- Email TFC to set up a phone consultation. Get your application questions answered!
- Join TFC at the Contributor level or higher
- Pay the $45 Fiscal Sponsorship Application Fee
- Prepare your project proposal as per the Project Proposal Guidelines below. Be prepared to upload a PDF of your proposal via the application form in the next step
- Complete and submit the online application form
What is a Project Proposal?
The proposal you submit to The Film Collaborative as a potential fiscal sponsor will also serve as a blueprint proposal you will use to secure funding from individuals, foundations, corporations, or government organizations. Therefore, it is imperative that you direct your application to potential funders as well as to The Film Collaborative.
Our goal is to help you build the best possible proposal in order to go forward and successfully raise the necessary funds to realize your project. Think of your proposal as an ongoing business plan that you will update as your project moves forward.
- Format proposal using single spacing. Do not double space.
- Use Times/Times New Roman or Helvetica/Arial at 10pt, 11pt or 12pt.
- Use the same font and font size throughout.
- Left footer: filmmaker name and the name of the project.
- Right footer: add page numbers.
- Comply with suggested lengths in the guidelines.
- Do not write in the first person.
- Say it clearly and concisely. Avoid exceeding recommended word count and repeating information.
- Each proposal element is required unless otherwise stated.
- After the title page your proposal should flow from one section to the next with clearly marked headings. Although the sections are numbered below, it is not necessary to number your sections or repeat the guidelines on your proposal.
- The budget should begin on a new page.
- Your proposal should be submitted as a single PDF. (Instructions: Mac • Windows)
- While you may draw from existing materials, please do not submit a proposal created specifically for other funders or sponsors without customizing it to meet the guidelines outlined below.
Application Review Process and Time-Line
Most applications are given an initial review within 1 week of submission.
If your application does not require edits and is approved, you will be notified of acceptance and sent start up documentation.
If your application requires edits and/or additional information, you will be contacted via email with details. Your revised Project Proposal is required within 30 days in order to remain active. If you abandon the application process you must pay another application fee to re-start the process.
When a final decision has been reached about your application you will be contacted via email.
Project Proposal Guidelines
- Title Page
- Project Description
- Synopsis and Treatment (optional for documentary proposals)
- Distribution Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Funding Strategy
- Current Project Status and Completion Plan
- Key Personnel
- Budget: Summary and Breakdown
Your title page can include an image that represents your project. Also include a one or two sentence description or tag line, the project title, length, format and genre of the project, and all contact information: name of primary contact and secondary contact (if applicable), company (if applicable), address, phone, email, website.
Provide introductory information about your project such as type (documentary or narrative), length (short or feature), subject matter, information that puts your project into context that is not explained in the project description. (500 words maximum)
Describe your film specifically and visually. Explain the approach to the subject, the style, and organization of the material, the setting, characters and plot. Explain why you are the best person to make this film, why your approach is unique and must be told, what you want to achieve with this film, goals, questions asked, answered etc. Make it interesting, something funders will be attracted to. This is your opportunity to tell a funder what your project is all about and make them want to fund it. This should NOT be a treatment of your film. (500 words maximum)
Narrative proposals MUST include a Synopsis and Treatment. This is in addition to #3 Project Description. (1200 words maximum)
Identify the intended audience for the project. What are the demographic(s) and their interests? Who do you want to educate or entertain with your project? Be specific, show you have done your research. (200 words maximum)
Outline your method(s) for reaching your intended audience. For example, festivals, broadcast, educational markets, media arts centers, limited theatrical release etc. Use specific examples to illustrate what methods you plan to use. Show you have done your research—do not simply name all the top festivals, broadcasters and distributors; name the ones that would actually be a good fit and realistic for your project. Research the interests and focus of potential distribution options. (300 words maximum)
How will you get the word out about your film? Please describe beyond Facebook and Twitter. (300 words maximum)
We want to know that you are ready and prepared to “hit the ground fundraising” once you are accepted into the program. We recognize that your funding strategy will mature and evolve as you go. We are looking for applicants who have done their homework, know the difference between funding that requires fiscal sponsorship and funding that does not and is able to present a good starter plan and budget figure for both. Provide names of funders, deadlines and amounts for identified sources.
Include the following: total project budget, minus funds raised or committed to date, in-kind donations, deferred fees, waived fess etc. if applicable. This will leave your current fundraising goal. How much of this goal do you intend to raise through fiscal sponsorship? How much do you intend to raise other ways? Discuss your strategies for reaching your goal, list individual donations, grants, corporate sponsorships etc. and the amounts you are requesting for each. Know if a grant you intend to apply for requires a fiscal sponsor or not and create categories for both. A key factor in determining acceptance of a project is the filmmaking team's ability to raise the funds outlined in the budget. All information provided will be kept confidential, private funding sources will never be shared by TFC. Need help? Just ask. We want to help you be successful.
Please note: TFC cannot consider projects with fiscal sponsorship fundraising goals of less than $20,000.
Describe the current status of your project. Use a timeline, chart or bullet point format. Outline what has been accomplished to date, the stages and approximate lengths of time for each stage leading to completion. Use actual dates. Use production phases with enough detail to show when you plan to do each significant part.
Include a paragraph bio about yourself, use headings for your name, role, e.g. Producer. Include a bio for each confirmed principle participant. (e.g., Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Editor). If applicable, include info on technical or subject specialist advisors. List your advisory board with name, title, affiliation and any other relevant information. Include 1 paragraph bios not resumes. Include only relevant experience and information.
Your budget should complement your funding strategy as described in #8. Use a proper film budget format, there are many free templates available online, or use film budgeting software. The budget should be realistic and consistent with your project narrative that includes all phases for which you need fiscal sponsorship: development, pre-production, post-production, outreach, distribution etc.
Clearly indicate total project budget, income and expenses, funds raised or committed to date and the sources, funds spent to date, in-kind donations, deferred fees, waived fess etc. fundraising goal for funds to be raised by fiscal sponsorship and outside of fiscal sponsorship if applicable.
- Add 10% contingency to entire budget.
- Add 5% fiscal sponsor fee.
URL link to Vimeo or Youtube work sample for this project. You will have the opportunity to provide link to past work in the section below. Not necessary for films in early stages of development or production.
Be selective, excessive documents will not be read! Example attachments: letters of support, reviews of past work, Vimeo or YouTube link to past work etc. Do NOT include information as an attachment that should be included in the sections above.