Fiscal Sponsorship Eligibility & Program Readiness

Your group may be a good match for Propel’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program if:

  • Your project aligns with Propel’s mission, vision, and values 
  • You share Propel’s commitment to social, racial, and economic justice 
  • You will apply funds raised toward charitable purposes with a clear nonprofit mission  
  • The majority of your programming is located in Minnesota, adjacent areas in the surrounding states, or within Native Nations that share this geography. 
  • You are incorporated or willing to incorporate as a charitable organization and secure an EIN 
  • You have at least three board members or are willing to establish a board when you incorporate 
  • You are ready, or will soon be ready to apply for grants and/or engage in other fundraising 
  • You may want to explore becoming a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization  

Ready to take action?

Attend a free information session

Groups engaged in the following activities are NOT eligible for Fiscal Sponsorship:

  • Designed primarily to financially benefit an individual or business (non-charitable) 
  • International activities involving financial transactions 
  • Raising funds through charitable gambling (such as raffles or bingo fundraisers) 
  • Licensed mental health care, medical services, personal care, or childcare as a direct service. Education and/or support services that do not require special licensing are allowed. 
  • Organizations that require exceptional governmental oversight and licensing 
  • Organizations that have already received their federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS 

Program Readiness:

ur application process includes questions that help to gauge your readiness for fiscal sponsorship at Propel. We use the guidelines below as we review your application.  

Charitable Purpose 

  • You have created a statement of purpose and have a clear vision for your programs or activities. 
  • You have built a case for why your work is needed.  
  • You are working beyond yourself to reshape systems that have historically withheld power, address the immediate gaps left by other institutions, and provide access to resources for all.  

Community Connection and Accountability 

  • You are connected and accountable to the community you plan to work with. 
  • Your leadership team has the knowledge, connection, and experience/expertise to serve your community.  
  • There is established community demand for your programs or activities. 
  • Your organization helps create more equitable communities.  

Program Plan and Activities 

  • You can clearly describe your programs, activities, and timeline. 
  • You have already taken some action to establish programming or activities, or you have mission-related activities planned for the near future.  
  • You can describe how you will measure the impact of your work. 

Governance & Leadership 

  • You have a leadership team with the capacity and commitment to build a sustainable organization. 
  • You are prepared to make decisions in the organization’s best interest (not primarily to benefit an individual involved with the project). 

Fundraising and Financial Management 

  • You understand the costs of your activities and have identified some sources of contributions and grants. 
  • You have a plan, or are working on one, to achieve financial viability and programmatic success. 
  • You are prepared to keep and maintain complete and accurate financial records of all income and expenses. 

There are many stages to starting a nonprofit. If you are just starting out, visit the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits website to review the stages of starting a nonprofit: 

In general, you will be a good fit for Propel’s fiscal sponsorship program if you are past the “Step 1 – Visionary Stage.”  

Inquiry and Application Process

Step 1: Review Propel’s fiscal sponsorship eligibility criteria and readiness guidelines above. Free information sessions with fiscal sponsorship program staff are held regularly and include time for questions.  

Step 2: If you determine that you meet the program’s eligibility criteria and preparedness guidelines, fill out an Inquiry Form. After you submit, our team will set up a phone or video chat to learn more about your project. 

Step 3: If we determine that your project is a good match, you will be invited to complete a Full Application.  

Step 4: Final approval is granted by a committee, which meets monthly. 

The average turnaround time from application to approval is approximately 4-6 weeks. 

Program Costs

Setup: Upon acceptance, a one-time onboarding fee of $300 is due. 

Annual Renewal: Each year on September 30, a fee of $100 is due.  

Administrative Costs: 

7% of all funds received at Propel  

9% of all government grants (when permitted). 

Ready to apply?

If you are ready to apply for Fiscal Sponsorship, please fill out an Inquiry Form.