Becoming a Project
Short- to mid-term support
We provide legal, fiscal and administrative sponsorship for individuals and groups that want to work for social change without all the hassle of immediately creating their own non-profits, but who eventually want to develop independent organizations. By helping ‘incubate’ these new efforts, we allow people with new ideas to begin testing them right away and ‘get to the mission at hand’ in a supportive, trusting, collaborative environment.
We give you a sophisticated non-profit home and the ability to receive tax deductible donations as well as an administrative ‘back office.’ In addition, we offer consulting to help you strengthen your work. Then, as your project develops and when the time is right, we help you ‘spin off’ and become an independent non-profit.
Ongoing Sponsorship Services
Some individuals and groups want the freedom to pursue important social change without ever developing and managing an independent non-profit and dealing with the administrative complexity that comes along with it. In order to meet that need, we can also provide long-term legal, fiscal and administrative sponsorship.
Basically, our ongoing sponsorship services offer all the benefits of our short-term services over the long haul. Some entities calculate fiscal sponsorship to be the most cost-effective way to support their Mission, and never become an independent non-profit, and that’s okay.
Eligibility for fiscal sponsorship through OMF is achieved as follows:
If you understand Open Media Foundation’s fiscal sponsorship model and believe it is appropriate for your organization, the first step in the process to become a project of OMF is to determine if your project is a good fit for our mission and legal framework
OMF partners with individuals, groups, foundations and funders to put the power of the media and technology in the hands of the people in order to enable every person to actively engage in their community and bring about the change they wish to see in the world.
OMF provides the legal 501(c)(3) status for all projects. OMF is legally and financially responsible for all OMF projects and activities. Projects are not separate entities or affiliated organizations—projects are OMF. Because they are an integral part of OMF and not separate legal entities, projects are able to receive charitable donations and grants available only to tax-exempt organizations. However, projects may not receive funds or operate programs through any other entity while operating as a project of OMF.
Additionally, OMF’s Board of Directors has full governing authority, and full legal and fiduciary responsibility, for all projects, employees, and activities of OMF. To uphold OMF’s legal nonprofit status, to ensure all projects follow the IRS regulations, and to maintain compliance with the law, OMF’s staff monitors and maintains project finances, human resources, payroll, leases, contracts, and insurance.
a. Project activities must contribute to the mission of OMF
b. Activities must be charitable in purpose
c. Your project must plan to stay with OMF for at least one year
d. The Project Director or other designated project staff member must have regular access to the internet and email to maintain communication with OMF staff
Currently, OMF does not provide fiscal sponsorship to:
a. Projects with less than $10,000 in confirmed funding
b. Projects that are funded exclusively by government grants without advances
c. Projects that will continue to operate under their own or another fiscal sponsor’s 501(c)(3). If your project already has a 501(c)(3) determination, it must be made dormant while a project of OMF
d. Projects with international activities but no U.S. base of operations
e. Individuals or for-profit entities
If your project falls into any of the five categories listed above, it is ineligible to become a project of OMF.
Now we need to learn more about the specifics of your team and objectives. The OMF application is designed to help easily and clearly express the essence of your Project, while ensuring it satisfies our Board-mandated requirement for due diligence. Please review, complete and return the following:
a. Application Form: This is a webform completed and submitted online at tbd
b. References: Please provide two letters of reference from people who know you well enough to comment on past and present work, your character, and your deep-seated commitment to work toward accomplishing your vision. Be sure to indicate on the application form the names and contact information, including email, for each reference. Your references should email their letters directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once received, your application and references will be reviewed to verify OMF is a good fit for you and your project. This evaluation will take less than one week, and we’ll contact you as soon as we’ve made a determination. Once we decide OMF can help you, we’ll setup either a personal meeting, or a phone conference.
During this time, we’ll ask any further questions, and give you the opportunity to ask us questions you may have. The purpose of the interview is to clarify how we can best serve you and your vision, and to ensure you understand clearly what it means to work under the organizational umbrella of OMF.
6. Proposed Contract
After our interview, once we’ve mutually agreed to move forward, we’ll transmit a proposed contract. Once completed, we’ll submit the contract to our Board of Directors for final approval. Once they approve the contract, we’ll begin working together to advance your vision and project!