• Mark Gunther

    I am the Board Chair of an agency that has recently emerged from five years of fiscal sponsorship. I can say without a qualm that it was wonderful during the launch phase, enabling staff to focus exclusively on mission and growth. However, when the accounting department of the fiscal sponsor faced some turbulence we got caught in the backwash, going for months without reliable accounting information. Also, at a certain point the sponsor fee exceeded the cost of purchasing similar services on the open market. There is a group in our region that specializes in fiscal sponsorship and sponsors 100+ programs; however, their rules and systems are pretty doctrinaire. We had to eliminate this group from consideration early on because they couldn’t adequately support our information requirements around the diverse revenue streams we were developing. Beginning as a fiscally sponsored agency and transitioning to full independence later was the right choice for us. That said, long term (10+ years and counting) sponsorship has proved valuable for several agencies we know of in our region.