Fiscal sponsorship FAQs for PCEF grantees

Frequently asked questions about fiscal sponsorship roles, responsibilities and rules for PCEF grantees.

What is a fiscal sponsor? 

  • A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit organization that partners with a group to provide support for managing a grant. The fiscal sponsor provides its legal and tax-exempt status to the sponsored group. 

  • Fiscal sponsors typically provide financial management, access to insurance, and/or technical assistance.  

  • Fiscal sponsorship partnerships should be between a nonprofit organization and a group that share a similar mission and engages in activities that are related to the fiscal sponsor’s organizational purpose it declared when applying for tax-exempt status. 

What are basic best practices for a fiscal sponsorship partnership? 

  • Fiscal partnership relationships can vary depending on the nonprofit and the sponsored group’s needs.  

  • Ideally, a fiscal sponsor works with the sponsored group to write an agreement that details the roles, requirements, and responsibilities of the partnership.  

  • The fiscal sponsor may (but is not required to) request a fee for their services (PCEF allows up to 10% of grant funds to be used for this purpose).  

  • The payment for fiscal sponsorship can be in addition to overhead costs listed in the grant budget but the total cost of the fiscal sponsorship plus overhead costs cannot be more than 25% of the requested grant funds. 

Can a fiscal sponsor partner with multiple groups applying for PCEF grants? 

  • Yes, a nonprofit organization can serve as fiscal sponsor to more than one group. Each grant recipient must submit their own applications, and the management of each grant must be distinct (e.g., separate the tracking of funds and expenses for each grant).  

Can a for-profit business use a fiscal sponsor to apply for PCEF funding? 

  • No, a for-profit business cannot use a fiscal sponsor to apply for PCEF funding.  

When using a fiscal sponsor to apply for PCEF funding, whose information is provided on the application? 

  • The grant application includes instructions letting you know when to provide the fiscal sponsor’s information and when to provide the sponsored group’s information.  

  • The fiscal sponsor is expected to provide their contact information, their nonprofit tax ID number (EIN), financial documents, and financial management descriptions.  

If awarded funding, who is considered the grantee? 

  • The fiscal sponsor is legally responsible for the grant, including the funds, deliverables, and liability related to the grant.  

  • The fiscal sponsor will be listed on and sign the grant agreement with the City of Portland. They will receive the grant funding and then disperse it to the sponsored group.