Fiscal Sponsorship Program

CADE’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program was founded in 2018 to develop and support food or farm business enterprises in New York State.

Benefits of the Fiscal Sponsorship Program

The following is a list of benefits you are entitled to receive through our Fiscal Sponsorship Program:

  • Fundraising Consulting

    • Have the ability to meet with program staff to discuss fundraising strategies.

  • Access to CADE’s Resource Hub

    • Can use our list of resources to approach funding opportunities in the best way.

  • Access to CADE’s Conference Room (needs to be scheduled in advance)

    • You will be able to use our conference room to organize meet with funders.


10% Administrative Fee

CADE serves as the project's exclusive fiscal sponsor throughout the project. There is no minimum amount of money required to qualify as a recipient of a fiscal sponsorship. We will sponsor the project provided you submit a proposal detailing your plans and your application is accepted by our fiscal sponsorship review committee.

Eligibility for the Fiscal Sponsorship Program

In order to be eligible to apply for The Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship Fiscal Sponsorship Program, you much meet the following criteria:

  • Must be Food or Farm Business Enterprise

  • Must provide Social Security (if self-employed) or FEIN

  • Must be Based in New York State

Review Criteria for Applications

Applications are accepted after careful review by CADE program staff, the process is competitive and reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Likelihood of Project Completion

  • Budget

  • Fundraising Ability

  • Relevance to Agricultural

  • Demonstrated Ability of Project Personnel

  • Vetting Process (CADE cannot be held liable if your partners are not who they appear to be)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

Fiscal Sponsorship allows your project to apply for funding from organizations that require non-profit status. Non-profit tax-exempt status is required by many foundations, corporations and government agencies in order to be eligible for funding since many do not accept application proposals from individuals or businesses. Additionally, 501(c)(3) status allows you to receive charitable deductible contributions from individuals—a major incentive for individuals considering making a donation to your project.

As your fiscal sponsor, CADE acts as a non-profit tax-exempt umbrella organization that accepts and administers contributions made to your project.  CADE is legally responsible for the funds received on behalf of fiscally sponsored projects and must insure that the funds are used for charitable activities, as agreed upon between the donor and recipient, and that the donor reporting requirements are met in a timely fashion. It does not mean that we are in any way connected to the content or actual production of your project. All proprietary rights, interest in and to the completed project will belong to the farm operation.

Fiscal sponsorship does not automatically provide grants or do research for individual project funding. For further information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

What does fiscal sponsorship mean?

It means that CADE is the non-profit tax-exempt umbrella organization that is fiscally sponsoring your project. As a result, you are eligible to apply for funding from foundations, corporations and government agencies that require tax-exempt status. Additionally, you are eligible to receive charitable contributions from individuals which are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. It does not mean, however,  we are your fundraisers, or in any way connected to the content or actual production of your project.

Does fiscal sponsorship provide grants or loans to my project?

No. Fiscal sponsorship does not award grants or provide loans to your project.  However, fiscal sponsorship does allow you to apply for funds that, as an individual or business, you would be ineligible to receive. In other words, fiscal sponsorship opens up your available sources of funding for your project since many foundations, corporations and government agencies can only award grants to non-profit organizations.

Can I apply for more than one project to the fiscal sponsorship program?

Only one application per Farm enterprise can be submitted at a time. If you are accepted into the Program and decide to apply at a later date for sponsorship of another project, you must clearly demonstrate your ability and resources to work on both projects at once, and your prior account must be in good standing.

Do you sponsor experimental projects?


Why does CADE charge a 10% administrative fee for most grants?  

As a fiscal sponsor, we are legally responsible for the funds received on behalf of your sponsored project and we must insure that the project uses the funds for charitable activities in accordance with the agreed upon terms between the donor and your project, and that the donor reporting requirements are met by the project in a timely fashion. In order to do this, we set up financial and database files to keep track of your project; acknowledge contributions to donors for tax purposes; prepare End-of-the-Year reports; send out 1099’s to your consultants and report on them to the IRS. Our accountants also must audit your files and we must pay them to do that.

Do I need to keep track of my expenses?

Yes. CADE is not your project’s bookkeeper. You must keep track of all of your expenses and income. You must also report to CADE how you spend the contributions your project receives. Note: CADE will send a 1099 for all monies disbursed to you during the year.

Will CADE write checks for each of my bills?

No.  We will pay the bills directly related to the grants but you will need to maintain the books for your farm enterprise.  Or reimburse you, from grant funds for expenses you submit directly related to the grant project.

Can I use CADE’s tax exempt status to avoid paying retail sales tax on purchases?

No. We cannot legally lend our tax-exempt status for individual project purchases.

What are my responsibilities to CADE if I am fiscally sponsored?

You must keep track of all your expenses connected with the project and submit Disbursement Expense Reports to CADE with copies of receipts and invoices after each disbursement is made to you. You also agree to spend funds administered to you by CADE in accordance with the budget approved by CADE and your funder.  An annual narrative and financial report has to be filed with CADE at the end of each year. You must also file reports to your funders in accordance with their guidelines and deadlines.

Where do I send my application and what are your deadlines?

We accept applications on a rolling basis. Our Contact Information is listed below (above the physical sponsorship application).

When will I hear back on application I have submitted?

Due to the rolling nature of our submission process, we cannot guarantee a specific timeline for decisions. The committee will meet periodically to evaluate applications. However, if your application is time sensitive, please notify staff by email at All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision either way via email.

If my proposal is rejected, can I re-submit it at a later date?

Rejected applications must be invited by the Review Committee to re-submit. Even if you have made changes to your proposal and a few months have passed, you must have been invited (within your emailed status notification letter) to resubmit

Contact Information


The Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE)
189 Main Street (PO Box 64), 5th Fl Mezzanine
Oneonta, NY 13820

(607) 433-2545


Application Form

Please find the CADE Fiscal Sponsorship application form in both Word and PDF format. You can download, print and sent via email or mail to the addresses above.

Application in Word.

Application in PDF.