Fiscal Sponsorship Funds

Communities Foundation of Oklahoma (CFO) offers Fiscal Sponsorship services that adhere to Model C – the Pre-approved Grant Relationship as defined by Colvin & Link (2005).

Learn more about Fiscal Sponsorship from our friends at the Nonprofit Quarterly 

If you are interested in applying for Fiscal Sponsorship, please give due consideration to the following:

  • Does your project have a legitimate nonprofit purpose?
  • Would the IRS think this is a legitimate nonprofit activity if you applied for nonprofit status?
  • Does your project have enough traction to get funding for this idea?
    • Have you talked to potential funders?
    • Do you have a core of dedicated individual donors? Have you identified revenue sources and started exploring those pathways?
    • Remember projects under the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma umbrella are only able to solicit charitable donations in the State of Oklahoma. If you plan to seek funding from sources outside of Oklahoma, CFO will not be able to assist you with a Fiscal Sponsorship.
  • Remember fiscal sponsorship is not a way around IRS requirements. 

Applying for Fiscal Sponsorship

Those interested in applying for Fiscal Sponsorship under the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma will work through the following steps:

  1. The person or organization seeking Fiscal Sponsorship shall establish a legal identity for the proposed project. 

  2. The person or organization seeking Fiscal Sponsorship will submit a written grant request to Communities Foundation of Oklahoma describing the specific program to be conducted. This must include a fully developed budget and timeline for project completion. Recall that Fiscal Sponsorship is intended to be a temporary arrangement. The template for the written grant request for Fiscal Sponsorship can be accessed by clicking here.  (This link will download a Microsoft Word document to your computer.)

  3. CFO's Grants Committee will evaluate the grant request to determine whether the project is charitable and carries out the tax-exempt purpose of our organization.

  4. If it is found that the proposal furthers our exempt purpose, CFO's Board of Directors will issue a board resolution stating the grant proposal is approved and will be funded only to the extent that outside funds are received for the project. Note that CFO’s Board of Directors meets four times each year. The necessary board resolution will be issued after action is taken at the next board meeting. Please be prepared for the time delay with this step.

  5. If approved by the Board of Directors, Communities Foundation of Oklahoma will issue a written grant agreement setting forth all the terms and conditions that apply to the project’s use of the grant and relations with funding sources.

  6. After successfully completing all of the steps above, the project may now solicit funds for the specific grant. Remember that CFO’s bylaws provide that such solicitations shall be made only on the condition that CFO retains complete control and discretion over the use of all contributions received. This element of CFO control and discretion must be fully disclosed, in writing, when applying for funding. Additionally, CFO is only registered for charitable solicitations within the state of Oklahoma. You may not seek funds outside of the state under this agreement.

  7. As donations and grants are received for the specific project, the money is taken into income by Communities Foundation of Oklahoma and then disbursed as grant payments to the project, subject to the terms of the grant agreement between CFO and the project.

  8. Project organizers will submit written reports to CFO, in accordance with the grant agreement, showing actual expenditures of grant funds and outlining progress toward accomplishing the charitable purpose of the grant.


Colvin, G. L., & Link, G. (2005). Fiscal sponsorship: 6 ways to do it right. San Francisco, CA: Study Center Press.



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