• Fiscal Sponsorship Advisory Services

    A suite of services tailored to the needs of fiscally sponsored projects

    If you’re part of a fiscally sponsored project – especially operating under Model A or Model C sponsorship – you know projects are their own, unique animal. Sure, you’re a nonprofit – but there’s another layer to your operations.


    And with that, projects like yours have their own set of needs and issues to contend with.


    With that in mind, Schulman Consulting has a suite of services specially designed for the needs of fiscally sponsored projects at every stage of the lifecycle:

    • Separation Readiness Audit – The place to start if you’re considering separation – we’ll assess your organization from top to bottom and let you know what you'll need to successfully separate from your sponsor and operate as an independent 501(c)(3).
    • Separation Retainer – If you’re separating and want expert, on-demand counsel throughout the process, this is what you need.
    • Operations Training/Capacity Building – Whether or not you’re planning to separate, having a staff that understands your accounting, finance and HR means you’ll be more in control of your operations.
    • Transfer Facilitation – For Projects that are no longer a fit at their current sponsor, or are considering a new "home," we can help you find a landing spot for your organization.
    • Flexible Guidance – For anything not covered above, this flexible, pay-as-you-go hourly retainer provides you with access to Schulman Consulting for whatever you need.

    No matter what stage your organization is in -- or what your current needs are -- Schulman Consulting's Advisory Services will help ensure your organization is operating efficiently, making the right decisions, and prepared and ready for the next step.


    If you know what you need and are ready to get started, click here to set up an initial phone call. For more information on each of our services, please keep reading.

  • Separation Readiness Audit

    The organizational assessment for projects considering separation

    No matter where you are in the separation process, the first thing you should do is download our free PDF Separation Checklist and read our four-part blog series on the separation process, starting here.


    After you do those things, if you are evaluating separating from your sponsor, our Separation Readiness Audit should be your next step.


    The Separation Readiness Audit starts with a detailed inspection of your organization’s current capacity and readiness to stand on its own. From current staff and the services your fiscal sponsor provides, to your potential service providers and Advisory Board, we’ll dig into your organization through the lens of what you need to have, and what you need to do, if and when you separate.


    Your Audit also includes a customized roadmap and suggested timeline for a separation, should you plan to move forward, based on your current situation.


    From start the finish, this process usually takes about 6-8 weeks. And after going through our Audit process, you will come away with a clear assessment of your organization's strengths and vulnerabilities related to becoming an independent nonprofit:

    • In which areas are you well positioned?
    • What are the areas where you need to build capacity or bring in outside experts?
    • What should you be concerned about or give extra attention to?
    • What are your most important next steps?
    • How much time should you plan for your separation?
    • What sort of workload can you expect related to the separation process?

    Your Readiness Audit will reduce wasted time by allowing you to focus on the areas that need the most attention, and, just as importantly, it will provide you, your funders and advisory board with the peace of mind to know it’s going to take for your organization to successfully separate.

    • The fee for the Separation Readiness Audit varies but is usually between $3,000-$4,500 (your Audit purchase includes a credit for our Separation Retainer service should you move forward with that – see below)
    • Length of Engagement: Usually about 6-8 weeks, depending on availability (yours and ours). If you need Audit turned around more quickly, let us know and we’ll see what’s possible.

    **Following the completion of your Audit, if your organization decides to move forward with On-Going Separation Retainer (see below), a credit of $2,000 will be applied to your first three-month purchase -- the equivalent of one month's Retainer. This credit expires two (2) years from the purchase date of your Separation Readiness Audit.***


    Still have questions about the Separation Readiness Audit? Please see the FAQ below or email us at hello@schulmanconsulting.com.


    And if you're ready to get started, click the button below to get schedule your initial phone call.

  • Separation Retainer

    The peace of mind to successfully become an independent 501(c)(3)

    Going from the warm embrace of fiscal sponsorship to the harsh realities of independence means taking on responsibility – and risk – for every part of your organization. From finance and accounting to governance and HR, you, your team and your Board are now responsible.

    Plus, it's a pretty involved process that carries real costs and takes real time.


    You, your team and your Board will have lots of questions...and not enough answers:

    • What types of corporate insurance do I need and how do I know what a fair rate is?
    • How do I find a benefits broker and what should I be providing?
    • What work should I hire external service providers for and what should we handle internally?
    • Who should do my payroll?
    • What forms do I need our employees to fill out?

    But what if you had an experienced professional by your side, someone who could help you navigate this process and give you the peace of mind that you're dotting all of you i's and crossing all of your t's?


