Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) can use a fiscal agent to apply for Fulton County funds.
Artist Collectives and organizations that are incorporated in the State of Georgia but do not yet have their 501(c)(3) status may use a fiscal agent to apply for funds. Your fiscal agent must be a Fulton County based non-profit organization with its 501(c)(3) status and ideally should be a current or potential project partner.
A fiscal agent must be identified at the time of your application submission. If your organization is awarded funding, the fiscal agent enters into a contract with the Fulton County Arts Council (FCAC) on your behalf. A copy of the fiscal agent’s 501(c)(3) letter and State of Georgia
Certificate of Incorporation must be submitted with application.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fiscal Agents
1. What is a fiscal agent?
A fiscal agent is an organization that agrees to accept and be responsible for grant monies on your behalf.
2. Why would I want to designate a fiscal agent?
To be eligible to apply for funding from Fulton County Arts & Culture (FCAC) each applicant must have its IRS 501(c)(3) official designation and be incorporated in the State of Georgia. An organization without the appropriate legal structure is not eligible for funding unless applying with a fiscal agent.
3. Who may serve as a fiscal agent?
Non-profit organizations based in Fulton County with a 501(c)(3) in good status and a current state of Georgia incorporation. Fiscal agents are not required to be an arts organization. Organizations with religious affiliations are not eligible to serve as fiscal agents.
4. How do I designate a fiscal agent?
This depends mostly on your organization’s professional relations within the non-profit community. You may also wish to consult colleagues who have previously received grants to find out about their experience. A representative of the organization you designate as fiscal agent must sign the application certification page where indicated. This individual must be authorized to represent and act in the name of the organization, specifically in the receipt, disbursement and oversight of grant monies. In addition, you should be careful to verify that the address of the fiscal agent entered on the form is the correct and complete mailing address to which a check may be sent.
5. What are the responsibilities of the fiscal agent?
The fiscal agent is responsible for receiving and safeguarding your grant funds. Furthermore, the fiscal agent is legally obligated to:
- Maintain separate records of disbursements related to the grant
- Keep receipts for at least three (3) years following receipt of the grant
- Make financial records available to FCAC upon request
- Disburse funds in accordance with the purpose of the grant application
- Disburse funds solely at the direction of the grantee
6. What happens if I designate a fiscal agent and the check is lost?
It is your responsibility as a grantee to follow up with the fiscal agent organization to make sure you receive your funds when you need them. If a check issued by Fulton County Government (either to an individual or an organization) does not arrive within a reasonable period after award notification and appears to have been misplaced or lost in transit, you should contact FCAC. However, there will be a minimum waiting period of 60 days from such notification before Fulton County Government will stop payment on the original check and issue a new one.
7. Are there any disadvantages to designating a fiscal agent?
There may be some disadvantages to designating a fiscal agent. For example:
- You will not have direct control over the funds, but will need to deal with one or more intermediaries at the fiscal agency to arrange disbursement.
- Since most fiscal agents are large, complex organizations, there could be delays in accessing funds.
- Changes in personnel at the fiscal agency could result in delays or miscommunication.
- It will be your responsibility to identify and follow up with the appropriate representative of the fiscal agent organization to ensure that you receive your grant in a timely fashion.
8. Must I appoint a fiscal agent now or can I decide to do so after I receive a grant?
The designated fiscal agent must be confirmed at the time of application. Organizations who find themselves facing fiscal agent issues at the contract stage of the funding process will forfeit its right to the award.
9. Who is responsible for financial reporting to FCAC at the end of the grant period?
Whether or not a fiscal agent is designated, all grantees are personally responsible for submitting a complete and accurate account of all grant expenditures by the deadline specified in your award letter. If you have a fiscal agent, you should arrange to obtain an accounting of expenditures for the final report several weeks prior to its due date.
DISCLAIMER: The above should be considered general information rather than specific tax advice. We recommend you consult a tax specialist or accountant with any questions about your situation.