Fiscal Sponsorship Setup

These are the basic steps a fiscal sponsorship project must take in order for the PSF to collect donations to a restricted account and reimburse receipted expenses from that restricted account.

Please note that after this is setup, at least one budget review with the PSF board will be scheduled for the project.


1   Resolution

If the PSF is willing to expend the resources to collect donations/sponsorships for the project, get a resolution passed, following a standard format:

2   Donation Page

A donation webpage will be then set up on, which is running CiviCRM, a FOSS web application designed to support non-profit organizations. For this task, we are using the CiviContribute component. This page can also be used to process conference sponsorships.

The project's own webpage or wiki will provide one or more links to the project's customized CiviCRM/CiviContribute donation webpage.

There are two tasks involved in setting up the donation system: CiviContribute form text customization, and integration with the PSF donation processing system.

Customization involves filling out a set of CiviContribute forms that guide the donor through the process. During the process, the donor will be re-directed to PayPal for payment. Payment can be made using a PayPal account or a credit card. At the end of the process, an acknowledgement email is sent to the donor, with a copy to one of the PSF's lists, , and a copy to one or more leaders of the project.

The donation page is customized by changing its webpage text and the contents of the acknowledgement email. These must be set up by the PSF's Treasurer based on input from the project.

Example pages:

There are two CiviContribute sections that have to be customized. On the "Title and Settings" page, there is a paragraph describing the project. Example:

On the "Thank You and Receipting" page, there are two text forms. The first contains the text the donor sees on the screen after completing the donation. Example:

The second form contains the text that is included in the acknowledgement email. Example:

Besides the text for these forms, we need the name and email address of the acknowledgement signer(s). It is possible to hide the email address in a Bcc:, if desired.

The texts above are only examples, and could be more extensive, if desired.

3   Sponsor Invoices

In most cases, sponsors can make their sponsorship payments directly though the donation page. In some cases, especially for larger corporations, a PSF invoice is required by the sponsor. Sometimes the sponsor will generate a purchase order which is required to be referenced on the PSF invoice. Contact the PSF Treasurer for further assistance with invoicing.

4   PSF Accounting

The next part is getting the donation into the PSF accounting system. The PSF donation system processes the acknowledgement email sent to psf-donations, resulting in an entry being made in the PSF's donation database. The PSF Treasurer makes an accounting entry each month which moves restricted donations from the general donation account to the restricted account associated with each fiscally sponsored project.

5   Disbursements

To make disbursements from the restricted fund, send the PSF Treasurer copies of your receipts/invoices, along with a summary "invoice" with a line item for each receipt requiring reimbursement.

Large invoices don't have to be previously paid by the project. If the project sends the PSF Treasurer an unpaid invoice, the PSF will remit payment directly to the invoice originator. (This approach is only appropriate for relatively large invoices, where the project lead can't reasonably prepay the invoice.)

However, all invoices should come through the project, and not be sent directly to the Treasurer by the vendor. That way, the PSF knows that the project lead has approved payment of the invoice.

To avoid writing and mailing a lot of small checks, it is preferred that the fiscal sponsored projects batch and pay the smaller invoices and send the Treasurer an overall invoice with receipt copies. Please number the receipts and tie those numbers to a line item on the summary. The summary invoice will be reimbursed in one payment. Please include the payee, method of payment, and postal address on the summary.

FiscalSponsorship (last edited 2014-02-12 17:04:21 by KurtBKaiser)

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