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Thank you for your interest in SIMA’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program.

Please see below for a list of frequently asked questions and answers. For further inquiries, feel free to reach out to us at


How can my project benefit from Fiscal Sponsorship?
Fiscal Sponsorship is a valuable alternative fundraising tool that can broaden your fundraising options. Many individual donors, foundations, and corporate funders will only donate to an established 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that can issue a tax-receipt for donations. Fiscal sponsorship will allow you to apply for and accept such funding. Fiscal sponsorship is also an alternative to investing your time and money into establishing a tax-exempt organization yourself.

What type of fiscal sponsorship does SIMA offer?
SIMA offers a Model C fiscal sponsorship arrangement, which is a “pre-approved grantor-grantee relationship.” Model C can be used for one time grants or gifts, or can be used on an ongoing basis. Essentially, this means SIMA can accept tax deductible grants and donations on behalf of a sponsee (your project), then disburse the funding to the sponsee as a sort of “grant” to accomplish its mission.

Does SIMA fundraise on my project’s behalf?
No. You are responsible for raising funds for your project. SIMA does not fundraise on your behalf, and we cannot write or submit grant applications on behalf of your project. We do our best to support you in your fundraising efforts, and are happy to provide assistance where we can. We provide you with a designated Paypal donation page and button links, a featured project page on SIMA’s website, and periodical editorial features to announce your upcoming fundraising campaigns via our newsletter and social sites.

If I find a grant that does not require a fiscal sponsor can I apply on my own?
Yes. You are free to pursue multiple sources of revenue to fund your project. If you find a grant that you qualify for, you can apply and accept those funds outside of your fiscal sponsorship arrangement with SIMA. We are here to help expand your fundraising options, not limit them.

When should I apply for fiscal sponsorship with SIMA?
SIMA sponsors projects in any stage including: development, pre production, production, post production, distribution or campaign. Our application is open to projects that are currently fundraising or preparing to fundraise. We recommend securing your first donor before applying, and having a fundraising strategy in place. You will be asked to submit an itemized project budget to complete your application.

Do I need to sign a contract with SIMA?
By submitting an application to be considered for Fiscal Sponsorship with SIMA, you agree to be legally bound by this fiscal sponsorship grant agreement. Please review it carefully before applying.

How long does the review process take?
Most applications will be reviewed within 2 weeks. If you are in need of an expedited application review, please contact with the details of your specific situation.

How detailed and complete does my budget need to be?
You should submit a complete budget that is as detailed as possible. Please try your best to get well-researched estimates for all expected project-related costs. Your budget should not include things like “To be Determined” or “Unknown.” We need dollar amounts for projected expenses. We understand that costs and services may change. You can submit reasonable changes and amendments to your budget as your project progresses, but you should be as thorough as possible with your initial budget. If your budget changes significantly, please email us your updated budget that reflects the changes. If you are seeking fiscal sponsorship with SIMA to only cover the cost of a specific stage of your project (i.e distribution, impact campaign, or marketing), you can submit a budget that reflects only the costs of those activities.

My project is in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign. Can I still apply?
Projects need to be fully approved and onboarded before the start of your crowdfunding campaign. If you are already in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign, we won’t be able to fiscally sponsor your campaign. However, if you have additional donors who would like to donate to your project separately from your crowdfunding campaign, you can apply to facilitate those donations.

Can I still apply for fiscal sponsorship with SIMA if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to apply for fiscal sponsorship with SIMA. However, our services would be most beneficial to you if you are seeking donations from entities in the United States. The tax receipt we provide to grant-makers or donors is only valid for entities with US tax residency. You will be responsible for reporting the donations in accordance with the laws of your country and should consult a local tax attorney to ensure accuracy.


What fees are involved?
SIMA collects a 7% administrative fee upon all project’s disbursements. When it comes to disbursing your project’s funds, there are two options for processing disbursements. SIMA can mail a check to you with no processing fee, or send the funds via wire transfer with a fee of $30. The $30 fee covers the outgoing bank wire transfer fee. If you are crowdfunding or collecting donations via Paypal, please note that there will be additional credit card processing fees from those platforms. All fees will be outlined in detail before we disburse your funds. If you are planning to raise over $750k, please reach out to us. We offer a graduated schedule, meaning that our administrative fee decreases for single fund disbursements that are larger than $750K.

