Diane’s Diary #35: What is Fiscal Sponsorship?
Note: This is Excerpt #35 in Diane’s Diary. If you would like to read previous excerpts, you can find Diane’s Diary 1-34 here.
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In Diane’s Diary #34 we shared a bit about the wonderfulness of filming at Big Heart Ranch in Malibu with Merging Vets and Players in June of 2020. My grad school program had just ended, and I had an idea in my head that I’d start writing grants, money would flow in and I’d start filming ASAP. Well, of course, we were in the throes of COVID, so filming stopped and there were no programs to film anyway. And, I have to admit, I was not very organized about how I wanted to go about writing grants.
Let me back up for a moment and explain why I can apply for grants. Animal Magic Films is not a 501c3 non-profit company. We are a private sector company, and private sector companies cannot apply for grants. However, it is common for artists (including filmmakers) who are seeking funding for their work, to have a fiscal sponsor. This way, these artists (individuals) don’t also have to manage the ins and outs of forming and maintaining non-profit status.
What is a fiscal sponsor? It is a 501c3 non-profit company who is willing and able to receive grant and foundation money and donations on your behalf and then distribute them to you for your project.
There are a few fiscal sponsors that are commonly used by filmmakers. The one that I chose is called From the Heart Productions. Carole Dean, who founded From the Heart is amazing.
In addition to fiscal sponsorship, From the Heart offers grants for filmmakers who apply and win the grant through the Roy W. Dean grant. Carole also teaches a “how to get funded” course and has written books called The Art of Film Funding and another one called The Art of Manifesting. In addition to all of the “how to get it done” support, she offers a bi-monthly mindset class about getting funded which I attend from time to time. Oh, and she also has a podcast where she either discusses mindset or interviews a filmmaker who has an interesting story to share. I have learned a ton from all of her offerings.
In the next blog post we will delve into some of what I have learned from Carole that has helped me so far. And we will circle back at some point about this whole grant writing business too.
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Before the pandemic (when this was filmed), therapy animals were making finals week just a tad bit less stressful for college students. Can you imagine how excited students will be when these visits resume in person?