New organizations face serious obstacles when seeking the funding necessary to continue and complete their work. Often they are hindered by the absence of legal status for the project, as most foundations and corporate funders restrict grantmaking to fully tax-exempt organizations. Similarly, potential individual donors often need the tax incentive of a charitable contribution before they will support an arts project. The SLF offers fiscal sponsorship — a mechanism widely used by the nonprofit sector — to help overcome these obstacles.
The Speculative Literature Foundation’s fiscal sponsorship of the Odyssey Writing Workshops provided critical assistance that kept our organization alive during a difficult period. With the SLF’s assistance, we were able to offer donors who wanted to support our organization the option of making tax-deductible donations. Odyssey supporters responded enthusiastically, giving a total of over $25,000 over the four years of the SLF’s sponsorship. This gave us the time we needed to earn our own nonprofit status. The SLF offers invaluable support to writers and organizations in the speculative fiction field.
–Jeanne Cavelos, Director, Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust
The SLF takes applications to serve as a fiscal sponsor for genre-related non-profit projects (organizational or individual) which lack 501(c)3 status. This enables such groups/individuals to apply for grants for which they might otherwise not be eligible, such as funds from 501(c)3 non-profit groups hosting local conventions, who are legally required to redistribute their profits to other non-profits.
There is no fee to apply, and currently no contracting fee. Any funds you or your group receives would be directed to the SLF; we would then take 5% as payment for our administrative costs (7% – 15% is standard in the non-profit world), and redirect the rest of the funds to you.
Projects that are fiscally sponsored by the SLF are considered independent contractors and they retain their own identity and are not part of the SLF. In this way, they retain creative control and ownership of their project. However, the project is also responsible for tax reporting and liability issues to the SLF (which is legally responsible to the government for the disbursement of grant funds).
Further applications for fiscal sponsorship should be directed to Mary Anne Mohanraj, SLF Director.