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Office:

83 Park Street

Providence, RI 02903
tel: 401/861-4445
401/490-6735 (f)
info@film-festival.org

 

Mailing Address:

PO Box 162

Newport, RI 02840 USA

Street Address:

36 Rhode Island Avenue,

Newport, RI 02840


 

 

RIIFF Photography

Courtesy of Liz Oberacker,

Jonathan Beller, Mary Hanley, Debra Gagnon, Paul Ruggeri, Greg Sofios, Katie Doyle &

Mike Braca

 

Video Promotions by

William Smyth,

Erik Latek, James Payne,

Jonathan Beller,

George T. Marshall,

J. Scott Oberacker &

Duncan Putney

 

2013 Graphic Design by

Michael J. Chevalier

linchpinagency.com

 

 

 

 

 

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FAQs

Fiscal Sponsorship Program FAQs

 

General Information

 

• What is Fiscal Sponsorship?
• How can my project benefit from Fiscal Sponsorship with Flickers?
• What types of projects do you sponsor?
• What do you mean by “non-commercial”?
• What type of fundraising help and grant writing services do you offer?
• Why do you take 5% of the money if we do all the fundraising?
• Can my project have more than one fiscal sponsor?
• There is a grant application that is due in two weeks and they require a fiscal sponsor. If I submit my application, can you expedite it ASAP to meet the grant deadline?

 

Application Process

 

• How do I apply?
• Can I apply for fiscal sponsorship for my company if we are producing multiple projects?
• If I am a member of Flickers: CinemaRI is my project automatically sponsored?
• I'm not a U.S. citizen. Can I still apply for fiscal sponsorship with Flickers?
• How much does Fiscal Sponsorship cost?
• What percentages of applications are approved for fiscal sponsorship?
• My film is mostly completed and I just need fiscal sponsorship for post production and distribution. Can I still apply?
• Can I start accepting donations and applying for grants through Flickers while I am waiting for my fiscal sponsorship application to be approved?
• How detailed and complete does my budget need to be?
• Can I include a salary for myself in my fiscal sponsorship budget?

 

Terms of the Program

• If I have a project in fiscal sponsorship are my future projects automatically sponsored too?
• If I find a grant that does not require a fiscal sponsor can I apply on my own?
• I have someone who would like to make an in-kind donation to my project. How can I get them a tax receipt for their donation?
• Someone would like to make a credit card donation to my project. Is that possible?
• I have a project in fiscal sponsorship, how can I get it up on the website to accept donations?
• Is my project eligible for matching gifts?
• I'm selling DVDs on my website, how can people who purchase them receive a tax deduction?
• I want to have a raffle or auction at my next fundraising party. How do I handle those donations?
• I have an overseas donor who would like to make a contribution in support of my project. Can they receive a tax benefit in their own country?
• How often can I request funds from my fiscal sponsorship account?
• Can I have funds transferred to my bank account instead of waiting for a check?
• What can I pay for with money received through fiscal sponsorship?
• Can I pay for equipment with money from my fiscal sponsorship account?
• Do I need to keep receipts and records of how I spend the money you send me?
• Do I need to have a separate bank account to accept fiscal sponsorship funds or can the checks be made directly to me?

• Do I need to report the money I receive through fiscal sponsorship to the IRS?

 

 

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?
Fiscal sponsorship is a legal and financial arrangement which allows a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation, such as the Flickers Arts Collaborative (Flickers) the producers of the Rhode Island International Film Festival to provide it's nonprofit status and limited financial oversight to a project by an individual or organization that does not have nonprofit status. Flickers can provide this service to a variety of projects if they meet the fiscal sponsorship admissions criteria and their project is in line with our mission statement. This arrangement is a well-accepted model of nonprofit arts funding for individuals and organizations that do not have legal nonprofit status, but would like to take advantage of funding offered to 501(c)(3) organizations.

 

Once accepted into our Fiscal Sponsorship Program, a project has the ability to apply for and accept grants that require 501(c)(3) status. Donors, foundations, and corporations are able to donate funds to Flickers specifically for the purpose of supporting a sponsored project. Flickers then administers those funds to the project and assures that funds are spent for their designated purpose.

