Fiscal Sponsorship & how we support high impact start-ups

Reducing Duplication. Catalyzing Impact through Collaboration.

About Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal sponsorship is the term used to describe a set of relationships between (1) an individual or group desiring to run a project that advances a tax-exempt purpose; and (2) a tax-exempt organization that is willing to serve as the project’s fiscal sponsor by conferring upon the project the benefit of its tax-exempt status.

The most common way to do it right, according to Greg Colvin’s book “Fiscal Sponsorship – Six Ways To Do It Right” (article in PDF) is referred to by Colvin as a Model A (or comprehensive) fiscal sponsorship, where the sponsor takes the project in-house, and the project has no separate legal existence.

To learn more / see if Fiscal Sponsorship is right for you, we recommend reading the National Network of Fiscal Sponsorship's Guidelines for Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship. To find a fiscal sponsor matching your initiative, see Fiscal Sponsorship Directory (including Empowerment WORKS).

How we support high impact start-ups

Since 2004, Empowerment WORKS has provided nonprofit fiscal sponsorship (Model A) services to projects advancing our mission towards a thriving, socially just world.


In addition to saving projects time and money by sharing 501c3 related admin costs and management, Fiscal Sponsorship allows them to build track-records, infrastructure and a long-term support community.


On average, nonprofits spend 20% on administration.  EW accepts an admin fee of 5% of gross revenue (or 10% for foreign projects without a US representative) allowing 95% of donor funds to go directly to fiscally sponsored project needs.


In addition, EW fiscally sponsored projects become part of EW's multi-sector network of Partners in Empowerment, gaining access to 7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS) education, and other capacity building and outreach opportunities.


For specifics on how Empowerment WORKS does it, see EW Fiscal Sponsorship Basic Guidelines here.


The following process of becoming a Project of Empowerment WORKS takes about one month:


  • 2nd, if project is in alignment with Empowerment WORKS' values and advances its charitable tax-exempt mission, you'll be invited to complete our program application (following 7 Stages to Sustainability) for committee review.

  • 3rd, once accepted, a one time set up fee of $275 is paid to EW & program agreement is mutually signed.

  • 4th, an an-boarding meeting is set with Empowerment WORKS' Program Director to cover remaining questions re. fiscal sponsorship terms, rights, fees, project responsibilities and project leader is provided with tools and official documentation to accept tax-deductible donations a "Project of 501c3 nonprofit, Empowerment WORKS".