Fiscal Sponsorship Process

ANF offers fiscal sponsorship to journalism projects of all sizes and media types for the purposes of advancing education about the field of journalism and the need for popular support for the craft; supporting investigative and enterprise reporting projects and initiatives; and increasing public access to high quality local and national reporting by independent news outlets. Models A and C are the most common sponsor models. 

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Fiscal Sponsorship Models


Model A. Direct Project

Sponsorship rate is 10.00% plus transaction and banking fees, and other possible expenses. 

  • No separate legal entity or ownership exists (no corporation, LLC, or proprietorship).
  • ANF takes comprehensive responsibility for the Project, assuming liability and paying all Project bills directly. Insurance expense should be estimated at 2% of annual income.
  • Project “staff” are treated as contractors or staff of ANF. If unpaid, they are considered ANF’s “volunteers.” If ANF does not run a staff payroll, contractors file W9s and receive 1099s.
  • The Project’s output or product belongs to ANF, which assumes liability for the Project’s acts. 
  • ANF files 990s. Individuals are responsible for their own tax filings.
  • Legally, the Project is part of ANF.

Model C. Pre Approved Grant Relationship

Sponsorship rate is 7.00% plus transaction and banking fees, and other possible expenses. 

  • Project uses ANF nonprofit status to apply for grants and take donations.
  • ANF receives all funds on behalf of the Project, which could be a separate legal entity.
  • Project can be a one-time arrangement for a specific grant, and/or ongoing fundraising from grantors and donors across a range of platforms.
  • ANF supplies 501(c)(3) status and documentation for grant applications executed by the Project principals, and provides oversight so grant requirements are fulfilled.
  • ANF files 990 and 1099 for Project contractors; Project may file separately with IRS based on legal status.


Model B. Independent Contractor Project

  • Project is a separate legal entity, an independent contractor, with oversight by ANF.
  • Project entity secures insurance coverage.
  • ANF engages the independent contractor to produce Project results.
  • ANF pays the independent contractor from funds donated for the Project. Independent contractors account for their own income and pay for additional expenses.

Model D. Group Exemption

  • Project receives charitable gifts and grants directly from funding sources, but relies on ANF for conferring federal income tax exemptions.
  • No other administrative support or grant application support is supplied.

Model F. Technical Assistance

  • Project has its own 501(c)(3) status and all funds are handled in the name of the Project.
  • ANF provides financial management, which may include payroll, human resources, bookkeeping, tax filing, and other administrative work.