FISCAL SPONSORSHIP: 6 WAYS TO DO IT RIGHT now in its 3rd edition

Gregory L. Colvin’s Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways To Do It Right was first published in 1993 and has been in print continuously ever since. In those 27 years, “fiscal sponsorship” has entered the nonprofit lexicon, and the sponsorship models have gained widespread acceptance. The book’s first edition and a second in 2005 have sold an average of a copy a day.

For this 2019 third edition, Colvin and co-author Stephanie L. Petit completely revised and updated the previous editions based on new laws, rulings and court decisions, plus the extensive real-world progress made by innovative fiscal sponsors around the country.

From the Preface, highlights of changes since the second edition

  • We now have IRS rulings and court cases that show how fiscal sponsorship can be done well and badly.
  • A major collapse of a fiscal sponsor in California led to new legislation installing an early warning system to detect when funds held by a sponsor may be dangerously depleted.
  • We’ve added new insights on the use of crowdfunding, online technology, donor-advised funds and social enterprises.
  • Most importantly, we’ve expanded our treatment of each model so that most of what you need to know about that model is in one place. We continue, in the Postscript, to provide readers with new material and insights, both legal and practical, that affect the conduct of fiscal sponsorship beyond the features of specific models.
  • We’ve seen many fiscal sponsors use new online tools to communicate with project leaders, manage the documentation inherent to fiscal sponsorship, and help projects raise money.


Cover of the 3rd edition of Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways To Do It Right


The 3rd edition of Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways To Do It Right is available ONLY from Study Center Press at


Done right, fiscal sponsorship can be a powerful tool for conducting a charitable project. For more than two decades, this book has been the ‘go to’ resource for practitioners and organizations to learn the rules and find models that work. The new edition adds a new model — the LLC — to the menu of fiscal sponsorship options, paving the way for even more types of charitable projects to move forward in a legally compliant and cost-effective way.”

— Celia Roady, Partner, Morgan, Lewis& Bockius LLP

At Community Initiatives, Greg Colvin’s book is viewed as a beacon for solutions-focused leaders. This new edition, with Stephanie Petit as co-author, continues to promote responsible practices and reflects the ever-changing landscape of fiscal sponsorship. It includes a new model and cites policies and practices that pave the way for leaders to explore bold new ideas.”

— Ruth Williams, President and CEO, Community Initiatives

When I set out at Fractured Atlas to design the world’s first large-scale, tech-enabled fiscal sponsorship program, this book was practically a sacred text. Greg Colvin is the undisputed leading expert on this complex, nuanced legal terrain. With his help (and this book in my back pocket), we managed to craft an elegant hybrid of tech-driven efficiency and essential human oversight.”

— Adam Huttler, Founder of Fractured Atlas, and Founder and Managing General Partner, Exponential Creativity Ventures


GREGORY L. COLVIN Greg is principal emeritus of Adler & Colvin, a San Francisco law firm that specializes in the representation of nonprofit organizations and their donors. He received his A.B. in political science (1968) from the University of Washington and his J.D. (1971) from Yale Law School. In addition to this book, Greg is co-author of Seize the Initiative and The Rules of the Game: An Election-Year Legal Guide for Nonprofit Organizations (Alliance for Justice, 1996). He served as the co-chair of the Subcommittee on Political and Lobbying Organizations and Activities of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association from 1991 to 2009. He has testified twice to Senate Judiciary subcommittees on money and politics.

STEPHANIE L. PETIT Stephanie is a principal at Adler & Colvin. Her practice includes corporate governance matters, international grantmaking, company and private foundations, and religious organizations, as well as fiscal sponsorship. She received her A.B. in philosophy (1995) from Princeton University and her J.D. (1998) from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. After graduating from law school, Stephanie served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She currently serves as an author of CEB’s Advising California Nonprofit Corporations, and is the founding editor of Adler & Colvin’s blog, For 10 years, she served as the exempt organizations editor of the Journal of Taxation.

Co-authors Stephanie Petit and Greg Colvin at the  Adler & Colvin launch party for Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways To Do It Right, Oct. 2019

About the Publisher
All three editions of Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways To Do It Right  have been published by Study Center Press, an imprint of the nonprofit San Francisco Study Center, which has been offering fiscal sponsorship services to the community since 1975. The third edition of 6 Ways is available only from Study Center Press and may be ordered at the website, also maintained by the Study Center.