 

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How can my project benefit from Fiscal Sponsorship with Flickers?
Fiscal Sponsorship is a valuable fundraising tool that can expand your fundraising options. Many individual donors, foundations, and corporate funders will only donate to an established 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Fiscal sponsorship will allow you to apply for and accept such funding. Fiscal sponsorship is also an excellent alternative to investing your time and money into establishing your own 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

 

As Fiscal Sponsors on your project, Flickers will not infringe on your creative control, copyright, or prevent you from future sales or profiting from your project. Flickers seeks to be as non-intrusive as possible in monitoring the project. The main thing we monitor is to make sure the money is being properly dispersed and used for the project as budgeted.

 

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What types of projects do you sponsor?
We sponsor non-commercial documentary film or video projects in all stages of production. If you have a non-commercial project that is related to the documentary genre and to Flickers’s mission (i.e. a documentary film festival, a hybrid documentary project, a documentary related website, etc.) we may be able to work with you. Please call the Fiscal Sponsorship Coordinator to discuss the specifics of your project before proceeding with the application process.

 

We do not sponsor narrative/fiction films or any project not directly related to the documentary genre or to Flickers's mission.

 

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What do you mean by “non-commercial”?
To take advantage of the benefits of fiscal sponsorship the primary purpose of your project must be non-commercial (artistic, educational, or charitable in nature). Projects we sponsor are mainly funded by donations, grants and the film makers themselves. Projects funded by investors are ineligible. If you have any further questions about whether your project qualifies for fiscal sponsorship, contact the Fiscal Sponsorship Coordinator before beginning your application.

 

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What type of fundraising help and grant writing services do you offer?
You are responsible for raising all the funds for your own project. We do not fundraise for your project, nor do we provide any formal research or grant proposal-writing services. We will however do our best to answer questions, collaborate on grant proposals when necessary, point you towards helpful resources, and offer fundraising and grant-seeking advice whenever we can. We are here to help so don’t hesitate to give us a call with any fundraising or grant related questions.

 

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Why do you take 5% of the money if we do all the fundraising?
A program like this has significant overhead and administrative costs. The 5% fee covers the cost of running the program, processing all administered funds, and is what allows us to offer this valuable service to our members. Application fees alone wouldn’t even begin to cover our program related expenses.

 

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Can my project have more than one fiscal sponsor?
Yes. We do not require that Flickers be your exclusive fiscal sponsor. If you already have a primary fiscal sponsor and are applying to Flickers for additional sponsorship please contact the Fiscal Sponsorship Coordinator to discuss your specific situation before beginning our application process. Unfortunately, we cannot sponsor projects solely to administer a single, one time only grant. You must complete the entire application process and be actively fundraising from multiple sources to participate in our program.

 

There may be situations where a specific grant requires an in-state fiscal sponsor. Since we are registered in Rhode Island we may not be able to sponsor you for certain grants in other states. However, you are free to pursue secondary fiscal sponsorship with a local organization in the state where you will be applying for the grant.

 

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There is a grant application that is due in two weeks and they require a fiscal sponsor. If I submit my application, can you expedite it ASAP to meet the grant deadline?
No. We WILL NOT and DO NOT expedite applications to meet last minute grant deadlines. Our application review process takes 4 - 6 weeks and we do not guarantee that your project will automatically be accepted into the program.

 

We receive many applications on a monthly basis. They are processed in the order they are received. It is not fair to others who are patiently waiting if we expedite your proposal ahead of theirs.

 

Please budget our review process time-line with the grant deadlines.

 

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How do I apply?
To apply for fiscal sponsorship, you will need to fill out the application form. You may download our Fiscal Sponsorship Application, follow the instructions listed, and submit the completed application for review. For more information please contact the Fiscal Sponsorship Coordinator.

 

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Can I apply for fiscal sponsorship for my company if we are producing multiple projects?
We only sponsor specific projects, not individuals or companies. You must apply separately for each project you are working on. If you are applying for sponsorship of more than one project you must be able to show in your application that you have the resources to work on more than one project at a time and explain how those resources will be divided between active projects.

