Fiscal Sponsorship

  1. What does BEDF do?

    • BEDF is the fiscal sponsor for Boston Public Schools. In this role, we provide BPS schools and departments comprehensive financial management services for their philanthropic funds. In other words, we help schools properly deposit, manage, and disburse all of their grants and donations.
    • —————————————————————————————
    • As part of our fiscal sponsorship, we provide a number of related services:
      • -Financial accounting
      • -Fund management (deposits and disbursements)
      • -Grant-seeking and grant-writing support
      • -Fundraising support and capacity building
      • -Human resources and payroll support
  2. What is fiscal sponsorship?

    • -Fiscal sponsorship is the legal term for a formal relationship between a 501(c)3, tax-exempt non-profit (a public charity) and an organization or project, by which the charity offers its tax-exempt status to the organization or project, so that it can fundraise and offer attractive tax-deduction benefits to funders and donors. Generally, the sponsored organization or project aligns with the public charity’s pre-existing mission. For example, BEDF sponsors education-related organizations and projects.
    • -Fiscal sponsors are 501(c)3, non-profit organizations (public charities) that provide their tax exempt status to other organizations and programs. As a result, funders and donors receive the tax incentives and deductions that come from giving to a public charity, despite the sponsored organization or program not having their own IRS-recognized tax-exempt status.
    • -Beyond simply offering their tax-exempt status to their sponsees, fiscal sponsors generally provide “fiduciary oversight, financial management, and other administrative services to help build the capacity of charitable projects.”
    • -It is important to note that, in a fiscal sponsorship relationship, all revenues generated are legally controlled by the sponsoring organization. Any disbursements are thus made at the “recommendation” of the sponsored organization.
  3. Why should I use a fiscal sponsor?

    • -Fiscal sponsorship with BEDF allows BPS schools the ability to offer tax-deductible benefits to the foundations, corporations, individuals, and other philanthropic entities that support their important work.
    • -Fiscal sponsorship also affords BPS school leaders the luxury of “outsourcing” fiscal responsibility and management. Instead of having to worry about grant accounting, reporting, and auditing, principals can focus on their teachers, students, and school community.
  4. What is BEDF’s relationship with BPS?

    • Although BEDF primarily supports BPS schools and departments, it is a separate legal entity, not under the auspices of the City of Boston. BEDF is not a BPS department, nor does it exclusively with BPS.
  5. How many funds does BEDF manage?

    • BEDF partners with nearly 100 schools around Boston, and many departments within the school system. Overall, we actively manages over 600 funds, overseeing the administration of $10-$12 million in philanthropic funding annually.
  6. Does BEDf?

    • Yes. BEDF’s standard rate is a small service fee of 5% on all new deposits/revenues.
  7. Why does BEDF take a percentage off of my deposits?

    • It is quite common and perfectly acceptable for a fiscal sponsor to charge an administrative fee for its services, which is usually a percentage of the revenues generated by the sponsee (primarily incoming grant and donation deposits). Fiscal sponsors may also charge application fees, start-up fees, annual dues, or per-expense fees.
  8. How long does it take for BEDF to process new deposit requests?

    • BEDF processes new deposits within 7-10 business days. If there is a delay in the processing of a new deposit, BEDF will contact the fund manager.
  9. How long does it take for BEDF to process new payment requests?

    • BEDF processes new payments within 7-10 business days of fund manager approval. If there is a delay in the processing of a new payment, BEDF will contact the fund manager.
  10. As a school leader, how can I find out how much money is in each of my funds?

    • For current fund balances, please email BEDF at admin@bedf.org. BEDF responds to email inquiries within 72 hours (during the work week).
    • Additionally, if you are interested in using Salesforce to manage and track all of your funds, deposits, and payments in real-time, please contact Felipe Herrera at fherrera3@bedf.org.
  11. Where can I find grant and fundraising support (for my classroom or my school)?

    • -Please refer to OEA doc or AGM doc. Additionally, BEDF is happy to offer comprehensive grant-seeking and fundraising services.
    • -If you are interested in learning more about BEDF’s development support services, please contact Marlene Veldwisch at mveldwisch@bedf.org.
  12. Can BEDF help me generate financial reports for my funds and grants?

  13. Can BEDF assist my school with payroll administration?

  14. How can I contact BEDF?

    • You can contact BEDF by emailing admin@BEDF.org or calling 617.391.4560.

