Project Sponsorship

Approved by vote of board on 19 November 2016.

Are you interested in joining or otherwise having the support of Stumptown Syndicate?

There are two ways for your project to join and have the support of Stumptown Syndicate: Your project can apply for program sponsorship or fiscal sponsorship.

Program Sponsorship

Program sponsorship means that your project becomes a main activity of Stumptown Syndicate and we assume responsibility for its governance.

SERVICES PROVIDED BY PROGRAM SPONSORSHIP

As a program of Stumptown Syndicate, projects receive:

  • All of services provided by Fiscal Sponsorship (see below).
  • Leadership, guidance, and assistance in all program activities: Fundraising, program design, staffing, volunteer management, outreach and marketing, etc.
  • Fiduciary and legal oversight for the program’s activities by the Stumptown Syndicate board.

REQUIREMENTS

The following is generally required in order to become one of our programs:

  • A Stumptown Syndicate board or staff member willing to act as steward for the project.
  • Identified project liaison.
  • A fundraising strategy and plan.
  • Available staff and/or volunteers who can implement program work, or a plan for recruiting them.
  • Alignment with our existing near-term strategic plan.
  • Compliance with Stumptown Syndicate policies and branding guidelines.

RELATIONSHIP OF STUMPTOWN SYNDICATE AND ITS PROGRAMS

  • Fiscal Sponsorship: Stumptown Syndicate acts as a fiscal sponsor for its programs.
  • Project Independence: Stumptown Syndicate holds ultimate ownership, governance and control over projects that apply and are accepted as programs. All actions by Stumptown Syndicate on behalf of associated projects must comply with relevant laws, Stumptown Syndicate bylaws and 501(c)3 regulations. Projects that are part of Stumptown Syndicate should not have a similar relationship with other fiscal sponsors.
  • Freedom to Leave: The project liaison(s) may not simply decide that the project is leaving Stumptown Syndicate. Stumptown Syndicate may discontinue or transfer a sponsored program project by vote of the Board of Directors only. Should this happen, any assets and money held by Stumptown Syndicate for the project may be transferred to a 501(c)3 US non-profit or simply held until expended.
  • Liability: When appropriate, Stumptown Syndicate indemnifies and insures associated projects and activities.

Fiscal Sponsorship

Stumptown Syndicate may act as a project’s fiscal sponsor by providing a number of services, including the benefits of being a 501(c)(3) non-profit. A 10% administrative fee applies to all revenue managed for fiscally sponsored programs.

SERVICES PROVIDED BY FISCAL SPONSORSHIP

Services we provide as a fiscal sponsor include:

  • Accepting Donations and Holding Funds
  • Holding Substantial Assets
  • Holding Intangible Assets
  • Signing Contracts
  • Legal Assistance
  • Technical Services

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR PROJECTS SEEKING FISCAL SPONSORSHIP

The requirements for fiscal sponsorship are:

  • Relevance: Does your project have some connection to educational activities that are tech/maker focused?
  • Substance: Does your project have an established group of organizers and some existing body of work?
  • Significance: In what way does your project provide some significant impact, either to a broad audience or a specific, targeted audience?

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUMPTOWN SYNDICATE AND PROJECTS IT FISCALLY SPONSORS

The following outlines the relationship of Stumptown Syndicate to projects it sponsors fiscally:

  • Fiscal Sponsorship: Stumptown Syndicate acts as a fiscal sponsor for associated projects.
  • Project Independence: Stumptown Syndicate does not own, govern or control the associated projects. All actions by Stumptown Syndicate on behalf of associated projects must comply with relevant laws, Stumptown Syndicate bylaws and 501(c)3 regulations. Stumptown Syndicate does not prohibit the project having a similar relationship with other fiscal sponsors.
  • Freedom to Leave: The project liaison(s) may decide that the project is leaving Stumptown Syndicate at any time. Any assets and money held by Stumptown Syndicate for the project may be transferred to a 501(c)3 US non-profit of the liaison’s choice, or simply held until expended.
  • Liability: Stumptown Syndicate does not indemnify associated projects or members.

Requirements for all projects Sponsored by Stumptown Syndicate

All projects sponsored by Stumptown Syndicate, via program or fiscal sponsorship, must meet the following requirements:

  • Their activities must be compatible (i.e. not work against) to our mission to envision a Pacific Northwest that is home to many vibrant, diverse, accessible and inclusive tech communities of caring, actively engaged people.
  • The project must abide by Stumptown Syndicate’s guiding principles or a compatible set. http://stumptownsyndicate.org/about/guiding-principles/
  • The project must adopt and enforce the Citizen Code of Conduct or a compatible community conduct standard.

