Am I eligible for WMM’s Production Assistance Program if I’m fiscally sponsored by another organization?

No, you are not eligible for the Production Assistance Program if you are fiscally sponsored by another organization.

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 available sources of funding for your project since many foundations, corporations, and government agencies can only award grants to non-profit organizations.

Is Women Make Movies a grant funding organization?

No. Women Make Movies does not award grants or other financial support.

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.   

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 your prior account is in good standing, you may apply with another project at a later date.

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 the Production Assistance Program.

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. We must insure that the project uses the funds for 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, and prepare End-of-the-Year reports.  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 (for which we charge 5%) 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.

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

Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and State Humanities Council are charged 7% because the reporting burden of these grants is significantly greater.

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. Note: Women Make Movies will send a 1099 for all monies disbursed to you during the year.

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.

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. 

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

You 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.

Where do I send my application and what are your deadlines?

We accept applications on a rolling basis.  You may email your submission materials to [email protected].

You may also mail a hard copy to:
Women Make Movies
Attn: Fiscal Sponsorship Program 
115 W. 29th Street, Suite 1200
New York, NY 10001
Incomplete submissions will not be accepted

When will I hear back on the application I have submitted?

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 [email protected]. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision either way via email.

Are there any benefits to applying if my project is not accepted?

Yes. If your project is rejected, you may request the Review Committee’s comments.

Also, filmmakers will receive the discounted rate to workshops and webinars for one year after the submission date.

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. Even if your project is not accepted, you will receive a discount to WMM workshops and webinars for a year from the time of your submission.

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 do end up being distributed by WMM but it 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.

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