Fiscal Sponsorship FAQ

What is the difference between corporate sponsorship and fiscal sponsorship?

Corporate support usually consists of goods or money given directly to the project. Often the Corporation expects something in return for this donation, like advertising or the use of the project for publicity purposes. Fiscal sponsorship allows artists to gain access to funding opportunities that are only available to 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.

Does From The Heart‘s fiscal sponsorship provide direct funding?

No, but it allows you to apply for grants that require a non-profit status. You can apply for our Roy W. Dean grants and you will find all that information separate on the web site. From the Heart Productions (FTH) being your fiscal sponsor will not keep you from entering the Roy W. Dean Film Grants.

What types of projects are eligible for fiscal sponsorship through From The Heart Productions Inc?

We accept film and media projects.  That includes documentary, narrative feature films, short films, and web series.  Fiction or non-fiction.  It can be at any stage of production including completed (since you may need funding for distribution).

Is there a minimum fundraising goal for fiscally sponsored projects?

Yes, We require all projects we accept into fiscal sponsorship to have at least a $10,000 fundraising goal.

What is the cost of fiscal sponsorship?

There is a $80 non-refundable application processing fee which is tax deductible. 

Our fee is 6% for checks and wires and 7% for credit cards using either Paypal or through our Allyra fundraising platform (formerly WeDidIt). 

You can also use your fiscal sponsorship to fundraise on Indiegogo, Seed&Spark, and Kickstarter in order to give donors a tax deduction for their donations for an additional 3% above each platform’s standard fees. 

There is an additional 1% fee for all credit card transactions made from outside the U.S. 

These fees cover our legal, administrative, and accounting costs. 

Can my fees go down the more I raise?

We have a sliding scale. For films that reach $500,000, our fee goes to 5% for check and wire and 6% for credit card donations.

Also, we set our discounted structure by the filmmaker not the film.  That means by staying with From the Heart Productions as your fiscal sponsor for multiple projects,  we count the funds you raise on each film towards your reduced fees.  For more information email

Can I finance my feature film with both investors and donors?

The answer of course is yes.  You can use From the Heart Productions for receiving money through our nonprofit and then decide you want to take investments. The donations you receive you will never need to pay back. The investment goes through your attorney.

Does From The Heart Productions work with other crowdfunding platforms?

Yes.  In fact, From The Heart Productions Inc was one of the first non-profits offer crowdfunding platforms with fiscally sponsored projects.   

Our Allyra platform allows filmmakers to offer perks, videos, peer-to-peer fundraising, text-to-donate, and more.  Donors can cover your credit card processing fees. Click here to read more about it.

We also fiscally sponsor films on  Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Seed & Spark, and other sites.  We’ll help you choose the best platform for your crowdfunding campaign.

Click here to read more about how we can help you succeed with your crowdfunding campaign. 

How do I set up a campaign on Indiegogo / Kickstarter / Seed&Spark and connect it to From the Heart Productions? 

Please contact Shirley Bennett at to discuss the setup process before you set up your account with any of these platforms. We need to connect the platform to From the Heart before you design your campaign. 

How do I apply?

To request FTH be your fiscal sponsor, please complete the application form.  You can also email an outline for your film to . 

Is there an application deadline or application window?

No, applications can be submitted at any time year round and will be reviewed when received.

How long does it take to process my application?

It takes between 7 and 10 business days for FTH to review.

Can I get my project reviewed faster?

Yes, we offer an expedited review within 3 days for a $128 processing fee.  

Who reviews my application?

The application for fiscal sponsorship goes to the From the Heart Fiscal Sponsorship Review Committee.

What criteria do you use in whether or not you accept a project to fiscally sponsor?

Many factors go into our decision.  The most important is whether the project fits our mission.   Also, what is likelihood the project will get made.

How many projects are approved?

Over 95% of the projects are approved within the 10 days it takes to handle the application.

Can I reapply if not accepted?

Yes, FTH will discuss with anyone how to improve their project’s likelihood of getting made.  We will also help them complete their application if there are any questions so that it can be considered for approval for fiscal sponsorship.

When do the donated funds become available?

Checks are sent out 15 days after receipt of funds.

Can I start accepting donations and applying for grants through From The Heart while I am waiting for my fiscal sponsorship application to be approved?

You must wait until we’ve signed an agreement to be your fiscal sponsor.  Until then, your project is not sponsored by FTH and can’t solicit donations or grants on your behalf.

Can From The Heart Productions pay specific expenses out of donated funds for my project?

We can hold your funds and pay your vendors for you.  Just email

We will set up an accounting file showing your incoming funds and out going payments with a report of the balance you have on your account.  This will be submitted to you after each payment.  Please discuss with Shirley what your needs are to get the costs. 

Do I need to submit an annual financial report to From the Heart?

Yes, we request a report of monies received and spent for each fiscal year. We send requests in the second quarter of each year for reports from the previous year.

Can I get a receipt for a donation that was made?

Yes. Please contact our bookkeeper Shirley at to request this. 

A donor sent a donation but I have not received confirmation or been paid out. How can I follow up on this? 

Please contact our bookkeeper Shirley at to confirm the receipt and status of your donation. Please include the name of your project, the name of your donor, and the date, amount, and payment method of the donation

Can someone donate goods and services to my project? 

Yes, we accept non-cash donations of tangible items.  We will give the donor a letter of thanks and a receipt noting the items donated.  

