Fiscal Sponsorship Guidelines and Application


Public Interest Projects offers fiscal sponsorship and project management services to individuals and projects that do not have 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt status. Tax-exempt status is required by many foundations, corporations and government agencies in order to be eligible for funding. As a fiscal sponsor, Public Interest Projects acts as an umbrella organization for an individual or project and accepts and administers funds on its behalf. Public Interest Projects is legally responsible for the funds received on behalf of fiscally sponsored projects and insures that the funds are used for charitable purposes, and that donor reporting requirements are met in a timely fashion.

Fiscal sponsorship broadens the available funding avenues an individual or project can pursue. However, fiscal sponsorships do not provide grants and Public Interest Projects does not do research for individual project funding.

Eligibility and Considerations

In order to be eligible to apply to Public Interest Projects for Fiscal Sponsorship, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Reflect a similar commitment to the goals set forth in Public Interest Projects’ mission.
  • The work supported must be for purposes which are legal, further a legitimate tax-exempt purpose, and in no way jeopardize the tax status of Public Interest Projects.
  • Meet the requirements outlined in the Review Criteria section of this application.
  • The project budget must be at least $100,000.00 with funding secured. The project may be considered for fiscal sponsorship if at least one contribution is committed, either from one individual or one foundation, for $50,000 or more.

Review Criteria

Projects are accepted by Public Interest Projects after being reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Relevance and Significance of Project to Public Interest Projects
    Are subject matter and project consistent with the goals of Public Interest Projects’ mission?
  • Likelihood of Project Completion
    Does the proposed project have a very high likelihood of being successfully completed and is the project feasible?
  • Budget
    Is the budget well developed and realistic for the project? Does the proposal budget match the needs of the project?
  • Fundraising Ability
    Are funds already secured or likely to be secured? Has the project director identified appropriate sources of funding for the project? Are the potential funders appropriate for the project?
  • Demonstrated Ability of Key Project Personnel
    Do the applicant and the proposed personnel have the ability to successfully complete the proposed project?
  • Lobbying
    If your project will be engaging in 501(c)(3) allowed lobbying activities, Public Interest Projects must be informed and give consent prior to approving this application. In addition, the Public Interest Projects Action Fund, Inc. is a separate entity recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) (4). It can also serve as a fiscal sponsor. The same guidelines and charges apply for projects fiscally sponsored by the Public Interest Projects Action Fund. 

Click here to download the Public Interest Projects Fiscal Sponsorship Application.