Troubleshooting (General):

  1. Deposits/Revenues:

    1. What are deposits?
      • Deposits are any philanthropic revenues going to a school. Most frequently, these revenues come in the form of grants and donations.
    2. Where do my deposits go?
      • When you deposit a new revenue with BEDF, we add the deposit amount to one of your existing BEDF funds. We can also create an entirely new fund, if preferred.
    3. What do I need to deposit a new revenue with BEDF?
      • To submit a new deposit you will need a Deposit Request Form, any Grant Letters (if the deposit is a grant), and a Check.
    4. What are the steps for depositing a new revenue with BEDF?
  2. Payments/Disbursements:

    1. What are payments?
      • Payments are any expenses or disbursements coming out of a BEDF fund. Most frequently, payments are made to vendors (for their goods and services) or to employees (for payroll and reimbursements).
    2. Where do my payments go?
      • BEDF can send payments in the form of physical checks or ACH wire transfers. Once processed, the payment amount will be subtracted from the appropriate BEDF fund.
    3. What do I need to make a new disbursement through BEDF?
      • Payments: Payment Request Form, Invoice, Contractual Agreement Form (for individuals), W-9
      • Reimbursement: Payment Request Form, Proof of Payment (Receipt), and Expense Summary
    4. What are the steps for making a disbursement through BEDF?
  3. Funding:

    1. Is BEDF a grantmaker as well?
      • Each year, BEDF’s School Advancement Grants (SAG) provides up to 4 schools with $10,000 in funding for specific programs. Grant applications open in March and close in May, with winners being notified in June. For more information on past grantees, please see the SAG webpage.
    2. Can BEDF help me find grants?
      • To view current grant opportunities, please click here.
    3. Can BEDF help me find potential funders and donors?
      • To view organizations that have historically given to Boston Public Schools, please click here. If you are interested in contacting a potential funder and would like more information, please email Felipe Herrera at fherrera3@bedf.org.
    4. Will BEDF write a grant proposal for me?
      • While BEDF cannot commit to writing all BPS schools’ grants, we are happy to assist during the process and provide capacity-building support. For more information, please contact Marlene Veldwisch at mveldwisch@bedf.org.
    5. Can BEDF help me run a fundraiser for my school?
      • -Yes! If you are interested in running a fundraiser for your school or department, BEDF is happy to help set up a FlipCause or Network for Good page for your cause. We will then work with you to make sure that all donations populate on your Salesforce accounts.
      • -BEDF’s in-house development expert, Marlene Veldwisch, is also happy to help you think through your next grant-writing or fundraising opportunity. You can email her at mveldwisch@bedf.org.

Troubleshooting (Salesforce):

  1. I’m just starting to use Salesforce. Where can I find a basic primer on what is and how use it?
    • -For a helpful guide on Salesforce terminology, click here.
    • -For a quick overview of the basic user interface when you log in, click here.
  2. How do I login?

  3. I forgot my password, what do I do?

    • If you forget your password or run into any other login difficulties, please email admin@bedf.org.
  4. How can I see my funds?

    • For current BEDF fund amounts, please login to your Salesforce and click on the “Opportunities/Funds” tab. The number to pay attention to “BEDF total amount available.”
  5. What are “Views?”

    • -Views are simply different styles of viewing your Salesforce data and information. Some “Views” will include information that other “Views” do not. For example, you can view all of your deposits or just your grant-related deposits!
    • -For a more detailed explanation of different views, please click here.
  6. How can I see my deposits?

    • -To see a list of all of your deposits, click on the “Revenues” tab and view “All Deposits” or “All Revenues.”
    • -You can also view only your grants, by selecting “All Grants.”
  7. How can I see my payments?

    • -To see a list of all of your payments, click on the “Disbursements” tab and view “All Payments” or “All Disbursements.”
    • -You can see all your BEDF service charges by selecting “BEDF Fees.”
    • -You can view payments made from a grants by selecting “Payments from Grants.”
  8. How can I add a new fund?

    • -To create a new fund in Salesforce, click “Create” (in the top left corner of Salesforce) and select “New Opportunity.”
  9. How can I record a new deposit?

  10. How can I make a new payment?

  11. How can I create a new vendor?

    • -To create a new vendor in Salesforce, click “Create” (in the top left corner of Salesforce) and select “New Account.”
  12. How can I view spending related to a specific grant?

  13. How can I view and submit payroll/timesheet information?

    • -This feature is coming soon!
  14. Can BEDF help me run a fundraiser?

    • -Yes! If you are interested in running a fundraiser for your school or department, BEDF is happy to help set up a FlipCause or Network for Good page for your cause. We will then work with you to make sure that all donations populate on your Salesforce accounts.
    • -BEDF’s in-house development expert, Marlene Veldwisch, is also happy to help you think through your next grant-writing or fundraising opportunity. You can email her at mveldwisch@bedf.org.
  15. How do I create Reports in Salesforce?

  16. Something is not working right; who can I contact?

    • If you are unable to find a solution to your Salesforce problem in any of the troubleshooting guides, please contact admin@bedf.org and we will address your situation promptly.