WIFV is pleased to offer a Fiscal Sponsorship Program to support the film and media projects of its members. Through this program, WIFV’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status allows qualifying independent film productions to receive tax-deductible contributions and to solicit and receive grants available only to organizations with that IRS designation. To qualify, a project must be consistent with WIFV’s charitable mission, not produced solely for financial gain, and be women-led or women-focused.
WIFV is a known, experienced, and trusted fiscal sponsor. Moreover, our program is differentiated from many other fiscal sponsorship opportunities available to filmmakers by offering a mentoring component through accomplished WIFV members and its Executive Director, and bringing the power of its programming to address key education needs of our sponsored filmmakers.
WIFV’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program is just one of the ways that WIFV supports a vibrant Mid-Atlantic mediamaking community. We look forward to the many successful film and media projects that WIFV will help usher into creation through this program.
The next application deadline is October 23, 2023. More information about the program and how it works, along with instructions and forms for applying, are below. If you don’t find the information you are looking for, feel free to give us a call at the WIFV office at 202.429.9438.
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT ANY OF OUR FISCALLY SPONSORED PROJECTS!
Films for which WIFV is the fiscal sponsor
These are seeking donations.
A BAD DAY – Kimberley Spire-Oh, Ariel Baska;
AIN’T NO BACK TO A MERRY-GO-ROUND – Ilana Trachtman;
ANIM8NATURE – Kristin Reiber Harris
BAMAKO CHIC: Threads of Power, Color and Culture– Maureen Gosling, Maxine Downs;
BLUE RIDGE BARNUM– Emma Mankey Hidem;
BRIGIDY BRAM: The Kendal Hanna Story– Laura Gamse and Kareem Mortimer;
DESIGN/BUILD: How to Make – Allie Rood;
DRAGON FROM DETROIT: The Story of Sigrid Schultz – Vanessa Johnston;
FOOD, FIBER, & THE FEMALE FARMER – Cheryle Franceschi, Por Eco Productions, One Idea/Dos Languages, LLC
THE HISTORY OF SOLLEGARE ISLAND, A Landscape and Legacy – Thaddeus Johnson and Lauren Waring Douglas
INDELIBLE NARRATIVES: African American Government Girls – Aura Wharton-Beck, Ed.D.;
IN VINE WE TRUST – Chrisa Giorgi;
JAZZ NIGHT IN DC – Caitlin Carroll;
THE LAST BATTLEFRONT: Quest for the Vote in Washington, DC – Anna Reid Jhirad;
LIFE AT THE LIMIT – Celia de la Vega;
LI’L LIZA JANE: The Story of America Through the History of a Song – Emily Cohen and Dan Gutstein;
MAPPING LOVE – Mary Alice McMillan;
THE NINE LIVES OF BARBARA DANE – Maureen Gosling;
NOBODY WANTS US – Laura Seltzer-Duny;
NOTES OF A CITIZEN: The Marcus Raskin Story – Eden Raskin Jenkins;
PORTRAITS IN BLACK: Honoring Our National Treasures, a film by Little Known Stories Production, Company, LLC, Produced by Monda Raquel Webb
PRETTY UGLY – Andrea Palombella;
REUNION CHOIR (working title) – Malkia K. Lydia
SCOUTS FOREVER – Dianela Urdaneta de Ratha;
SEEING WITHOUT SIGHT – Alyscia Cunningham;
SENSES – Alyscia Cunningham;
SPENT The Hidden Cost of Dementia – Backfin Media
STONES TO CZERNOWITZ – Coincidence Productions, LLC
SUPREME COURTS: A Century of DC-Area Basketball – Metro Teleproductions
THE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN PROJECT – Mary and Frank Frost;
UPSTREAM, DOWNRIVER – Maggie Stogner
Call Melissa Houghton (202-429-9438) for additional information or make your donation here. The filmmakers are grateful to the many individuals, foundations and corporations who support their films – THANK YOU!