 

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If I am a member of Flickers is my project automatically sponsored?
No. While you must be a member of Flickers to take advantage of our fiscal sponsorship program, sponsorship is not automatic. You must apply to the program. Unless you have signed an official fiscal sponsorship agreement you may not solicit funds through Flickers’s fiscal sponsorship program.

 

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I’m not a U.S. citizen. Can I still apply for fiscal sponsorship with Flickers?
Yes. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to apply for fiscal sponsorship with Flickers. However, at least one of your project’s named project directors will need to have a SSN (social security number), ITIN (independent Taxpayer Identification Number), or other type of IRS registration.

 

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How much does Fiscal Sponsorship cost?
There is a $75 nonrefundable application processing fee when you apply and a $50 yearly commitment fee after your first year in the program. The yearly commitment fee will be waived when your project receives over $1000 in donations during a calendar year.

 

We charge a 5% administrative fee for most grants and donations received on behalf of a sponsored project (this fee will be higher for government grants). Our fees are some of the lowest you will find and are very competitive with other fiscal sponsorship programs.

 

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What percentages of applications are approved for fiscal sponsorship?
Over 92% of proposals submitted are ultimately accepted into our program. Our goal is to help documentary projects get made and funded. We will work with you whenever possible to address problems in your application and help your project get accepted.

 

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My film is mostly completed and I just need fiscal sponsorship for post production and distribution. Can I still apply?
Yes! We can work with projects in all phases of production.

 

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Can I start accepting donations and applying for grants through Flickers while I am waiting for my fiscal sponsorship application to be approved?
No. Until we have a signed contract, your project is not sponsored by Flickers and cannot solicit tax-deductible donations or apply for foundation grants on Flickers’s behalf.

 

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How detailed and complete does my budget need to be?
You should submit a complete budget that is as detailed as possible. Do your best to get well researched estimates for all project related costs that you anticipate. Your budget should not include things like “To be Determined.” We need an actual dollar amount for all projected expenses. We understand that production related costs and services can change. You can submit reasonable changes and amendments to your budget as your project progresses, but you should be as thorough as possible with your initial budget.

 

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Can I include a salary for myself in my fiscal sponsorship budget?
Yes! We strongly encourage you to include a salary for yourself in your project budget. You deserve to be paid a fair price for your hard work. It is important however that any salaries specified in your budget be proportional to your overall budget and fall well within the accepted industry norms for non-commercial documentary projects. Budgets with salaries or other expenses that are deemed excessive will be rejected.

 

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If I have a project in fiscal sponsorship are my future projects automatically sponsored too?
No. You must fill out separate applications for each project you work on. Even if you have worked with us before, sponsorship is never automatic.

 

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If I find a grant that does not require a fiscal sponsor can I apply on my own?
Yes. You are free to pursue multiple sources of revenue to fund your project. If you find a grant that you qualify for as an individual artist, you can apply and accept those funds outside of your fiscal sponsorship arrangement with Flickers.

 

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I have someone who would like to make an in-kind donation to my project. How can I get them a tax receipt for their donation?
We can only accept and process money donations. Unfortunately, we cannot grant a tax deduction for in-kind donations (i.e. donated film stock, craft services, or donated bookkeeping services) to your project. Please note that we cannot make any exceptions to this policy. For more information or contact the Fiscal Sponsorship Coordinator.

 

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Someone would like to make a credit card donation to my project. Is that possible?
Yes. We currently accept credit cards, checks, wire transfers, and paypal donations.

 

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I have a project in fiscal sponsorship, how can I get it up on the website to accept donations?
View instructions.

 

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Is my project eligible for matching gifts?
Yes. We can process and accept matching gifts from businesses when an employee has made an eligible donation. Each company has their own rules and procedures for processing these donations. Employees or businesses who would like to make eligible gifts should contact the appropriate person at their place of employment for details on how to proceed. After a matching gift has been initiated, please let us know that a matching donation will be arriving and ask your company to reference the project you are donating to somewhere on the check or accompanying letter.

