Supporting Nonviolence and Social Justice Since 1974.
339 Lafayette Street, New York, New York 10012 (212) 533-4335 Fax: (212) 228-6193 info@ajmuste.org

Guidelines for Fiscal Sponsorships

The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute has, as one of its programs, the fiscal sponsorship of contributions for organizations or projects which promote the principles and practice of nonviolent social change. The sponsored organization must be concerned with one or more of the issues to which A.J. Muste dedicated his life: pacifism, peace and disarmament; social and economic justice; racial and sexual equality; and the labor movement.

The Muste Institute's fiscal sponsorship program allows us to support the work of organizations who for various reasons do not have their own 501(c)3 charitable status. Through this program, the Muste Institute accepts institutional grants and tax-deductible contributions from donors who wish to support the educational work of our sponsored organizations and projects. The Institute then makes grants to the sponsored projects after deducting a seven percent administrative fee.

Sponsored organizations do their own fundraising from individuals and/or foundations; donors and institutions who wish their contributions to be tax-deductible make them payable to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, preferably with a notation on the memo line referring to the sponsored organization. Contributions administered through the Institute MUST be used for purposes which are legal, legitimate and in accord with the Institute's mission and practices. The Muste Institute sends acknowledgements directly to the donors.

The Muste Institute can and does provide sponsorship for organizations which are not incorporated. However, the organization requesting sponsorship must have its own bank account; we cannot issue checks to individuals. The Institute does not sponsor academic or research projects; individuals; or groups primarily engaged in lobbying, electoral politics or litigation.

The Institute acts as ongoing fiscal sponsor for a number of groups, and also sponsors funds on a short-term or one-time basis for specific projects. Groups that wish to maintain an ongoing sponsorship with the Muste Institute must provide an annual accounting of funds received and present a written request for sponsorship renewal each year.

There is no deadline for sponsorship proposals. Proposals must be five pages or less, and must contain the following:

  • description of the project or organizational activities, including relevance, targeted community, and evidence of the group's ability to carry it out;
  • name and day and evening telephone number of a contact person;
  • detailed budget with a list of funding sources;
  • brief relevant biography of project coordinator(s);
  • list of advisors to the project or organization;
  • the requested ceiling amount of contributions for transfer during the calendar year.

A one-page summary of the request is required. Additional supporting material, including printed matter, press clippings, etc., may also be sent. Fiscal sponsorship requests should be sent via email to info@ajmuste.org. Each sponsorship proposal that passes an initial review is assigned to a Board member who may contact your organization for additional information. That Board member will receive a copy of your complete proposal and supporting materials. Please be sure to include your organization's name and address on the first page of the proposal and in the one-page summary; please also remember to include the requested ceiling amount for transfer, as well as the name and phone numbers of the contact person, in both the summary and the proposal. Requested ceiling amounts should be based on a realistic estimate of contributions to be directed through the sponsorship during the calendar.

Before receiving any funds, the sponsored organization must sign a contract promising to provide a complete financial accounting for all monies received from the Institute, which demonstrates that they were used in accord with the purposes for which they were intended. This financial accounting is generally due at the end of each calendar year; it must include a statement of expenses, with any relevant receipts, copies of materials produced with Institute funds, and a brief narrative report on the project. Sponsorship renewals will not be accepted from any group that has previously failed to submit these reports. There is no limit on the number of sponsored projects the Institute may have at one time, nor is there a limit on the amount of contributions that can be accepted for sponsored groups.

If you have questions, feel free to contact the Muste Institute staff at 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012. You may also contact us by phone at (212)533-4335, by fax at (212)228-6193 or by email at info@ajmuste.org