WIFV is proud to have served as the fiscal sponsor for these films:
ACCIDENTAL SISTERS – Louise Miller;
ALEX’S BIGGEST RACE – Julia Hoppock;
THE AMERICAN DIPLOMAT (formerly Changing State) – Leola Calzolai-Stewart, Kiley Kraskouskas, Rachell Shapiro;
A TALE OF THREE CHINATOWNS – A film by Tiger Sisters Productions, Produced by Penny Lee, Lisa Mao;
AVERAGE – Tammi Wilson;
BILL MAULDIN UP FRONT – Sandy Northrop;
BREAKING THE RULES– Five Star Films;
CHINATOWN – Yi Chen;
DOBLE 9 – Karina Silva;
DOEVILLE – Kathryn Pasternak;
DON’T TALK ABOUT THE BABY – Ann Zamudio;
ELLINGTON: Keeping the Dream Alive– Brainwave Productions;
EXOTIC – Amy Oden;
FEAST YOUR EARS: The Story of WHFS 102.3 FM – Jay Schlossberg;
GUARDIANS OF THE EVERGLADES – Connie Bransilver;
I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR – Alyscia Cunningham;
I’M YOUR MAN – Lynn Hamrick;
IN OUR OWN WORDS – Dante James;
KARAOKE NATION – Abigail Sharon, Emily Hodges
KETER BETTS: Musical Disciple– Ada Babino;
LABOR OF LOVE – Kelsey Brannan;
THE LAST SONG BEFORE THE WAR – Kiley Kraskouskas, Leola Calzolai-Stewart, Andrea Papitto;
LIFE IN SYNCRHO – Angela Pinaglia;
LIVING THE OCEAN – Vanina Harel;
MICHAEL FEINSTEIN, NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE RAINBOW ROOM – Pictor Music & Performances;
MISS ALMA THOMAS: A LIFE IN COLOR, directed by Cheri Gaulke, produced by Kia Baskerville and Jon Gann
MOOSEHEAD’S WICKED GOOD PLAN– Sarah Katz;
MORE ART UPSTAIRS – Jody Hassett Sanchez;
NEWSREEL: Collective Filmmaking in Times of Revolution – Ivora Cusack, James Schneider;
ONE WOMAN, ONE VOTE – Co-Festival Directors Bonnie Nelson Schwartz and Michon Boston;
PAINTED CITY – Caitlin Carroll;
PIECED TOGETHER – Julianne Donofrio;
POWER OF 7 – Bonnie Nelson Schwartz and Ruth Pollak;
SOLD: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade – Jody Hassett Sanchez;
SULLIVISION: Ed Sullivan and the Struggle for Civil Rights – MPS Legacy Productions LLC;
LAST DAYS OF BROOKLAND MANOR – Katie Lannigan;
VOICES FROM WITHIN – Joy Haynes, Ellie Walton
THE LAST SONG BEFORE THE WAR is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.
CHINATOWN is supported in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC
VOICES FROM WITHIN is supported in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC
PAINTED CITY is supported in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC and the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment.
MICHAEL FEINSTEIN, NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE RAINBOW ROOM is supported in part with a grant from the Carruthers Family Foundation administered by the Hamilton Community Foundation
DOEVILLE is sponsored in part by the Sarah Lahr Educational Fund administered by the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
MORE ART UPSTAIRS is sponsored in part by Fieldstead and Company, Inc.
AN AMERICAN DIPLOMAT (formerly Changing State, formerly Black Diplomacy) is supported in part by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
LAST DAYS OF BROOKLAND MANOR is supported in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC.
AIN’T NO BACK TO A MERRY-GO-ROUND is supported in part by grants from The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Family Foundation – Michael Goldman, Trustee; Jennifer Margolius Fisher, Trustee; Melissa Goldman Davidson, Lori Goldman Zbar, Kenneth E. Margolius, David A. Margolius, a grant from the Flax Family Fund, The Sanford & Doris Slavin Foundation Fund (GWCF), The Weissberg Foundation, and the African American Civil Rights grant program, funded by the Historic Preservation Fund, and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior.
