fiscally Sponsored Projects Get:
- Access to our 501(c)(3) status, EIN number, and tax-exempt card
- Donation management, acknowledgements, and receipts
- Access to a powerful online fundraising platform
- Accounts payable, receivable, and purchasing services
- Audited financials (we do your taxes!)
- General liability insurance
- Meeting space
- An Account Executive who serves as the support person on the inside
- Payroll and benefits administration (extra fees apply)
- Custom donation acknowledgment services (costs an extra $0.75 per letter)
- Expert consultations and other business services at a discounted rate in such areas as fundraising, communications, and strategic planning
Our fee is calculated based on the total funds deposited per fiscal year, with a minimum of $5,000 deposited each year:
- $0 to $100,000 – 9% of funds deposited annually
- $100,001 and above – a reduced rate on any funds over $100,000 based on service needs
Learn more about our requirements and how to join our program.
Our Fiscal Management Program
Strong City also offers fiscal management to existing nonprofit organizations with independent 501(c)(3) status. Fiscally managed clients receive many of the same, essential back office support services as fiscally sponsored projects, while maintaining an independent nonprofit organization. Through shared services, Strong City can provide high-quality accounting, bookkeeping, donor management, and donation acknowledgement services for less than the market rate. This frees up board members and staff to focus on the work of their organization.
Fiscally managed clients receive most of the same services as fiscally sponsored projects. We can not provide the following due to fiscally managed clients being independent organizations:
- Access to our 501(c)(3) and EIN
- 990’s and state/federal tax compliance documentation
- Audited financials
- Tax-exempt cards
The fee structure for fiscal management is the same as for fiscal sponsorship.
Learn more about our requirements and how to access our services.
Consulting and Other Business Services
Strong City staff can offer you expert consultation in a variety of nonprofit administrative and management areas. Whether you need just need some quick advice or to develop a multi-year plan, we can help you reach your goals. We can also offer assistance with human resources and payroll, emergency bookkeeping, and expert referrals.
These services are available to all organizations and individuals, regardless of if they have 501(c)(3) certification or incorporation. Fiscally sponsored projects and fiscally managed clients can take advantage of these services at a discounted rate.
Learn more about Consulting and Other Business Services