Why do you take a percentage of the money if we do all the fundraising?
SIMA’s fiscal sponsorship program has significant staff, administrative, legal, and accounting expenses. The 7% administrative fee covers the cost of running our fiscal sponsorship program and contributes to facilitating SIMA’s education and community programs globally.

How does the disbursement process work?
Once funds have landed, you can request your project’s funds at any time by reaching out to a SIMA representative. Our typical turnaround time for processing disbursements is one week or 5-7 business days, but may take longer depending on bank and post office delays.

Can I disburse funds into multiple accounts?
You must choose one legal entity and one bank account to be the recipient of your project’s funds. If you expect this information to change throughout the course of your fundraising, please let us know.


Does SIMA offer accounting services?
SIMA does not offer accounting services to individual projects. We are happy to help answer questions where we can, but our staff cannot provide tax advice. We strongly recommend hiring an accountant or tax professional to manage your project’s finances and help you stay compliant with IRS regulations.

Can SIMA pay contractors or vendors on my behalf?
No. It is the fiscally sponsored project’s responsibility to issue any required tax documents to project contractors or vendors. SIMA only issues donation related tax documentation.

Does SIMA accept in-kind or non-cash contributions for my project?
Yes, but it depends on the contribution. If a donor would like to donate a non-cash tangible good to your project, we can issue you a receipt under some circumstances. A few examples of this type of donation include equipment or office supplies to be used directly for your project. The receipt we issue, in accordance with IRS regulations, will not specify a dollar amount for the deduction. We will simply describe the goods donated in detail, and the donor will have the responsibility of quantifying the donation and confirming its deductiblity. You will then be responsible for accounting for how donated goods are used for your project when you file your own tax reports. If a donor has questions about the deductibility of a non-cash contribution they should contact their tax professional.

Please note that we cannot offer a tax receipt for the following in-kind or non-cash items:

  • Sponsorships (considered mutual interest)
  • Loaned or rented space
  • Large ticket items like airline tickets, vehicles, or boats
  • Raffles or auctions of any kind
  • Time and services

What do I need to report to SIMA?
You are required to keep excellent records of your project’s finances, and report any significant changes to your budget to us. Once a year, SIMA requires all fiscally sponsored projects to submit an annual report, which includes a short survey of your project’s status, progress and expenses. You will be asked to email us an itemized budget of how the funds received via SIMA were spent.

We reserve the right to request additional evidence of project expenses where necessary. You are responsible for reporting all income, including money received through fiscal sponsorship, to the IRS or equivalent in your country.

Do I need to have a separate bank account to accept fiscal sponsorship funds or can the checks be made directly to me?
You are not required to have a separate bank account for your project, but we strongly recommend it. Keeping track of finances for tax purposes can be easier with a dedicated account. Even if you are managing your project as an individual you can still speak with your bank about getting a separate account for your project.

What tax documents will I receive from SIMA?
If your project is based in the United States, SIMA will provide your project’s legal entity with a 1099 MISC in January, for all funds disbursed in the previous year.

When will donors get their tax receipts?
SIMA will administer tax receipts for donors in January, following the year in which they made the donation. If a donor needs their receipt sooner, please let us know and we will be glad to issue their receipt upon request.

I’m not a U.S. citizen. Can I still benefit from fiscal sponsorship with SIMA?
Yes. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to apply for fiscal sponsorship with SIMA. However, our services would be most beneficial to you if you are seeking donations or are fundraising in the United States. The tax receipt we provide to donors is only valid in the United States.

Please seek assistance from a local tax attorney to inform yourself about any potential withholding requirements.

Does SIMA accept donations internationally?
SIMA can accept international donations for your project, but cannot provide tax receipts or deductions for any international donations, outside the United States and in some cases Germany. If you are expecting donations from Germany please contact us as we require additional documentation.

Are the funds I receive through SIMA’s fiscal sponsorship program taxable?
Yes. All of the funds released from SIMA for the purposes of your project are considered income, which is taxable for the legal entity of your project. The project’s legal entity is the entity responsible for reporting the income. For personalized tax advice, please consult a tax professional. While we can provide general guidance, our staff isn’t qualified or authorized to address specific tax inquiries.


For any questions not covered here, please contact us at

If you are ready to apply, scroll to the end of this page to access the application form. We look forward to hearing about your project.