Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal Sponsorship


As a 501c3 non-profit organization, Catalyst offers support to community individuals and groups that lack the appropriate tax-exempt status to raise charitable funds for their project. In the past (from 2010 - 2014), we fiscally sponsored 41 different groups and projects adopted to function as a Catalyst project. During this time, we were able to develop the proper infrastructure, policies, and processes for a successful fiscal sponsorship program. In 2017, we decided to resume the program on a limited and selective basis. For more information about Fiscal Sponsorship, click here.

We offer two types of fiscal sponsorship:

Comprehensive (Model A)

Under this type of fiscal sponsorship, your project is adopted into the Catalyst organization and functions in the community as a Catalyst program. Catalyst accepts all risk, liability, and legal responsibility over the activities of the project and behavior of its volunteers. Project volunteers are able to operate the project and raise funds (apply for grants and request individual donations) for the project as agents of Catalyst and as a program of a legitimate 501c3 non-profit organization. The project's founders accepts oversight from Catalyst in order to ensure legal compliance and adherence to Catalyst policy. Project volunteers gain access to training, mentorship, and/or support from Catalyst.

This model could be ideal for incubating a new charitable project, testing out ideas for community programs, implementing a project with a fixed time frame, or hosting a collaborative effort among charitable organizations, individuals, and funders. The fiscal sponsorship agreement is typically approved for a one-year period and renewed for subsequent years. Consider this model if you do not yet have your own 501c3 nonprofit status or if you do not intend on applying for 501c3 nonprofit status.

We will be more selective in accepting this type of fiscal sponsorship since it involves greater liability and required resources on our part.

Pre-Approved Grant (Model C)

Under this type of fiscal sponsorship, we pre-approve your group as a potential grant recipient from funds received for your project. The independent project is not considered a Catalyst project nor are volunteers facilitating the project's activities considered Catalyst volunteers. Catalyst agrees to serve as fiscal sponsor thus allowing project volunteers to raise funds as an agent of Catalyst for support of the project. Catalyst receives donations and then issues a grant to the independent project for approved expenditures or reimbursements. 

This model could be ideal for individuals or community groups that want to retain operational control, don't have their own tax-exempt 501c3 status, and are hoping to apply for grants that only give to registered 501c3 non-profit organizations. 

Applying for Fiscal Sponsorship

We will consider individuals or groups for either type (Model A or C) that:

  • demonstrate clarity for how they intend to impact the community;
  • align with our vision, mission, and values;
  • already have financial support for the project (including from the project's founders);
  • demonstrate the ability to utilize financial management practices (or can complete one of our bookkeeper trainings satisfactorily prior to being approved for fiscal sponsorship);
  • submit a complete application for fiscal sponsorship; and
  • participate in a fiscal sponsorship interview.

Fiscal Sponsorship is approved at quarterly Board meetings. Therefore, below are the application submission deadlines for each application cycle:

  • Monday, August 27, 2018
  • Monday, November 26, 2018
  • Monday, February 25, 2019

To request an application or for further questions, send email to Please note that you will need to have reached out to us and had your fiscal sponsorship interview before the application submission deadline so be sure to contact us several weeks prior to the actual deadline date.