NEWSREEL: Collective Filmmaking in Times of Revolution is supported in part by a grant from The Yip Harburg Foundation.
JAZZ NIGHT IN DC is supported in part by a DC DOCS grant from HumanitiesDC as part of the “Humanities Grant Program”, an initiative funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
THE LAST BATTLEFRONT: Quest for the Vote in Washington, DC is supported in part by a DC DOCS grant from HumanitiesDC as part of the “Humanities Grant Program”, an initiative funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
A TALE OF THREE CHINATOWNS is supported in part by a Community Heritage Grant from HumanitiesDC in partnership with the DC Historic Preservation Office.
REUNION CHOIR (working title) is supported in part by a DC DOCS grant from HumanitiesDC as part of the “Humanities Grant Program”, an initiative funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
SUPREME COURTS: A Century of DC-Area Basketball is supported in part by an Oral History grant with funds from the Washington, DC government via the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Humanities Grant Program. Programmatic support for the DC Oral History Collaborative is provided by the DC Public Library.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is fiscal sponsorship?
Fiscal sponsorship is a financial and legal system by which a legally recognized 501(c)(3) public charity (such as WIFV) provides limited financial and legal oversight for a project initiated independently by a filmmaker. That project must be non-commercial in nature, i.e. not produced solely for financial gain. Once sponsored in this way, the project is eligible to solicit and receive grants and tax-deductible contributions that are available only to 501(c)(3) organizations.
Why is WIFV providing fiscal sponsorship?
The WIFV Board of Directors believe this initiative to be a tremendous benefit for WIFV members and that it furthers our mission to provide resources for filmmakers in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Do I have to be a woman to apply?
No. WIFV does not discriminate based on gender. Men and women can submit their project applications for consideration as long as the project meets the sponsorship eligibility criteria.
What gets sponsored?
WIFV can serve as a fiscal sponsor for projects that are consistent with our IRS-approved charitable mission. WIFV will consider applications from all genders whose media project meets one or both of the following criteria for fiscal sponsorship:
• Film and media projects that feature women in key, above-the-line roles (specifically: producer, director, writer, editor or director of photography); or
• Film and media projects whose subject matter informs and features women’s experiences or points of view.
Do I have to be a member of WIFV to apply?
Yes. You need to be a member of WIFV to apply for our fiscal sponsorship program. See the Join page on the WIFV website for further information about membership in WIFV.
When should I apply?
There are two calls for Fiscal Sponsorship Applications per calendar year; one in the spring and one in autumn. The application deadline dates are:
• April 24, 2023 – for the spring round; and
• October 23, 2023 – for the fall round.
How do I apply?
Go to the Fiscal Sponsorship Application Guidelines for an application and information about what documentation is required about your project at the time of application.
How much does it cost to apply?
There is a non-refundable Application Fee of $50. This fee must be submitted with your application on or before the application deadline date.
For sponsored projects, WIFV will charge a 7% administrative fee for all grants and charitable donations. This fee is competitive with other fiscal sponsorship programs.
What services does WIFV provide?
As a sponsoring organization, WIFV will provide administrative support and oversight on financial contributions made via WIFV to benefit your project. WIFV maintains financial control over those portions of the film project being funded by a particular grant or grants that requires WIFV to apply. We will provide financial oversight as required for distribution of funding and for reporting in order to comply with grant requirements.
WIFV also brings some benefits to its fiscal project directors by providing mentoring opportunities with some of our accomplished members, developing workshops around questions and issues that are common across supported projects, finding the right resources to provide technical information and providing insights into current industry trends.
Is WIFV involved in the production of the film or media project?
No, WIFV will not be involved in the production of the film or media content itself.
