The Center for Community Stewardship currently offers two program areas:
This initiative helps social entrepreneurs do their good work in our community without needing to have their own nonprofit. Fiscal Sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which the Center for Community Stewardship sponsors projects that lack tax-exempt status. This alternative to starting a nonprofit allows projects to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations under C4CS’s exempt status. C4CS fiscal sponsorship offers projects comprehensive finance and accounting service, general liability insurance, human resources and payroll services (for projects with employees), and tax, audit, and other services to ensure projects are in full compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
Why use a fiscal sponsor? Starting a project through a fiscal sponsor is easier for two reasons: time and money. Forming a nonprofit and applying for tax exemption from the IRS often requires a lawyer and generally takes a minimum of six months. There is a newer, simplified IRS form that shortens the process for small organizations (learn more here), but for some initiatives, fiscal sponsorship may be a better choice. Some projects go on to form their own 501(c)3, some projects remain a fiscally sponsored project, and others close after achieving the short-term goal their project was created to achieve.
Our fiscally-sponsored projects span all fields. The start-up cost for new projects is $250, and the administrative percentage charged on project income is 8%. To talk to us about becoming a project, contact Lisa Dugdale at ldugdale @ community-stewardship.org or (608) 620-4266. After this conversation an initial meeting will be set up with the Project lead(s), Lisa, and Bert Stitt (C4CS’s Founder). If all parties agree to go ahead with the fiscal sponsorship agreement, a contract will be signed, and the project will officially be voted in by the Board of Directors at the monthly C4CS Board meeting.
Our Community Facilitation program is currently in its pilot phase. The Community Conversations initiative will offer planning and facilitation services for community visioning processes. The Community Facilitation Fund Pilot will offer facilitation training and support to nonprofits, schools, and other community-building initiatives in Madison. Through “Introduction to Facilitation” trainings and facilitation and meeting support, we aim to increase the capacity of community initiatives to hold meetings and community engagement forums that are welcoming to all, participatory, and well-planned and facilitated. If you have a project you’d like facilitation support for, please contact us.