    That's what our Separation Retainer service provides.


    I want to show you where the landmines are, what you need to take care of and when, and help you make the right decisions for your organization so your separation can go as smoothly as possible.


    We’ll start with a Separation Readiness Audit (if we haven’t already gone through that process with you). From there, we'll do up to 3 hours of monthly follow-up phone calls (split up as small as 15-minute increments) and we’ll answer an unlimited number of questions via email.

    This is a flexible engagement and, with a deep understanding of your organization, we can assist in a number of different ways, including:

    • Providing recommendations around key decisions you’ll need to make during the separation process
    • Assisting in the review and selection of vendors/service providers
    • Helping you navigate delicate communications with your fiscal sponsor
    • Presenting (via phone or Skype) to members of your Advisory Board/Board of Directors and answering their questions

    With our Separation Retainer, you and your organization have an expert by your side to guide you through the process, provide you with objective guidance and help you troubleshoot when issues arise.

    • The fee for Separation Retainer is $2,000 monthly retainer (3 month minimum)
    • Length of Engagement: As long as you and your organization need it.

    Have a question about our Separation Retainer service? Please see the FAQ below or email us at hello@schulmanconsulting.com.


    And if you're ready to get started, click the button below to get schedule your introductory phone call.

  • Operations Capacity Building

    Training Specially Designed for Your Fiscally-Sponsored Project

    If you are looking to build the capacity you’ll need as an independent 501(c)(3) or just want your staff to better understand and manage the work your fiscal sponsor is doing on your behalf, consider bringing in Schulman Consulting for Operations Capacity Building.


    Depending on your team’s current knowledge and your organization’s staffing plan, we will tailor our training to “meet them where they are” and -- when we’re finished -- they’ll have a thorough understanding of the topics we cover.


    These topics can include:

    • Accounting and Finance for Nonprofit Managers
    • HR Basics
    • Nonprofit Risk Management
    • What Changes When You Become an Independent 501(c)(3)

    In most cases, this training will take place online via a live, webinar-style meeting with plenty of time for Q&A. And since there are always things that come up after the fact, we will be available to your team for four months following your training, to answer follow-up questions and provide short “refreshers” on important topics.


    Our Operations Training will ensure that your team is ready to go – no matter how your organization proceeds.

    • The fee for Staff Training depends on your specific needs. Please inquire for more information.
    • Length of Engagement: One to two (1-2) hour(s) of online training, plus three (3) months of availability for follow-up questions.

    Have a question about our Operations Capacity Building? Please see the FAQ below or email us at hello@schulmanconsulting.com.


    And if you're ready to get started, click the "book now" button below to get schedule your introductory phone call.

  • Project Transfer Facilitation

    For when it's time to find a new home

    If things just aren't working out with your current sponsor -- and you're not ready to separate -- it might be time to find a new home for your Project. Many people don't even know this is an option...but it is.


    Our Transfer Facilitation service will help you understand your unique options and walk you through the possibilities so you can make an informed decision.


    And if it makes sense, we can even introduce you to some fiscal sponsors where you might be a fit.


    Once you schedule your introductory phone call, we’ll get on the phone for 20 minutes to talk through your situation. If we move forward, I'll put together some follow-up questions and, once we get those answered, I'll put together a set of custom recommendations and suggested next steps. Then, we'll have a follow-up call to discuss the recommendations and review your questions.


    I'll then be available via email for 60 days following our call for additional questions.


    It's that simple.

    • The fee for Transfer Facilitation is usually between $2,000-$3,500 depending on your specific needs.
    • Length of Engagement: We can usually get the introductory call scheduled within a week or so. The report will then be ready within 4 weeks. Then I’ll be available via email for 60 days following.

    Have a question about this service? Please see the FAQ below or email us at hello@schulmanconsulting.com.


    Ready to get started? Click the "book now" button.

  • Flexible Guidance

    For whatever you need

    If you'd prefer ad hoc support, or don’t think you’re ready for a monthly retainer, this option may be a good fit. Flexible Guidance provides you with at least four hours to use however you need. We could get on the phone weekly, or use the time as a single block, or it could solely be used for answering email questions from you and your team.


    This is our most flexible option. If you’re moving toward separation and we’ve completed a Separation Readiness Audit for your organization, we’ll be able to offer guidance similar to what we provide in our Separation Retainer service. If we haven’t yet completed an Audit for you, we’ll need a bit of time to get up to speed on your organization’s situation.


