Fiscal Sponsorship

Aspiration provides short-term fiscal sponsorship to nonprofit software development projects that are in the process of becoming official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Generally, fiscal sponsorships last 1-2 years. Aspiration's fiscal sponsorship model is typically that of a grantor (Aspiration) and grantee (Project) relationship, so while the project is being sponsored, the project remains a separate entity with its own Board of Directors who oversees the activities of the project. However, Aspiration will occasionally consider other arrangements, including "direct projects," for which Aspiration will manage the bills, payroll, and other administrative overhead arrangements of the project in house.

Fiscal sponsorship fees range from 5%-15% of revenues.

Some of Aspiration's Previous Fiscal Projects Include:

  • Idealware: Idealware provides candid Consumer-Reports-style reviews and articles about software of interest to nonprofits, centralized into a website. Through product comparisons, recommendations, case studies, and software news, Idealware allows nonprofits to make the software decisions that will help them be more effective.
  • Solpath: Solpath's mission was to create, as a community, the non-profit sector's first open-source grants management software for tracking grant applications from initial request to fully funded and beyond. The project later transitioned and incorporated as Fluxx.

Application Process

Potential projects must fill out an initial fiscal sponsorship application and submit a non-refundable application fee of $150.

Aspiration will then schedule a thirty minute interview to go over the details of the project. During the interview each project will be rated based on Aspiration's fiscal sponsorship criteria.

After the interview, the project will be notified of Aspiration's Board of Directors' decision.

Please contact us for more information about the application process and approval criteria.

Approved Projects will:

  1. Review and sign the fiscal sponsorship contract.
  2. Review and follow the fiscal sponsorship policies.
  3. Provide an annual financial and written report showing how the project spends its funds for charitable purposes.

Additional resources and suggestions for potential fiscal sponsorship projects:

  1. Register as a legal entity, unless applying for a "direct project" sponsorship. (Examples include sole proprietorship, general partnership, LLC, or corporation.)
  2. Learn how to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. (See the State Incorporation Forms and Information page on the IRS website.)
  3. Hire an attorney to help with applying for 501(c)(3) status.
  4. Recruit a Board of Directors to oversee the project, unless applying for a "direct project" sponsorship.
  5. Create a strategic plan for the project that includes both program and operational goals and strategy.

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