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What is Fiscal Sponsorship?
Eligibility Requirements
Benefits of WMM Fiscal Sponsorship
Types of Fiscal Sponsorship
Deadline and Notification

Apply for Fiscal Sponsorship
Frequently Asked Questions
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Fiscal Sponsorship is the largest component of the Production Assistance Program. Fiscal Sponsorship is designed for women filmmakers who are actively fundraising for their film or video project and need 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt status.

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

Fiscal Sponsorship allows your non-commercial project to apply for funding from organizations that require non-profit status. Non-profit tax-exempt status is required by many foundations, corporations and government agencies in order to be eligible for funding since many do not accept application proposals from individuals. Additionally, 501(c)(3) status allows you to receive charitable deductible contributions from individuals—a major incentive for individuals considering making a donation to your project.

As your fiscal sponsor, Women Make Movies acts as a non-profit tax-exempt umbrella organization that accepts and administers contributions made to your project.  WMM is legally responsible for the funds received on behalf of fiscally sponsored projects and must insure that the funds are used for charitable activities, as agreed upon between the donor and recipient, and that the donor reporting requirements are met and in a timely fashion. It does not mean that we are your producers, fundraisers, or in any way connected to the content or actual production of your project. All artistic and proprietary rights, title, interest in and to the completed project will belong to the Project Director and may be copyrighted in Project Director's name.

Fiscal sponsorship does not provide grants or do research for individual project funding. Fiscal Sponsorship with WMM is also not a guarantee of Distribution. If your project fits our mission (specifically, it is about women or women’s issues), you may certainly submit your film for Distribution consideration at the appropriate time. For further information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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Eligibility Requirements

Projects are accepted into the Fiscal Sponsorship program only after passing through a review process. In order to be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your project must be a non-commercial film, video or multimedia project.
  • The project director must be a woman.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen, have a Social Security or Federal ID number.

The project proposal should reflect your ability to develop a quality project proposal and your expertise in identifying funding sources. Although your film may be on any topic, the film must not reflect values that are racist or sexist. 

If your project is eligible, you will need to submit an application package by one of our quarterly deadlines. Details of what you need to include in your application package can be found on the Fiscal Sponsorship Application.

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Types of Fiscal Sponsorship

We offer two types of fiscal sponsorship: General and Pass-Through.

General Fiscal Sponsorship means that Women Make Movies will serve as the exclusive fiscal sponsor for the duration of your project. As a fiscally-sponsored filmmaker, you are entitled to Benefits of WMM Sponsorship (see below)

Once you are accepted into the Program, you have entered into an on-going relationship with Women Make Movies. Sponsored filmmakers need not wait for quarterly deadlines to submit new project proposals

Pass-Through Fiscal Sponsorship is appropriate if you are in need of a fiscal sponsor for one grant from a single funding source. In this arrangement, WMM serves as the project’s fiscal sponsor on a one-time basis. Along with all reporting requirements, WMM issues the Project Director a 1099 independent contractor tax form at the end of the year for the entire amount of the grant. It then becomes the responsibility of the Project Director to account for the money as income and expenses for all tax purposes. Filmmakers sponsored by WMM on a Pass-Through basis do not receive additional Program Benefits.

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Benefits of WMM Fiscal Sponsorship

In addition to providing an affiliation with a reputable organization in the film/video industry, General Fiscal Sponsorship with Women Make Movies offers the following benefits:

  • Individualized Fundraising and on-going Project Consultations
  • Online Resources Available through our password protected website. Includes contact list of fundraising sources and sample proposals, grant resource materials and production information.
  • Project Listing on Women Make Movies’ website offering your donors the option of making online donations via our secure server.
  • Networking Opportunities with other women media makers
  • Discounts with industry vendors
  • Workshop Discounts
  • Scheduled use of Women Make Movies’ Conference Room
  • Access to in-house screening room for viewing WMM titles and free distribution catalog

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Deadline and Notification

General fiscal sponsorship applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Due to the rolling nature of our submission process, we cannot guarantee a specific timeline for decisions. The committee will meet periodically to evaluate applications. However, if your application is time sensitive, please notify the production assistance staff by email at fsprogram@wmm.com. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision either way via email.

For Pass-Through fiscal sponsorship, you should already have been awarded a grant which requires a fiscal sponsor before contacting Women Make Movies. You will be required to submit to us the proposal package that you submitted to the funder. If you would like to discuss pass through fiscal sponsorship prior to submitting an application to a funder, you will be required to send us the application you intend to submit, a statement explaining your need for fiscal sponsorship on an urgent basis and the funder’s deadline date to which you wish to apply. Please be advised that not all requests are granted and we need at least two weeks to make a decision. Please contact the Production Assistance Program Administrator at fsprogram@wmm.com or at 212/925-0606 x303.

Still have a question? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Learn about fundraising, marketing, legal issues and more from top industry professionals at our twice yearly media workshop series.
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Get the latest information about our fiscally sponsored projects, plus upcoming grants, New York screenings, networking events and more.
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See some of the projects that are currently in our fiscal sponsorship program, and make a donation to any project online.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us