Monday, March 2, 2009

The Fiscal Sponsorship Process

The process of establishing YNPN San Diego’s fiscal sponsorship was both educational and challenging. The YNPN SD Finance Committee was fortunate enough to have a member, also the Vice-Chair, who had experience establishing fiscal sponsorships. The committee met over a series of months to:
  • establish a plan of action,
  • review the legal aspects of fiscal sponsorships,
  • review potential sponsors,
  • meet with potential sponsors,
  • prepare a draft of the fiscal sponsorship agreement, and
  • evaluate the sponsors proposals.
As the Committee began to develop a process for obtaining fiscal sponsorship and evaluating the legal aspects of such a relationship we relied heavily on a great book, Fiscal Sponsorship by Gregory L. Colvin. The book does a great job of explaining fiscal sponsorship and laying out six models for fiscal sponsorship including direct project, independent contractor project, preapproved grant relationship, group exemption, supporting organization and technical assistance. YNPN SD settled on an agreement that mixes direct project and independent contractor project.

After identifying the type of relationship YNPN was looking for, the Finance Committee considered other non-profits in San Diego that might be interested in sponsoring YNPN. Of the five or six organizations identified the committee chose to approach two organizations. We met with the Executive Director of each organization, explored their interest in sponsoring YNPN SD and shared the mutual benefits we saw in the potential relationship.

As a follow up to our initial meeting with the Executive Directors the Committee prepared a formal proposal including a history of YNPN San Diego, board member biographies, a pitch on the benefits of the relationship and a draft of the sponsorship agreement. Each of the Executive Directors presented our proposal to their boards and came back to us with follow up questions and adjustments to the draft agreement. Both organizations expressed their boards’ excitement for the potential relationship.

The Finance Committee presented the agreements and an evaluation of each of potential sponsors to YNPN San Diego’s Advisory Board. We noted the board’s questions, concerns and enthusiasm, and spent the proceeding weeks gathering additional information and finalizing the agreements. In December 2008 the board selected Volunteer San Diego as our fiscal sponsor!

Since December the Finance Committee has been working on documenting accounting policies and procedures and is proud that YNPN San Diego is now accepting tax-deductible donations. Support emerging leaders in the nonprofit community by making a tax-deductibel donation today!

If you are interested in learning more about the fiscal sponsorship process or in joining the Finance Committee, please visit the YNPN San Diego website.

THANK YOU to everyone involved in the fiscal sponsorship process!

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