WJA’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program

Japanese collage by Rusty Davidson
The William James Association is a non-profit community service corporation operating under Section 501(c) (3) of the IRS tax code. Through its Fiscal Sponsorship Program, the Association extends our nonprofit status to community projects that are compatible with our mission, by providing administrative support, tax-exempt status, and fiscal sponsorship. The purpose of the William James Association Sponsorship Program is twofold:

  • Provide managerial support and guidance to individuals and organizations so that they may produce temporary projects or begin to develop as ongoing organizations.
  • Ensure funding agencies and contributors that funds are well-managed, spent according to their guidelines, and that proposed services are delivered.

As a fiscal sponsor, the William James Association can provide:

  • Sponsorship of grant applications and administration of grant funds through a pre-approved grant relationship
  • Formal acknowledgment to funding sources and monitoring of expenditures to ensure that they are in keeping with the original proposals, contracts, or funding letters
  • Staff consultation on writing of grants and final reports to funders (sponsored party is responsible for actual writing of all materials)
  • The sponsored project remains a separate legal entity that is liable for its own taxes, insurance and debts.
  • Both temporary projects and developing organizations can be considered for fiscal sponsorship.

In order to receive sponsorship, projects must be approved by the William James Association Board of Directors. You are welcome to submit an application at any time, with the understanding that the Board reviews projects at our regularly scheduled Board Meetings.

A nonrefundable $25 processing fee made payable to The William James Association must accompany this application. Click link here to submit fee via paypal or mail check to: William James Association P.O. Box 1632 Santa Cruz, CA 95061. Submission of this application does not guarantee sponsorship.


Projects seeking sponsorship are reviewed by the William James Association Board of Directors on a quarterly basis. Applications are accepted any time up to two weeks before the quarterly meeting.

Projects will be considered for sponsorship if they are:

  • Compatible with the William James Association mission and serving community needs
  • Upholding standards of excellence as relevant to their area
  • Serious in intent and well-planned
  • Responsible about proper reporting to funding sources and the IRS
  • Non-legislative and otherwise consistent with the William James Association’s tax-exempt status.

Questions? Call or email: (831) 607-8952 info@williamjamesassociation.org


Are there any fees involved?

In addition to the initial $25 application fee, the William James Association retains an 10% annual administrative fee on all income transacted under our non-profit umbrella. NOTE: there will be a $200 minimum annual retainer on new fiscal sponsored projects (for admin services and tax reporting). Previous fiscal sponsor projects will be assessed a $100 annual retainer.

What about liability insurance?

All projects up for sponsorship will be required to carry liability insurance through the William James Association’s insurance service and will incur this additional expense. WJA’s Directors and Officers insurance will also be an expense to the group and will be calculated proportional to their budget size. For more on this see: https://calnonprofitsinsurance.org/fiscal-sponsorships-insurance-impacts/ WJA is the Direct Model of Fiscal Sponsorship type.

What other responsibilities does the Sponsored Project carry?

The Fiscally sponsored group is responsible for tracking and acknowledging donors and other funders, preparing reports required by funding organizations, and for submitting periodic progress reports to the William James Association. The Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement between the sponsored project and the Association will clearly delineate these and any other responsibilities.

Current WJA Fiscal Sponsorship affiliates:

  • The Justice Arts Coalition (JAC) is a national network providing information about and resources for people creating art in and around the US carceral system.
  • Teamworks Art Mentoring Program promotes creative expression, self-discipline, and community engagement for youth who are at-risk of ongoing criminal behavior. This is achieved by providing arts education, opportunities for mentoring and apprenticeship, and by showcasing the youth’s art in community celebrations and exhibits. TeamWorks serves teens that are involved in the juvenile justice system and attending alternative schools in Marin County.
  • Santa Cruz Poetry Project provides weekly poetry and writing workshops to men and women serving time in the Santa Cruz County jails. The workshops foster creativity and self-expression and provide an opportunity for participants to transform personal suffering into a shared experience through poems and stories. The skills learned in the workshops can be life-changing, especially for those trying to successfully reintegrate into their communities after incarceration.
  • Be Natural Music
    Scholarship program for music classes for kids in financial need