Fiscal Sponsorship Program

PDF regards fiscal sponsorship as a natural extension of our mission and program, and we work with 35 fiscally sponsored groups. With offices in California and Massachusetts, we are able to offer fiscal sponsorship to groups across the U.S. and those based in the U.S. and working internationally.

We extend the legal framework of fiscal sponsorship which allows small and emerging grassroots groups to carry out their work without the burden of managing donations and other tax exempt requirements. Some groups stay in this format indefinitely; others grow from here and become their own entities. Some are international, others very local. All raise their own funds, manage their own programs and operate in a tax exempt manner, under the legal and management structure of PDF.

PDF hosts these fiscally sponsored projects as part of our commitment to serve the social justice movement, offering grants, training and other resources to communities and grassroots organizations, building the long-term movement for social, economic and environmental justice, human rights and democratic principles. We work locally, think internationally and act strategically to help people in struggle. Our Fiscal Sponsorship Program reflects those commitments and principles.

Read our Fiscal Sponsorship Program Handbook and learn how to apply to the Fiscal Sponsorship Program.

To contact Foundation Officer Emily Serafy-Cox about the program, click here or call 413-256-8306 x100.

To read more about our fiscally sponsored projects or to make a gift in support of their work, click on the links below:

Fiscal Sponsorship Application & Reporting

PDF’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program is a grantor-grantee relationship model, commonly known as Model C. In this model, the sponsored project, or grantee, is not a program or initiative of PDF, the grantor and sponsor. The project has its own legal, tax and accounting identity, subject to various state and federal laws.

When the grantee has a specific charitable or educational project it would like funded and does not have the capacity to accept tax-deductible donations directly, PDF furthers its tax-exempt purposes by making one or more grants for a project that shares PDF’s mission and vision: to nourish, foster, and encourage the diverse, self-sustaining and economically viable communities that are essential to building a peaceful, just and equitable world.

PDF requires its fiscal sponsorship projects to take the lead in raising all funds subject to PDF guidance, and reserves the right to review and approve all solicitation material to ensure that the project furthers only charitable goals and does not confuse or violate federal or state legal requirements. By law, all individual, foundation and other donations intended for the sponsored project must go directly to and belong to PDF, whose board of directors has the sole discretion whether and when to distribute those funds to the project.

Benefits of fiscal sponsorship

  • A project can receive tax deductible donations from individuals, and apply for and receive public and private foundation grants.
  • A project that is just beginning can “incubate” and expand while a project that is short-term can receive tax-deductible donations, achieve its goal and disband.
  • Better fund-raising opportunities because of PDF’s experience and reputation, enabling a project to raise funds and track donors more effectively.
  • A project can build its donor base before applying for its own 501(c)(3).
  • Project is included on PDF’s website with option for link to grantee’s own information page and ability to receive on-line donations.
  • PDF staff, with more than three decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, can offer project advice and guidance as the project develops.
  • Fewer start-up costs because project is not required to incorporate (it can remain an unincorporated association) or acquire its own 501(c)(3) status.
  • All donors are issued thank you receipts per IRS individual income tax and 501(c)(3) laws and regulations (grantees are also encouraged to send thank you letters).
  • Monthly reports provided to project listing details of all donations received with monthly issuing of grant disbursements when project balance is more than $500, or as requested by project.
  • Project’s donations and grants are included in PDF’s federal 990 annual filing.


PDF’s current fee for fiscal sponsorship administration is 7.5 percent of all monetary donations received on behalf of the project. Additionally, PDF requires a one-time, non-refundable $250 application fee and an annual $105 fee to maintain a project’s fiscal sponsorship status.

How to apply

The Fiscal Sponsorship Program accepts charitable and educational projects that further our mission as a public foundation. PDF offers fiscal sponsorship to projects that meet our Grantmaking guidelines. Our priority is to accept grassroots organizations that are led by the people directly affected by the issues faced in their communities. Please read our Grantmaking Guidelines and Fiscal Sponsorship Program Handbook carefully and submit a completed application on-line for consideration.

Please see “Questions and forms” below for more information.

Application deadline

There are no deadlines. Applications are currently being accepted.

Geographic scope

PDF accepts applications from projects seeking fiscal sponsorship that are based in the United States and its territories. These projects may carry out work that is local, state wide, regional or international in scope.

Languages accepted

PDF is only able to accept applications in English.

Grantmaking process

PDF takes seriously its responsibility to give each potential grantee due consideration. A staff member reads each fiscal sponsorship application carefully and follows up with the project if any questions arise from the application materials provided. Projects recommended by the staff are forwarded to the board of directors for consideration. The board may request additional information or clarification of information provided. The process of acceptance into the PDF Fiscal Sponsorship Program takes approximately four weeks and we request your patience as we ensure that all PDF and legal requirements are met.

Questions and forms

If you have any questions about PDF’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program or application e-mail us and a staff member will get back to you.  Peace Development Fund only accepts applications online.

Fiscal Sponsorship Program Handbook

Sample Budget Spreadsheet

Helpful Tips

Please review our Program Handbook (link above) before starting your application and contact us with any questions.

An application fee of $250 must be sent to: Peace Development Fund, Attn: Fiscal Sponsorship Program, PO Box 1280, Amherst, MA 01004-1280. Your application will only be reviewed after the fee has been received.

To start your application, click here

To return to your account, click here

Please Note: PDF’s fiscal sponsorship grant application is designed to cover a wide range of organizations. Some organizations may not be able to answer or may not have answers for all questions. Please fill it out to the best of your ability. If necessary, PDF will follow-up for any questions that your application raises.


All grantees are required to submit an annual written report describing the manner in which the funds have been spent and the progress made in accomplishing the purposes of the grant. Organizations with overdue final reports are ineligible for future funding consideration until the report is submitted.

Report Due Dates – July 31st each year.

Languages Accepted – PDF only accepts reports in English.

Grant report form

Fiscal sponsorship grantees should access the report form from their account here.