    If you’re not on the separation track, you can use your Flexible Guidance time for discussing issues that come up, questions you have about your situation or anything else related to you organization and fiscal sponsorship.


    With Flexible Guidance, you can fine-tune the amount of time and assistance you want.

    • The fee for Flexible Guidance is $200 per hour (4-hour minimum)
    • Length of Engagement: As long as you and your organization need it.


    Still have questions about our Flexible Guidance? Please see the FAQ below or email us at hello@schulmanconsulting.com.


    And if you're ready to get started, click the "book now" button below to get schedule your introductory phone call.

  • FAQ

    What are Fiscal Sponsorship Advisory Services?

    • Fiscal Sponsorship Advisory Services are a suite of consulting engagements design for fiscally sponsored nonprofit projects at different stages of life. Whether you’re just starting out, are considering separation from your sponsor, or are deep into that process, Schulman Consulting can help you weigh your options and provide customized guidance and recommendations.

    Who are Fiscal Sponsorship Advisory Services for?

    • Fiscal Sponsorship Advisory Services are primarily for nonprofit projects currently under, or considering, Model A or Model C fiscal sponsorship.

    How does this work?

    • We treat each client engagement as a unique endeavor, and, depending on your organization and the specific stage your organization is in, things will go a little bit differently. But, for example, here’s how the Separation Readiness Audit works:
      1. To get started, we'll have a 20-minute phone call to make sure our services are a good for your needs.
      2. If we decide to move forward, we’ll send you an online invoice and, when you submit payment via a secure link, we’ll get started.
      3. We will then send you some initial questions and schedule a follow-up 60-minute phone call to discuss your situation in additional detail at a time that’s convenient for you.
      4. After we speak, we will follow up with your detailed audit report including a proposed timeline, next steps for your separation process and recommendations.
      5. Following your receipt of the report, we can schedule a call to discuss these recommendations and go over any questions you may have.
      6. You and your team confidently move forward, prepared for what’s to come.

    Each of our services works in a slightly different way but all of them start with you reaching out via email or an introductory phone call to ensure a fit. From there, each service follows its own path depending on what’s involved.


    What if I purchase a one of your services, like the Separation Readiness Audit. and need more support?

    • While the Separation Readiness Audit is a fixed-length and fixed-scope project, our Separation Retainer and Flexible Guidance services are much more flexible and designed to provide ongoing support when you need it.

    How come I’ve never seen anything like this before?

    • Good question. The concept of fiscal sponsorship, while not new, has been gaining acceptance and popularity over the last decade. Even so, this is an extremely focused market and an area that most people never experience. So, that may be why there aren’t a lot of people focusing on this kind of work.

      But after working for two nonprofits that separated from fiscal sponsors – including one where I led the separation process – I have a unique set of experiences on the process itself, as well as the issues that come up pre- and post-separation, and now I want to help other organizations embarking on that journey.

    How much do Fiscal Sponsorship Advisory Services cost?

    • Fiscal Sponsorship Advisory offerings are priced as follows:
      • Separation Readiness Audit – $3,000-$4,500
      • Separation Retainer – $2,500 per month (3-month minimum)
      • Operations Training – TBD (based on specific needs)
      • Transfer Facilitation – $2,000-$3,500 
      • Flexible Guidance – $200 per hour (4-hour minimum)

    By moving forward with your project, you, your organization and Schulman Consulting all agree to our terms of service.


    What are the payment terms for Separation Consulting?

    • Payment, via credit card, must be submitted before we move forward.

    How can you learn enough about my situation in just a few emails and a phone call to develop a custom solution for me?

    • We understand this concern. Every organization and situation is somewhat unique and we take that into account when discussing your situation with you and providing guidance. But the reality is that fiscally sponsored projects face similar sets of questions of issues at each stage of their development, and that means we're able to offer these services at cost-effective rates.

    What if I’m not happy with the results?

    • Our goal is to provide you the tools, information and peace of mind to understand what’s ahead and confidently make decisions, no matter where you are in the lifecycle. Our success is based on your success. If we start a project and determine that we can’t provide you with actionable recommendations, we will refund your money.

      If we get to the end of the project and you’re not satisfied with the results, we will make best efforts, to provide you with the information and resources that meet your needs.

    What if I need help in other areas of my organization?

    • If you have other operational needs, you may want to take a look at our Organizational Pathfinder or Focused Fix offerings. We also occasionally take on other projects depending on my upcoming workload. If you are interested in that, please contact us by clicking here.

    You haven’t answered my question yet – how can I reach you?

    I'm ready to get started, what do I do next?

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