How long does it take to find out if WIFV will be my fiscal sponsor?
You will be notified if your project is selected or denied on or within 9 weeks after the application deadline.
Upon the application deadline, new applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility. Following approval of your application, it will be forwarded to the WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Selection Committee. The Selection Committee will meet within 60 days of the application deadline and notification of the results will be forwarded to you within one week of that meeting. Once selected, you can expect to be up-and-running within 2-3 weeks.
I am a WIFV member but my project does not fit the eligibility criteria. Can WIFV still help me?
The WIFV staff is a constant resource to members. Even if your project does not meet the eligibility criteria for fiscal sponsorship by WIFV, you should contact the office about what resources and fiscal sponsor organizations might be of help you. We have partnerships with many organizations on both the national and local level and are plugged-in to the network of valuable resources available to filmmakers and media-makers.
Program Eligibility Requirements
Applications will be accepted from current WIFV members only. WIFV membership is open to people in the film, television and media industry – all genders, all genres, all experience levels.
WIFV supports fiscally sponsored projects that are consistent with our IRS-approved mission. Eligible projects for fiscal sponsorship must meet one or both of the following criteria:
- Film and media projects that feature women in key, above-the-line roles (specifically: producer, director, writer, editor or director of photography); or
- Film and media projects whose subject matter informs and features women’s experiences or points of view.
These projects must be non-commercial in nature, i.e. not produced solely for financial gain. A preference will be given to projects that do not have investors.
If a member’s project is selected for fiscal sponsorship, they must remain a WIFV member in good standing for the duration of the project. Three letters of recommendation are required.
WIFV Provides a Nurturing Environment
As a sponsoring organization, WIFV will provide administrative support and oversight on your project’s financial contributions. We also bring the power of our programming and membership to the sponsored filmmaker by providing one of our accomplished members as a mentor for your project should you request one. We can tailor specific programs and events around the challenges or issues that may confront you along the way. We have a vast resource in the diversity and achievements of our membership at large, which provides access to technical information as it is required and insights into current industry trends. Our members can take comfort in working with a partner that is just as vested as they are in the success of their project.
WIFV office staff time is applied to the financial oversight and administration functions for each sponsored project. While the responsibility of identifying and targeting funding sources remains with the filmmaker, WIFV staff and WIFV members are an invaluable resource for navigating potential funding sources and providing knowledge about current film funding trends.
The Application and Selection Schedule
There are two calls for Fiscal Sponsorship Applications per calendar year; one in the spring and one in autumn. A non-refundable Application Fee of $50.00 is required at the time application.
The 2023 application deadline dates are:
- April 24, 2023 – for the Spring round; and
- October 23, 2023 – for the Fall round.
Applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility. Following approval of your application, it will be forwarded to the WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Selection Committee.
The Selection of Sponsored Projects
A WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Selection Committee of 5 to 7 people will be responsible for evaluating applications and selecting the projects for which WIFV will provide fiscal sponsorship. At least two sitting WIFV Board Members will be included on the Committee. Other Selection Committee members will be chosen from among WIFV executive members and non-WIFV professionals from national media associations or film-related companies. The WIFV Executive Director coordinates the Committee and its work. The Selection Committee will meet within 60 days of the application deadline and notification of the results will be forwarded to you within one week of that meeting.
A fiscal sponsor agreement/contract will be forwarded to the projects selected. Once selected, you can expect to be up-and-running within 2-3 weeks.
Please do not contact any WIFV staff or Board Member with an inquiry about your project’s status during the selection process. You will be notified as soon as the selection committee results are known.
Costs and Fees
There is a non-refundable Application Fee of $50.00. This fee must be submitted with your application on or before the application deadline date. Submit payment through the WIFV calendar using the appropriate deadline date.
For sponsored projects, WIFV will charge a 7% administrative handling fee for all grants and charitable donations. This fee is competitive with other fiscal sponsorship programs.
Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement/Contract with Filmmaker
The Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement forms a binding contract and defines the relationship between WIFV and the filmmaker. Reporting requirements are set forth in that agreement. Statements that assert the filmmakers acknowledgement of avoiding copyright infringement and that indemnify WIFV against copyright infringement, producer’s actions in the field, and any legal actions that might arise, are also part of that Agreement.
The Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement also specifies actions WIFV can take if a project no longer complies with the definition of charitable or non-commercial purposes. In those circumstances, WIFV will be required to return funds to the donor(s).
Copyright and Content Issues
Content of the project is the sole responsibility of the filmmaker. WIFV is not responsible for the application of “fair use” in materials used in the project. The filmmaker maintains full ownership of copyright in the project. WIFV will have no editorial input into the project, and WIFV materials, applications and promotional matter should include a disclaimer, as specified in the Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement.
WIFV will require appropriate credit, as specified in the Agreement, for serving as fiscal sponsor, and will also have the right to remove its name from any production.
If you feel you need more information than what you learned here or on the FAQ, please give us a call at the WIFV office 202.429.9438, and we will do our best to get you the information you need.
How to submit an application for WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship
Step 1: Complete the Application Cover sheet (a Google Form available here) and submit all required documents in Section 4 of the form as one pdf.
Step 2: Assemble the required supporting documents specified in the checklist below and submit them with your application to WIFV in Section 4 of the Google Form.
Step 3: Submit your completed application via the Google Form above before the Application Deadline date. Payment of the application fee is made through the WIFV calendar using the appropriate deadline date.
The WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Application Checklist
The following items are required to be submitted in order to have your application be considered complete and to be included in the WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship evaluation and selection process. Please use this checklist to make sure you have sent each of the following items to WIFV:
- Completed WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship application and supporting materials including
- Three (3) letters of reference
- 1 to 2-page project proposal/synopsis
- Project budget & schedule (available Budget Template)
- Audience and distribution plan
- List of all donors to date
- Development plan
- Filmmaker production experience
- Bios of Key Personnel
- Samples of past work/demo reel
Completed WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Application
We are using a Google Form to collect basic project information and you can access it here. Section 4 of the Google Form is where you upload all required supporting information. You pay the application fee through the WIFV calendar on the appropriate deadline date.
Three (3) letters of reference
Provide three (3) letters of reference from colleagues, previous funders and/or media professionals who have first-hand knowledge of your work and your skills.
Project Proposal/Synopsis (1-2 pages max.)
In one to two pages, present a synopsis of your proposed project. The reader should acquire an understanding of the story you are telling and the purpose of the story.
Project budget & schedule
Provide a budget breakdown for the expenses, and projected costs required for pre-production, production, post-production, distribution and marketing phases of your project. A schedule should be submitted that includes key milestones in each phase of the project and provides basic production phase information about shooting days and locations.
Audience & distribution plan
Please identify your target audience and the elements by which you are defining them, i.e., gender, age range, socioeconomic status, rural or urban, race, family status, or and special interests. We also require information on your plan for distribution of your film or media project, and the dollar value you have estimated in your budget to cover these activities.
List of donors to date
Please include a list of all donors who have made a contribution to your project to date. Cash and in-kind donors should be included.
Please identify the donors, grant-making entities and resources you are planning to reach out to for funding your project. You may also identify the research efforts you have conducted to date. Please address the question of how you plan to raise the amount of funding required as designated in your project budget.
Filmmaker production experience
We would like to know more about the filmmaker who will lead this project. You may include a resume or bio that includes past projects, screenings, experience and work history. You may also indicate specific skill sets that you would like the committee to be aware of.
Bios of Key Personnel
Please include biographies or resumes for all above-the-line personnel on your project.
Samples of past work/demo reel
Please send us a demo reel that shows your best work. We really want to know what you did within the clips on your demo reel. You may submit a written Demo Reel Breakdown document that explains what your role was in each entry in the reel.