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Fiscal Sponsorship Program

NY farm and food businesses require capital investment to thrive--to expand, diversify, innovate, or adapt to changing market conditions. Yet access to capital is a barrier to many such businesses.  

CADE’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program offers a new opportunity for farm and food businesses to identify and bring in new sources of capital. Farm and food businesses that become fiscally sponsored by CADE can request funding from organizations or individuals that require non-profit status.

That means foundations can award grants to farm and food businesses--normally reserved for non-profit, or 501c3 organizations--and individuals interested in funding projects or donating to farm and food businesses enrolled in this program, may receive a tax exemption letter for their donation.

In the words of CADE’s Executive Director, "private individuals of wealth have little incentive to gift capital to businesses because they cannot get a tax write-off, as they could for a non-profit donation.  And while farm and food businesses contribute to positive environmental and public health outcomes, philanthropic foundations often cannot award grants to these enterprises because they are registered as businesses, not 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations."

In sum, CADE’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program allows CADE (a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit) to act as a mediator between the funding organizations or individuals, and sponsored farm and food businesses.

As a fiscal sponsor, CADE acts as a non-profit tax-exempt umbrella organization that accepts and administers contributions made to a project implemented by a farm and food business. 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 CADE is in any way connected to the content or actual production of the 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.

For CADE, the fiscal sponsorship program is a fee-based contractual agreement.  CADE receives a fee, 10% of project income, for administering the award.

The Process for Becoming Fiscally Sponsored​

  • Identify a project or area of business to be funded

  • Enroll in the program by filling out CADE’s fiscal sponsorship application

    • Email your completed application to: with the subject "CADE Fiscal Sponsorship Application"

  • Meet with CADE representative to determine the best fundraising strategy

  • Apply for grant funding, seek private investment, or large charitable contributions from individuals

  • Receive funds with 10% allocated to CADE for managing the process

  • Accomplish project

  • Turn in Reporting

Program Benefits

Through our Fiscal Sponsorship Program, you are entitled to:

  • Fundraising Consulting: Meet with CADE program staff to discuss fundraising strategies.

  • Access to CADE’s Resource Hub: 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 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, but preference is for awards to be a minimum of $4,000. 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:

  • be a Food or Farm Business Enterprise

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

  • 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)

Image by Robert Kalinagil
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