"Model A" Relationship

Model A: Direct Project

In the case of a Direct Project fiscal sponsorship relationship (“Model A”), the fiscally sponsored project (FSP) and Community Initiatives (CI) are legally considered one and the same. The FSP belongs to CI and is implemented by FSP/CI employees, contractors, and volunteers. Charitable donations are made to CI for the benefit of the FSP. CI assumes total liability for acts of the FSP’s employees. CI files all government forms (e.g., 1040, 1099, 990, payroll tax returns). Legally, the FSP is no different from any other activity carried on by CI directly. The FSP’s mandatory Advisory Committee is self-governing and hires, supervises, and terminates (if necessary) its Project Director.

In a “Model A” relationship, Community Initiatives supervises (via the Project Director) all programmatic operations of the FSP. These include:

  • All community programs
  • Public information work
  • Fundraising events
  • Processing and acknowledgment of cash and non-cash revenue items
  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Negotiation of leases and contracts
  • Disbursement of project funds (including grants) from an established restricted fund
  • Other activities conducted by the project

A fiscally sponsored project that has, or intends to have, paid employees (as separate from independent contractors) must be a “Model A” project. Under a “Model A” agreement, all project employees become at-will employees of Community Initiatives and are subject to the same personnel policies and benefits as all other Community Initiatives employees.

Please see Mutual Expectations for guidance on the fiscal sponsorship relationship.

Additional information can be found at the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors Guidelines for Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship.

“Community Initiatives is a great fit; they manage our finances and human resources, including payroll, benefits management, insurance, and employer-paid taxes. Relying on Community Initiatives’ administrative expertise to handle these back-office details allows Active Voice to concentrate on its mission and grow.”
Ellen Schneider Founder, Active Voice