How It Works
Download a Fiscal Sponsorship Program Application
and Guidelines (PDF file)
Are you currently seeking funding for your film production? If so, Third World
Newsreel can provide you some of the benefits of tax-exempt status. Read below
to learn about our Fiscal Sponsorship program and how tax-exempt status can facilitate
fund raising efforts.
In accordance with its mission, TWN serves as a fiscal sponsor of independent film
and electronic media productions, as well as artistic, educational and cultural
projects emphasizing social justice issues and the concerns and interests of people,
groups, and nations often marginalized in mainstream media.
Camera News, Inc. dba Third World Newsreel (TWN) is a non-profit organization as
determined by the IRS under code 501(c)(3) and a registered New York State Charity.
Under the TWN Fiscal Sponsorship program, TWN acts as an umbrella agency for your
project, allowing the project to share some of the benefits of non-profit status
- Tax deductible donations to your project from individuals and other entities that
may be able to benefit from the tax deduction.
- Eligibility for funding from entities, such as foundations, government agencies,
and other parties that may only provide grants and funding to non-profit entities.
As a project’s umbrella agency, TWN is the recipient of any funds donated or granted
to the project. TWN maintains the funds in an account for the project. Account funds
are disbursed to the project director or her representative for the payment of legitimate
project related expenses and services. As such, TWN is responsible for ensuring
that funds are used for project purposes and used in accordance with donors’ and
grantees’ intent. TWN can be the sole recipient of all project donations and grant
funds or the recipient of only the funds associated with a specific grant. In either
case, TWN will issue the necessary project related 1099’s in accordance with IRS
The project director must account for expenditures by providing TWN receipts evidencing
payment for project goods and services. TWN will also provide letters of thanks
and acknowledgment to donors, and ensure project representatives complete any required
donation or grant related reports, and issue any required 1099s for funds disbursed
from TWN directly.
The Fiscal Sponsorship program does not provide any fund raising services, grant
application services, or distribution services. Nor does acceptance into the Fiscal
Sponsorship include TWN distribution of the finished product. TWN distribution requires
a separate application, review, and approval. TWN does not have any ownership or
rights in the production at any time, nor is TWN responsible for project content.
The project’s producers and/or directors are responsible for the content.
TWN charges an administrative fee based on a sliding scale between 5%-7% of the
project income (donations and grants) based on a contract with the project director.
These amounts cover the expenses of TWN’s services to maintain an accounting of
donations and grants, send acknowledgment letters to donors and grantees, reconcile
project receipts with project cash disbursements, generate and file IRS 1099 forms,
and other services TWN must perform as the umbrella agency for the project.
There is a $25 application fee for each project submitted for consideration for
TWN Fiscal Sponsorship. This fee is waived for NYSCA individual artist applicants
pending funding. Additional fees will be charged to individual projects for specific
services such as messengers, mailings, cash advances, etc. Please note: no student
projects are accepted.
You can download an application for Fiscal Sponsorship in Adobe PDF format. Requests
for applications via US mail should be directed to:
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
Third World Newsreel
545 8th Avenue, Suite 550
New York, New York 10018
Questions about the program and application status should be directed to
Fiscal Sponsorship. Please, no
phone calls, contact us via email.
This overview is not all inclusive, abbreviating the process
and omitting some other steps or requirements that may be part of the process.
- Upon acceptance into the program, TWN and the project representative sign a contract,
establishing a contractual relationship for the project. TWN sets up an account
for the project.
- The project representative and associated parties continue their own fund raising
and application for grant funds. TWN does not do any fund raising or grant applications
on behalf of the project, though is available for consultations on such.
- As funds are received from donors and from grants, they are paid to TWN on behalf
of the project. TWN maintains the funds in an account. TWN sends out letters to
donors, with copies to the project representative, acknowledging their contributions.
TWN also makes a record of any reports the donors and grantors require and the due
dates for the reports. Filmmakers are responsible for preparing and sending their
reports to donors, grantees and to TWN. Failure to meet a reporting requirement
can cause funds from the connected contributor to be withheld pending completion
of requirements to the contributor’s satisfaction.
- As the project director incurs expenses or has needs for funds to purchase project
related goods and services, the project director requests that TWN release specific
amounts of funds to the project. TWN generally does not pay any vendors, contractors,
or other parties directly for goods and services for the project. It is the project
director’s responsibility to pay for goods and services using the funds TWN releases
to the project.
- The project director must provide an accounting of expenditures and a narrative
progress report annually to TWN, in addition to any required reporting of the project's
funders. TWN will not release additional funds for the project until all prior
released funds have been accounted for with receipts.
- At the end of each calendar year, TWN makes all appropriate filings with the IRS
for payments made to filmmakers and any independent contractors. Filmmakers
are fully responsible for submitting receipts and invoices for reimbursements in
accordance with their grants, but are fully responsible for their own IRS reportings.
- The project must be a documentary or fictional work, the content of which falls
within the mission of TWN.
- The project must be a non-commercial film, video, or multimedia work. No student
projects are accepted.
- The project director/payee (the person responsible to receive funds and pay expenses)
must have a tax identification number (Social Security Number or Federal Employee
- The project cannot promote any racism, sexism, or hate toward any person or group
- The project director must demonstrate, through the TWN Fiscal Sponsorship application,
an ability to raise project funds and produce a work through completion.