Can any nonprofit organization apply for grants?
To comply with IRS regulations and national standards set by the Council on Foundations, organizations eligible to receive grants from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and its affiliated foundations are those determined by the IRS to be public charities. This encompasses most charitable, scientific, social service, educational, and religious organizations described in 501(c)(3) of the tax code, as well as government agencies. Organizations that are not public charities may apply through a fiscal sponsor.

In addition, the Foundation requires that applying organizations work within our service area: Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon, Wis.

How do we know whether our organization is classified as a nonprofit under section 501(c)(3)?
Organizations must apply to the IRS and receive written notification confirming that this status has been granted. This process can take several months and usually requires the help of an attorney. Having a tax-exempt letter from a State or a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) does NOT automatically mean that a group has been granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS.

If we are not a 501(c)(3), how do we apply for grant funds through a fiscal sponsorship arrangement?
A fiscal sponsor is a 501(c)3 public charity that agrees to act as the sponsoring organization for a grantseeking nonprofit organization that does not have the 501(c)3 designation. The sponsor facilitates both the grant application and any expenditures of grant money received.

A fiscal sponsor maintains full discretion and control over the funds received for a project and has the right to withdraw financial support from the project if its original goals are not being accomplished or the grant agreement is not followed. This means that the non-exempt group and the fiscal sponsor should maintain a good working relationship, and the fiscal sponsor should monitor the project in some way to ensure the funds are properly spent. Grant funds awarded through such an arrangement should appear on the fiscal sponsor's IRS Form 990 tax return. If grant funds are used to pay individuals for their services, the fiscal sponsor will need to determine whether they are acting as partners, employees, or independent contractors, and comply with tax reporting requirements accordingly.

I'm an individual in need of assistance. Can you help me?
Unfortunately, the Foundation can only award grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Individuals in need of assistance should dial 2-1-1 for information and referral through the United Way.

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