 

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I’m selling DVDs on my website, how can people who purchase them receive a tax deduction?
Unfortunately, they can’t. A donation is a gift made for charitable purposes. That gift must be given without return consideration. If any goods or services are received it is considered a purchase or a sales transaction, not a donation. Payment for DVDs, ticket sales, promotional merchandise, and etc. should be made directly to you or your company, not to Flickers.

 

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I want to have a raffle or auction at my next fundraising party. How do I handle those donations?
We unfortunately cannot accept any money generated by auctions or raffles.

You can still hold a raffle or auction to benefit your project on your own, but money generated by an auction or raffle is not considered a charitable donation and is not tax-deductible. Money made from a raffle or auction should be made directly to you or your company, not Flickers.

 

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I have an overseas donor who would like to make a contribution in support of my project. Can they receive a tax benefit in their own country?
The tax receipt we provide to donors is only valid in the United States. Potential donors in other countries will need to consult with their own government and/or tax professionals about any benefit associated with donating to a US charity or nonprofit organization.

 

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How often can I request funds from my fiscal sponsorship account?
We write checks two times per month, on the 15th and last day of the month. You can request funds when you need them by filling out our official check request form and faxing or mailing it to our office before a disbursement date. We cannot accept fund requests over the phone or by email. We can usually write checks between official disbursement dates if you have an urgent situation. However, this is not something we will do for your project regularly. Please consider the disbursement dates and plan ahead whenever possible.

 

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Can I have funds transferred to my bank account instead of waiting for a check?
Wire transfers are possible, but only under emergency circumstances. Wire transfers are not a standard procedure for issuing funds. You should not rely on this option.

 

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What can I pay for with money received through fiscal sponsorship?
You can pay for any approved project related expense with money from your fiscal sponsorship account. You should refer to the budget that was approved with your application for any questions about what is and is not an approved expense or line item. Using money from fiscal sponsorship for anything that is not directly related to producing your project is against the law and could have very serious consequences for you, your project, Flickers, donors, and foundations who have given to your project. If you have any concerns about what is or is not a legitimate project related expense please contact the Fiscal Sponsorship Coordinator.

 

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Can I pay for equipment with money from my fiscal sponsorship account?
Yes. You can pay for equipment that is directly related to your project and purchasing it was accounted for in the budget that was approved with your fiscal sponsorship application. If the equipment is necessary for your project but was not accounted for in your budget you can submit a revised budget for approval. The budget that was approved with your application should be your guide for what is and isn’t an approved expense.

 

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Do I need to keep receipts and records of how I spend the money you send me?
YES!!! Proper record keeping is essential and cannot be emphasized enough. Flickers is legally responsible for all funds that come through the fiscal sponsorship program. As a project director, you are legally and contractually responsible for reporting back to us on exactly how any funds you receive are spent on your project. Please refer to our project report forms for specific reporting requirements. You will also need access to receipts and records when you file your taxes so when in doubt, don’t throw it out!

 

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Do I need to have a separate bank account to accept fiscal sponsorship funds or can the checks be made directly to me?
You are not required to have a separate bank account for your project, but we strongly recommend it. Keeping track of finances for tax purposes is much easier with a dedicated account. Even if you are managing your project as an individual you can still speak with your bank about getting a separate account just for your project.

 

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Do I need to report the money I receive through fiscal sponsorship to the IRS?
Yes! We strongly advise everyone to consult a tax professional after your acceptance into the Fiscal Sponsorship program. You are responsible for reporting all income, including money received through fiscal sponsorship, to the IRS. If you have been diligently keeping track of the money received and spent on project related expenses, you shouldn’t owe any taxes on the money we send you, except for what you will owe on your project related salary. However, we can not guarantee that you will have no tax liability. You must speak to your own tax advisor to discuss your personal circumstances. Please consult a tax professional for any specific tax questions. We’ll do our best to offer general guidance, but our staff is not qualified, nor legally permitted, to answer any specific tax related questions.