Any kind of item can be donated.  We can accept almost any type of donated non-cash item for the purposes of a project and issue a receipt to the donor for the item. However, we cannot issue a donation letter for any large items such as boats, cars, or jets at this time.

Donations of intangible services such as legal services or rent free office space are very valuable but are not tax deductible under the law.  For that reason, we can’t issue a receipt for those types of donations.

Please contact to request a Donation of Goods form. 

Is there an expiration date for Fiscal Sponsorship? 

No. Your fiscal sponsorship is active indefinitely from the time your contract is signed, unless you request to have it terminated. 

How should donors make out and send checks?

Please make checks payable to From the Heart Productions, Inc. and mail your check to:

From The Heart Productions Inc.

1013 Harbor Blvd #53

Oxnard, CA 93035

Ask donors to put the name of your film or project in the Memo line of the check. 

Can I apply for Fiscal Sponsorship for an event, project, or organization that is not a film or series? 

We do accept non-film or multimedia related projects under our fiscal sponsorship on a case-by-case basis. Examples include other projects we consider are books or comic books, musical projects, and cause-based projects or events.

If you have a non-film or multimedia based project, please contact with information about your project before applying for Fiscal Sponsorship. 

Does fiscal sponsorship allow the project to be absolved from tax reporting?

No, projects that raise funds through FTH are responsible to report all the income to the federal government and pay taxes accordingly. Funds received through a fiscal sponsorship are considered income and are potentially subject to taxes.

All payments made to individuals must be reported by FTH to the IRS on a 1099 form. Payments made to Corporations will not be reported on a 1099 form.

Can people donate food, goods, and services other than money?

Yes, we accept non-cash donations of tangible items.  We will give the donor a letter of thanks and a receipt noting the items donated.  Just send us a list or description of the donation, amount, and where to send the letter.

Any kind of item can be donated.  We can accept almost any type of donated noncash item for the purposes of a project and issue a receipt to the donor for the item. However, we cannot, however, issue a donation letter for any large items such as boats, cars, or jets at this time.

Donations of intangible services such as legal services or rent free office space are very valuable but are not tax deductible under the law.  For that reason, we can’t issue a receipt for those types of donations.

On the goods donation form, what is the “Market Value of Goods” and “Amount of Charges by Vendor”?

“Market Value” is the amount the Vendor would normally charge for the purchase or rental of the goods, or a general retail price for the item. The “Amount of Charges by Vendor” indicates the amount the vendor is charging you for the item, if any. The Net Value of Donation equals the Market Value minus the Amount Charged. 

For example, if they are charging $300 for what would normally be a $1,000 camera rental, then the “Market Value” would be $1,000 and the “Amount of Charges by Vendor” would be $300. The “Net Value of Donation” would be $700. 

Can I receive donations through Facebook?

We advise fiscally sponsored filmmakers not to solicit donations via Facebook at this time.  While Facebook does give donors the ability to donate to From the Heart Productions through Facebook, these donations are processed and distributed to From the Heart in a lump payment.   So, there is not a way at this time for us to definitively determine where the money originated and to whose project it was intended.  

Do you accept stocks and bonds as donations?

Yes.  From The Heart now accepts stocks and bonds as donations.  Your donor would transfer the investments to our brokerage account for our non-profit.  The fiscal sponsorship fees apply for the donation along with any incidental brokerage fees.  Funds will be available in approximately 14 days.

Do I have donors make the check to From The Heart or my production?

All checks must be made out to From the Heart Productions, Inc.  Otherwise, we will not be able to give them the tax deduction (or deposit the check!).  Have the donor put the name of the production in the memo section of the check.

Can you accept donations by credit card?

FTH accepts all major credit cards, paypal payments, and wire transfers.

Can I apply for Fiscal Sponsorship as an international filmmaker?

In order to be eligible for Fiscal Sponsorship, you must have a U.S. Social Security Number or a U.S. Based Company with a TAX ID / EIN #. You can be a citizen of another country or live abroad as long as you have one of these. 

Does using From The Heart as a fiscal sponsor give them any creative control or rights on the project?

As your fiscal sponsor, FTH will not interfere with the intellectual property rights to the film or lay any claim to them.  

However, we’d love you to put our logo on all printed and online materials while we are your fiscal sponsor as well as in the film’s end credits.  If you want to invite us to the world premier or Oscar ceremony, that would be nice.   We will get our own limo.

What does From The Heart do with the fees they receive from the donations?

Besides covering costs and administrative expenses, FTH has run the Roy W. Dean Film Grant since 1992.   Given to a filmmaker with a project that is unique and makes a contribution to society, the grant is awarded three times each year.   A good portion of the fees from fiscal sponsorship goes back into the grant.

Besides cash award from FTH and free FTH services, the grant gives filmmakers goods and film services that will help them complete their project.  FTH gives advice to all the finalists on how to improve their project.  For more information on the grant, please go to Grant-Guidelines

How do I get my Free “How to Fund Your Film” Course?

If you are already fiscally sponsored by From the Heart Productions, please email to request your free course!

By the end, you will be INSPIRED, MOTIVATED, and CONFIDENT that you are on track to finally getting your film funded! Carole has created a fun, easy-to-follow, in-depth power-point recorded video class on film funding that gives you the tools and secrets you need to fund your film. Learn More