Black Panther film

TWN Fiscal Sponsorship

Are you currently seeking funding for your film production? If so, Third World Newsreel can provide you some of the benefits of tax-exempt status. Read below to learn about our Fiscal Sponsorship program and how tax-exempt status can facilitate fund raising efforts.

Program Description

In accordance with its mission, TWN serves as a fiscal sponsor of independent film and electronic media productions, as well as artistic, educational and cultural projects emphasizing social justice issues and the concerns and interests of people, groups, and nations often marginalized in mainstream media.

Camera News, Inc. dba Third World Newsreel (TWN) is a non-profit organization as determined by the IRS under code 501(c)(3) and a registered New York State Charity. Under the TWN Fiscal Sponsorship program, TWN acts as an umbrella agency for your project, allowing the project to share some of the benefits of non-profit status that include:

  • Tax deductible donations to your project from individuals and other entities that may be able to benefit from the tax deduction.
  • Eligibility for funding from entities, such as foundations, government agencies, and other parties that may only provide grants and funding to non-profit entities.

As a project's umbrella agency, TWN is the recipient of any funds donated or granted to the project. TWN maintains the funds in an account for the project. Account funds are disbursed to the project director or her representative for the payment of legitimate project related expenses and services. As such, TWN is responsible for ensuring that funds are used for project purposes and used in accordance with donors' and grantees' intent. TWN can be the sole recipient of all project donations and grant funds or the recipient of only the funds associated with a specific grant. In either case, TWN will issue the necessary project related 1099s in accordance with IRS guidelines.

The project director must account for expenditures by providing TWN receipts evidencing payment for project goods and services. TWN will also provide letters of thanks and acknowledgment to donors, and ensure project representatives complete any required donation or grant related reports, and issue any required 1099s for funds disbursed from TWN directly.

The Fiscal Sponsorship program does not provide any fund raising services, grant application services, or distribution services. Nor does acceptance into the Fiscal Sponsorship include TWN distribution of the finished product. TWN distribution requires a separate application, review, and approval. TWN does not have any ownership or rights in the production at any time, nor is TWN responsible for project content. The project's producers and/or directors are responsible for the content.

TWN charges an administrative fee based on a sliding scale between 5%-7% of the project income (donations and grants) based on a contract with the project director. These amounts cover the expenses of TWN's services to maintain an accounting of donations and grants, send acknowledgment letters to donors and grantees, reconcile project receipts with project cash disbursements, generate and file IRS 1099 forms, and other services TWN must perform as the umbrella agency for the project.

There is a $25 application fee for each project submitted for consideration for TWN Fiscal Sponsorship. This fee is waived for NYSCA individual artist applicants pending funding. Additional fees will be charged to individual projects for specific services such as messengers, mailings, cash advances, etc. Please note: no student projects are accepted.

You can submit an application for Fiscal Sponsorship here. Requests for applications via US mail should be directed to:

Fiscal Sponsorship Program Third World Newsreel 545 8th Avenue, Suite 550 New York, New York 10018

Questions about the program and application status should be directed to Please, no phone calls, contact us via email.

How it Works

This overview is not all inclusive, abbreviating the process and omitting some other steps or requirements that may be part of the process.

  • Upon acceptance into the program, TWN and the project representative sign a contract, establishing a contractual relationship for the project. TWN sets up an account for the project.
  • The project representative and associated parties continue their own fund raising and application for grant funds. TWN does not do any fund raising or grant applications on behalf of the project, though is available for consultations on such.
  • As funds are received from donors and from grants, they are paid to TWN on behalf of the project. TWN maintains the funds in an account. TWN sends out letters to donors, with copies to the project representative, acknowledging their contributions. TWN also makes a record of any reports the donors and grantors require and the due dates for the reports. Filmmakers are responsible for preparing and sending their reports to donors, grantees and to TWN. Failure to meet a reporting requirement can cause funds from the connected contributor to be withheld pending completion of requirements to the contributor's satisfaction.
  • As the project director incurs expenses or has needs for funds to purchase project related goods and services, the project director requests that TWN release specific amounts of funds to the project. TWN generally does not pay any vendors, contractors, or other parties directly for goods and services for the project. It is the project director's responsibility to pay for goods and services using the funds TWN releases to the project.
  • The project director must provide an accounting of expenditures and a narrative progress report annually to TWN, in addition to any required reporting of the project's funders. TWN will not release additional funds for the project until all prior released funds have been accounted for with receipts.
  • At the end of each calendar year, TWN makes all appropriate filings with the IRS for payments made to filmmakers and any independent contractors. Filmmakers are fully responsible for submitting receipts and invoices for reimbursements in accordance with their grants, but are fully responsible for their own IRS reportings.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The project must be a documentary or fictional work, the content of which falls within the mission of TWN.
  • The project must be a non-commercial film, video, or multimedia work. No student projects are accepted.
  • The project director/payee (the person responsible to receive funds and pay expenses) must have a tax identification number (Social Security Number or Federal Employee ID number).
  • The project cannot promote any racism, sexism, or hate toward any person or group of people.
  • The project director must demonstrate, through the TWN Fiscal Sponsorship application, an ability to raise project funds and produce a work through completion.

Call Us 1 (212) 947-9277
  • Third World Newsreel
  • • 545 Eighth Avenue, Suite 550, New York, NY 10018
  • • Telephone 212-947-9277

TWN acknowledges that in New York we are on the unceded territory of the Lenni Lenape, Canarsie, Shinecock, and Munsee peoples and challenges the harm that continues to be inflicted upon Indigenous and People of Color communities here and abroad, which is why we all need to be part of the struggle for rights, equality and justice.

TWN is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Congress, MOSAIC, New York Community Trust, Peace Development Fund, Ford Foundation, Golden Globe Foundation, Kolibri Foundation and individual donors.