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Fiscal Sponsorship. Join the largest documentary-specific fiscal sponsorship program in the US, established in 1998.

About the Program

For almost 30 years IDA's fiscal sponsorship program has been helping independent documentary projects of all types get funded, finished, and seen. Our fiscal sponsorship program is open to independent filmmakers and documentarians, regardless of education, background, or previous credits. Whether this is your first project, or you've been making documentaries as long as we've been sponsoring them, if you have an idea and a plan, we can help.

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which a 501(c)(3) public charity, such as IDA, agrees to sponsor a project that furthers our mission, for the purpose of fundraising through grants and donations. This is an effective alternative to starting your own nonprofit. The arrangement allows you to seek grants and solicit grants and tax-deductible donations for your documentary, with the oversight, support, and endorsement from one of the most long-standing and trusted charities in the field.

Why IDA?

IDA knows documentary. It's all we do. We are the largest documentary-specific fiscal sponsor in the world. 

IDA is dedicated to supporting the vital work of documentary storytellers and championing a thriving and inclusive documentary culture.  Since 1998, our fiscal sponsorship program has helped hundreds of independent documentaries get funded, finished and seen.

Last year, we administered over 8.5 million dollars in donations and grants to our sponsored projects. We work with films in all stages of production, including supporting filmmakers through the crucial phases of distribution, outreach, and engagement.

Our fiscally sponsored projects have access to full-time program and accounting staff with expertise in fiscal sponsorship and many years of experience in the field. We also have experienced legal and accounting advisers should we need to call on them. We have the infrastructure and expertise to take on documentary projects of any size, and importantly, our policies and procedures are specifically designed to be filmmaker friendly and responsive to production timelines. 

As fiscal sponsors on your project, IDA will not take any ownership of your work, nor will we infringe on your creative control, copyright, or prevent you from future sales or profit from your project. IDA seeks to be as non-intrusive and supportive as possible in monitoring projects.

We accept applications year-round from documentary films (e.g. features, shorts, series, XR) or media projects related to the documentary genre (e.g. podcasts, festivals, online communities).

How to Apply