Choosing Between Program and Fiscal Sponsorship

Deciding which type of sponsorship to apply for is an important decision, so your project liaison(s) and contributors should consider it carefully. Ultimately it comes down to how much independence and support you want for your project. Also keep in mind that it’s possible to start as a project that we fiscally sponsor and transition to a full Stumptown Syndicate program later on. So, if you’re unsure, apply for fiscal sponsorship. Also feel free to get in touch with the board to discuss your situation and particular concerns. We’re here for you!

Below is a chart delineating some of the key differences between fiscal and program sponsorship.

Fiscal Sponsorship Program Sponsorship
Independence & Decision-Making Our project would like to be able to make all decisions autonomously.

We wish to have a good working relationship with Stumptown Syndicate and also maintain the ability to end our relationship at any time.

We would like to make most of our decisions autonomously AND we are okay with ultimate oversight and guidance from the Stumptown Syndicate Board and Executive staff.

We wish to build a long-term, integral relationship with Stumptown Syndicate.

Fiduciary Needs Our primary fiduciary need is that of a bank account and a way to accept and distribute money.

We would like to benefit from Stumptown Syndicate’s 501(c)(3) status by taking donations that are tax-deductible in the US.

We do not need significant help fundraising and will do this on our own.

We need a bank account and a way to accept and distribute money.

We would like to benefit from Stumptown Syndicate’s 501(c)(3) status by taking donations that are tax-deductible in the US.

We also may need significant assistance and guidance with fundraising.

Infrastructure & Asset Needs We have some of our own infrastructure, but would like Stumptown Syndicate’s help in closing some of the gaps.

For example, we have some physical assets we would like Stumptown Syndicate to store or we would like the Syndicate to host our website, so our individual project contributors don’t have to do so personally.

We understand that the Syndicate does not own these items and will turn them over to a designated 501(c)(3) when asked.

We have very little of our own infrastructure and assets and would like Stumptown Syndicate to provide these.

We understand that any infrastructure and assets that we use belong to Stumptown Syndicate.

Program Development Needs We have a well-developed program and a substantial contributor community.

We do not need substantial help developing either. We do not expect guidance from Stumptown Syndicate unless we explicitly ask for it.

We are just getting started with our program work and/or developing our community.

We would like substantial assistance developing both and expect Stumptown Syndicate to provide this.

Branding & Identity We do not want to adopt or directly benefit from the Stumptown Syndicate brand or any associated identities (e.g. Open Source Bridge). We would like to adopt and benefit from the Stumptown Syndicate brand and have Stumptown’s help developing our program brand.

 

Application Processes

INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS

Generally the process starts with informal discussions between project representatives and one or more board members, initiated either by the project representatives or the board members. These discussions carry no commitment on either side and are an opportunity for the project and Stumptown Syndicate to establish if a formal application makes sense for the project.

Projects interested in becoming associated with Stumptown Syndicate are welcome to contact the board for a discreet informal discussion on whether the project is likely to be accepted. As this stage, the board may offer advice that will improve the chance of acceptance later.

If a board member is personally satisfied that the project is suitable for associated project status, they may agree to steward the project’s application.

FORMAL APPLICATION

If the project wishes to proceed, a formal application is submitted to Stumptown Syndicate.

The application form is available here, for both program and fiscal sponsorship: https://stumptownsyndicate.wufoo.com/forms/project-sponsorship-application/

DISCUSSION

Once the application is submitted, the board steward will draft a resolution to the board. This resolution will be presented to the board and its next formal meeting and discussed.

VOTE

If no further follow-up is requested by the board, the resolution will be voted on.

Board members will judge the application on several merits.

For Program Sponsorship:

  • Alignment: The degree to which the project furthers our mission and is aligned with our near-term strategic plan.
  • Financial Feasibility: The degree to which funds are available, or the feasibility of the proposed fundraising plan.
  • Ability to Implement: The availability of staff and/or volunteers with necessary skills and experience who can carry out program work, or feasibility of plan for recruiting them.

For Fiscal Sponsorship:

  • Relevance: Does your project have some connection to educational activities that are tech/maker focused?
  • Substance: Does your project have an established group of organizers and some existing body of work?
  • Significance: In what way does your project provide some significant impact, either to a broad audience or a specific, targeted audience?

ACCEPTANCE

If the resolution passes, the project is invited to become an associated project. The nominated liaison will be notified of the invitation. They will then have the amount of time stated in the resolution, usually 30 days, to officially accept.


License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. Portions of this text derived from Software in the Public Interest documentation: http://www.spi-inc.org/projects/associated-project-howto/