Dialog Box


DGR Status and tax-deductions for fundraising purposes


Fiscal Sponsorship allows your project to apply for funding from organisations that require non‐profit tax‐exempt status.

DGR Status (non‐profit status) is required by many foundations and government agencies in order to be eligible for funding since many do not accept application proposals directly from individuals. Additionally, DGR Status allows you to receive tax‐deductible charitable contributions from individuals and corporations—a major incentive for individuals and corporations considering making a donation to your project.   

As your fiscal sponsor, DAF acts as an umbrella organization for your project and accepts and administers funds on your behalf. DAF is legally responsible for the funds received on behalf of fiscally sponsored projects and must insure that the funds are used for charitable activities, as agreed upon between the donor and recipient, and that the donor reporting requirements are met and in a timely fashion.   

Fiscal sponsorship does not mean that we are your producers, fundraisers, or in any way connected to the content or actual production of your project. All artistic and proprietary rights, title, interest in and to the completed project will belong to the Project Director and may be copyrighted in Project Director's name.  While fiscal sponsorship does not provide grants and we do not do research for individual project funding, we are available as a resource to provide suggestions and answer your fundraising questions.  

Fiscal Sponsorship also broadens the available avenues available to you by being able to offer tax‐ deductibility to individual donors. 

How to receive and encourage tax deductible grants

Once you have researched the most relevant sources of financial support for your project, you will need to determine the appropriate organisation through which the grant could be administered so that it becomes tax-deductible to the donor.

Documentary Australia Foundation has been established to make it easy for filmmakers to receive grants and donations. It is also recommended that filmmakers seek partners with charitable organisations that are registered with DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) status. For the private funding model to be effective, many different organisations may need to be approached.

The Documentary Australia Foundation's board assesses projects on behalf of the philanthropic sector determining their eligibility for private funding. The criteria used is similar to the qualifying procedure the government requires in order to determine whether a project is a bona fide documentary. Once certified, eligible projects approved by the Documentary Australia Foundation are listed on the website. The vehicle enables all grantmakers (foundations, individuals and corporations) to make tax-deductible donations to documentaries on the Foundation's Approved List. According to the Documentary Australia Foundation guidelines, filmmakers will be asked key questions in order to be eligible for a grant or donation through the Documentary Australia Foundation. These answers will form the basis for approving the suitability of a documentary for philanthropic support.

A Charitable Organisation

A donor can give to a charitable or other not-for-profit organisation endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient under the Tax Act. The DGR can then support a documentary about the donor's interest area.

A documentary filmmaker could partner with a registered charity to work on a project that includes or is solely comprised of a documentary component. In this case, the charity and filmmaker together submit a proposal for a documentary suitable for philanthropic support either from a foundation, business or individual. This is a straightforward relationship as many charities already work closely with foundations and individual donors, and have the necessary DGR status for the donor to receive a tax deduction.

Documentary filmmakers and organisations in the not for profit sector should take advantage of the opportunity to build relationships in order to make charitable or socially-conscious projects. Increasingly, organisations will consider documentary to be a viable part of their outreach potential.

In brief, there are clear reasons why this avenue is attractive for donors.

  1. The charity or non-profit has DGR status in order for the donor to receive a tax deduction.
  2. Foundations are already working closely with the charity sector, so they speak the same language and understand each other's goals.
  3. The charitable organisation adds credibility to the documentary proposal by partnering in their relationship to the community.
  4. The charity has an ongoing involvement in the outreach of the documentary ensuring its broad reach and impact.





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