Alternate ROOTS appreciates your interest in applying for fiscal sponsorship. All applications will be thoroughly reviewed by our staff, and must be approved by our Executive Committee. Please review the guidelines below, fill out the application, and allow 6 weeks for evaluation and completion of the application process.

Fiscal Sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which an organization with 501(c)(3) status sponsors a project that lacks exempt status, allowing the sponsored organization to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations under the sponsor’s exempt status. In return for this service, a fee is collected based on the total donations received by the sponsored organizations.

Alternate ROOTS offers fiscal sponsorship to our members who lack the 501(c)(3) status that makes them eligible to apply for grants and tax deductible individual donations. The sponsored project could be an individual project, a one time collaboration, or a new organization. To be eligible, the project must be in alignment with ROOTS’ mission:

Alternate ROOTS is an organization based in the Southern USA* whose mission is to support the creation and presentation of original art, in all its forms, which is rooted in a particular community of place, tradition or spirit. As a coalition of cultural workers we strive to be allies in the elimination of all forms of oppression. ROOTS is committed to social and economic justice and the protection of the natural world and addresses these concerns through its programs and services.


To qualify for the Alternate ROOTS fiscal sponsorship program individuals and organizations must:

  • Have been a voting or general member of Alternate ROOTS for at least one year. Dues payment must be up to date.
  • Have an arts and/or social justice related mission
  • Apply funds raised toward non-profit purposes. Funds should not be used for the purpose of influencing legislation, such as lobbying
  • Project must be based in the Alternate ROOTS 14 state region

Application Process

  • Application to approval is approx 6 weeks
  • Applications are approved once monthly at ExComm meetings
  • Evaluation based on administrative capacity, alliance with ROOTS mission

Fiscal Sponsorship Fees

  • Fees are assessed based on the number of anticipated transactions (the number of payees, the number of donation or grants received)
  • Fees range from 6-12% of donations received


  • Renewed annually on anniversary date
  • Notice 8 weeks before renewal date

Managing Your Funds

  • Set Up a Bank Account
    • Alternate ROOTS requires setting up a separate checking account in either your or your organization’s name to receive and manage your funds.
  • Requesting a Disbursement of Funds
    • Funds received on behalf of fiscally sponsored organizations will be kept in a dedicated bank account until requested by the sponsoree
    • To request a disbursement fill out the Payment Request Form and email it to
    • Payments are generally processed every other week. Payment processing schedule with due dates will be provided.
    • Direct deposit is available. Please contact Paige Heurtin at for details.
  • Vendors Taxes & Reimbursement
    • Vendors, individual artists, or other unincorporated fiscal sponsor projects are treated as independent contractors; any contractor who receives $600 or more will be issued a 1099 at the end of the year.
    • Fiscally sponsored individuals and organizations should contact a tax professional for guidance on tax related issues.
    • Accounting records must be maintained by fiscally sponsored organizations. Financial statements should be submitted to Alternate ROOTS on a quarterly basis.
    • ROOTS will send quarterly updates on account balances and financial statements to sponsorees.


  • Donations
    • Donations received by Alternate ROOTS on behalf of fiscally sponsored organizations are tax deductible for donors
      • Because donations are legally made to ROOTS, we should be identified as the fiscal sponsor on any fundraising materials or solicitations (brochures, letters and event invites)
        • Sample Text: [Project Name] is a sponsored project of Alternate ROOTS, a nonprofit arts service organization. Contributions on behalf of [Project Name] may be made payable to Alternate ROOTS and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
    • Checks should be made out to “Alternate ROOTS” with the fiscal sponsored individual or organization’s name listed on the memo line.
    • Alternate ROOTS will send year end tax receipt letters to donors for donations of $75 and over.
  • Grants
    • For legal reasons, Alternate ROOTS must review any grant proposals the sponsoree plans to submit that require your fiscal sponsorship.
      • Grant proposals should be submitted for review no less than 10 days prior to due date.
    • ROOTS reserves the right to refuse to manage funds from proposals we do not endorse.
    • Requests for documents (copies of 501(c)(3) letter, 990, audited financial statements) should be made no less than one week (7 days) before the grant proposal is due. If the request is received with less than one week’s notice we cannot guarantee the request will be fulfilled.

Reporting by Fiscally Sponsored Organization to Alternate ROOTS

As your fiscal sponsor, Alternate ROOTS is legally responsible for ensuring that the funds we receive on your behalf are spent in alignment with your stated mission. For this reason, we require the following reporting:

  • Grant proposals submitted for review (at least 10 days before due date)
  • Grant interim and final reports (at least 7 days before submission to funders)
  • Budget and financial reports showing how funds were spent (quarterly)
  • Narrative report (no longer than one page) describing activities (quarterly)
  • Quarterly report due dates:
    • 1st Quarter ends March 31/report due April 20
    • 2nd Quarter ends June 30/report due July 20
    • 3rd Quarter ends September 30/report due October 20
    • 4th Quarter ends December 31/report due January 20

Reporting by Alternate ROOTS to Fiscally Sponsored Organizations

Alternate ROOTS will provide fiscally sponsored organizations with the following reports:

  • Income and Expense reports (quarterly)
  • Income and Expense reports by request, as needed for grant reporting
    • These requests should be submitted along with grant proposal and report narratives (at least 10 days notice before due date)

Still have questions? Please contact Paige Heurtin, Managing Director, at | 404.577.1079.

Alternate ROOTS supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression—everywhere.