Women Make Movies Women Make Movies View Cart
Women Make Movies
Find





Have questions about Fiscal Sponsorship?
Start here for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding fiscal sponsorship. If you can't find the information you need, email us at info@wmm.com.

What does fiscal sponsorship mean?
Does fiscal sponsorship provide grants or loans to my project?
At what stage of production can you apply for fiscal sponsorship?
Can I apply for more than one project to the program?
If I live outside New York City, can I still benefit from your program?
Do you sponsor experimental projects, shorts or feature films?
Why does WMM charge a 6% administrative fee for most grants?
Why do you charge a higher administrative fee of 7% National
     Endowment for the Humanities and State Humanities Council Grants?
Do I need to keep track of my expenses?
Will WMM write checks for each of my bills?
Can I use WMM's tax exempt status to avoid paying retail sales tax
    on purchases?

What are my responsibilities to WMM if I am fiscally sponsored?
Can you review my application between deadlines?
Where do I send my application and what are your deadlines?
When will I hear back on application once I have submitted?
Do you offer feedback on my proposal before or after my submission?
If my proposal is rejected, can I resubmit it at a later date?
Will WMM distribute my film when it is done? 
Do you accept narrative as well as documentary films?

dividing line

What does fiscal sponsorship mean?

It means that Women Make Movies is the non-profit tax-exempt umbrella organization that is fiscally sponsoring your project. As a result, you are eligible to apply for funding from foundations, corporations and government agencies that requires tax-exempt status. Additionally, you are eligible to receive charitable contributions from individuals which are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. It does not mean, however, that we are your producers, fundraisers, or in any way connected to the content or actual production of your project. You maintain the copyright of your film and control your project’s life—from development to distribution.

back to top

Does fiscal sponsorship provide grants or loans to my project?

No. Fiscal sponsorship does not award grants or provide loans to your project. (Women Make Movies does not offer any cash grants, loans or advances to projects.) However, fiscal sponsorship does allow you to apply for funds that, as an individual, you would be ineligible to receive. In other words, fiscal sponsorship opens up your available sources of funding for your project since many foundations, corporations and government agencies can only award grants to non-profit organizations.

back to top

At what stage of production can you apply for fiscal sponsorship?

You can be a part of fiscally sponsored projects in WMM’s Production Assistance Program as long as you are in pre-production, production, or post-production. Many participants have also used WMM as a sponsor for distribution grants or to accept donations to do outreach and related community engagement projects.  

back to top

Can I apply for more than one project to the fiscal sponsorship program?

Only one application per Project Director can be submitted at a time. If you are accepted into the Program and decide to apply at a later date for sponsorship of another project, you must clearly demonstrate your ability and resources to work on both projects at once, and your prior account must be in good standing.

back to top

If I live outside New York City do I still benefit from your program?

Women Make Movies sponsors projects across the country. You do not need to live in the New York City area to apply for Fiscal Sponsorship.

back to top

Do you sponsor experimental projects, shorts or feature films?

Absolutely! While we do sponsor a majority of documentary projects, we are eager to support work in all genres and styles. The types of projects that we fiscally sponsor are indicative more of the types of funding available to film/video projects which require fiscal sponsorship than in our preferences in project types.

back to top

Why does WMM charge a 6% administrative fee for most grants? 

As a fiscal sponsor, we are legally responsible for the funds received on behalf of your sponsored project and we must insure that the project uses the funds for non-commercial charitable activities in accordance with the agreed upon terms between the donor and your project, and that the donor reporting requirements are met by the project in a timely fashion. In order to do this, we set up financial and database files to keep track of your project; acknowledge contributions to donors for tax purposes; prepare End-of-the-Year reports; send out 1099’s to your consultants and report on them to the IRS. Our accountants also must audit your files and we must pay them to do that. The 6% fee we charge for all grants, with the exception of the National Endowment for the Humanities and State Humanities Council grants (for which we charge 7%), is below the industry standard of 7-10%. As a result, the administrative fees barely cover the cost of running the program.

back to top


Why do you charge a higher administrative fee of 7% for NEH and State Humanities Council Grants?

Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and State Humanities Council are charged 7% because the reporting burden of these grants is significantly greater. Since these organizations will not allow us to simply act as a fiscal conduit we are directly responsible for grant funds. Additionally, we perform an annual audit on your files and preserve your records for three years after your grant period is over, as prescribed by the institutions.

back to top

Do I need to keep track of my expenses?

Yes. WMM is not your project’s bookkeeper. You must keep track of all of your expenses and income. You must also report to WMM how you spend the contributions your project receives by submitting copies of receipts and invoices.

back to top

Will WMM write checks for each of my bills?

No. We do not write checks for your individual vendors. Checks are only made payable to Project Directors, a production company or another individual. Disbursements are made to one name only per project and you are responsible for paying your vendors and consultants..

back to top

Can I use WMM’s tax exempt status to avoid paying retail sales tax on purchases?

No. We cannot legally lend our tax-exempt status for individual project purchases.

back to top

What are my responsibilities to WMM if I am fiscally sponsored?

You must keep track of all your expenses connected with the project and submit Disbursement Expense Reports to WMM with copies of receipts and invoices after each disbursement is made to you. You also agree to spend funds administered to you by WMM in accordance with the budget approved by WMM and your funder. An annual narrative and financial report has to be filed with WMM at the end of each year along with payment of your $35 annual fee. You must also file reports to your funders in accordance with their guidelines and deadlines.

back to top

Can you review my application between deadlines?

If you are applying for General sponsorship, we cannot accept applications in between deadlines unless we have worked with you in our Production Assistance Program or Distribution Program in the past. If you have not, you must wait for your project to be reviewed by our Review Committee, which only meets three times a year. The only exception to this rule is if you have a significant committed donation (a single contribution of $20,000 or more) which cannot wait until our next deadline date, you may apply for Pass-Through Sponsorship, which is for one contribution only. If this is the case for your project, please call 212-925-0606 x302. We do review applications for Pass-Through sponsorship on a case- by-case basis, please allow two weeks to make a decision. For more information on Pass-Through fiscal sponsorship and the procedure for applying, visit the Fiscal Sponsorship section.

back to top


Where do I send my application and what are your deadlines?
We accept applications on a regular basis each year, in Winter, Spring and Fall.

This year’s in-office deadlines can be found on our current Application and Guidelines. Applications must be received by 6pm on the deadline date. Our offices are open Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm to accept deliveries. All application packages should be address as follows:

Women Make Movies
Attn: Fiscal Sponsorship Program
115 W. 29th Street, Suite 1200
New York, NY 10001

Please be advised that no faxed or emailed applications will be accepted. Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted.

back to top

When will I hear back on application I have submitted?

All application decisions will be made approximately two weeks after the deadline date. All applicants will be notified either way via email.

back to top

Do you offer feedback or advice on my proposal?

Yes. If your project is rejected, you may request the Review Committee’s comments. Upon notification, you will have the opportunity to request their feedback (via email) from the Production Assistance Program Administrator.

back to top

If my proposal is rejected, can I resubmit it at a later date?

Rejected applications must be invited by the Review Committee to resubmit. Even if you have made changes to your proposal and a few months have passed, you must have been invited (within your emailed status notification letter) to resubmit.

back to top

Will Women Make Movies distribute my film when it is done?

If it is appropriate for WMM's distribution service, you may ask for the distribution staff to screen your completed film. Some films we fiscally sponsor do end up being distributed by WMM but fiscal sponsorship is not a guarantee. You must submit your film separately to the Distribution staff. For more information on our distribution service, please refer to our Distribution Guidelines.

back to top

Do you accept narrative as well as documentary films?

Yes, but please remember that there are very few grants that fund narrative films.  If you are submitting a narrative project, please be sure to provide a detailed fundraising plan which explains why you think a fiscal sponsor is right for your project.

back to top

© Women Make Movies
site map

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