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 film, 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.
 

FISCAL SPONSORSHIP FAQ       HOW TO APPLY

         

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which a 501(c)(3) public charity, such as the 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 of 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. 

The 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.

Sponsored Projects

View Projects:
  • The Dead Sea, a transboundary water body - shared by Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians - is a unique salt-lake, known for its exceptional geographical, biological, and historical value, and is the lowest point on Earth.  Tragically, the Dead Sea is drying up, causing widespread damage,...

  • When Medicine Got It Wrong tells the story of how a small group of parents from the 1970s were the first in the nation to rebel against being blamed for causing schizophrenia. Their activism launched the fastest growing grass-roots movement the country had ever seen, ushering in a radical...

  • By custom, thousands of artisans in Mexico still use lead based glazes in their pottery without knowing the damage that this toxic element causes to their health.Herlinda, an indigenous Purepecha potter, is one of the few artisans in her community who uses alternative lead-free glazes. Having...

  • Each year tens of thousands of people are killed, injured or forced from their homes as a result of ongoing conflicts. Global instruments and institutions of peace have occasionally delivered powerful results but, more often, the weakest suffer and the conflict lingers. Why do our governments...

  • Five hundred miles from the North Pole, a scientific expedition is beset by the sea ice it has come to study. Three red kayaks, tiny specks in an austere wilderness, the team is in shock, its way forward blocked by a crumpled and pulverized wreckage of floes. Conditions are unrecognizable,...

  • Longing to protect her daughters from the discrimination and violence of Congo’s endless civil war, Rachel Namberwa composed a unique blessing song for each of her children at birth. In a historic context where physical features could be blamed for discrimination and hatred, Rachel sheltered her...

  • EVERY BODY IN THE ROOM is a lyrical documentary portrait of celebrated theater director Anne Bogart's work with the SITI Company, one of theater's most influential and innovative companies, as they look to the next chapter of their company.

    SITI was founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart and...

  • In the midst of China's monumental transformation to a modern society, Chinese Opera, a unique blend of performing arts that reflects the soul of its ancient culture, is quickly disappearing. Filmed in mainland China over a six-year period, with additional scenes shot in Iran and California,...

  • Students from vastly different faiths come together in a World Religions class at a public high school in the Midwest. Through their senior year, a basketball coach turned World Religions teacher helps them navigate the nuances of religion, race, and culture while coming to terms with their own...

  • The story of Carleen Hutchins is more than a story of a woman who redesigned the violin. It is the story of a woman, singular of passion and purpose, who defied the social norms of her time, a female inventor who broke boundaries and challenged the status quo. The new documentary "Second Fiddle...