Heather Harrell started with a vision to create a school in her community that would not only educate students from 1st grade through 8th grade, but make a lasting positive impact on their community for years to come. Heather gathered an amazing team to create The Village School of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I’m really passionate that we need to create life-long learners and critical thinkers in this country,” Heather said. “The goal is a joyful learning environment where we create a village of support for parents and students.”
But Heather was faced with a problem. The process of filing for their 501c3 nonprofit status with the IRS was taking longer than anticipated and she was warned the wait could be several months before they heard back on the status of their application.
“We were trying to figure out how we could raise money as a nonprofit while we were in the process of filing for our 501c3,” she said.
Most grant providers require 501c3 status to even apply for grant funding, and her team had family and friends from around the country who wanted to donate, but they couldn’t register to fundraise in some of those states without 501c3 status. They felt stuck.
Then Heather started researching fiscal sponsorship programs and found Fiscal Sponsorship Allies. She reached out and was met with our friendly team of knowledgeable staff who explained that fiscal sponsorship would allow Fiscal Sponsorship Allies to accept donations and grants on the school’s behalf, and then the funds could be distributed to the school for a 2% fee of the funds.
“It was really helpful that Fiscal Sponsorship Allies were willing to answer the questions of the chair of our board and myself, to be able to walk through what fiscal sponsorship means for us.” Heather said. “And the rate was really good in terms of cost to us. We only pay 2%, as opposed to some other organizations whose rates were higher. We can tell our donors that the vast majority of their donation will come directly to Village School. And Fiscal Sponsorship Allies was already set up to raise money in all 50 states, so we could reach out to friends and family who wanted to support us.”
As they’re raising funding as a fiscal sponsee of Fiscal Sponsorship Allies, The Village School of Louisville is now preparing to open their doors for the first time in the fall of 2021, ready to make their vision of a vibrant, inclusive school for children a reality.