o Applicants who apply as “Individuals” will no longer be permitted to submit W9s for LLCs or have fiscal agents.
o Organizations that are incorporated in Louisiana 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 Louisiana-based non-profit organization.
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 the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, an organization must have its IRS 501(c)(3) official designation and/or be incorporated in Louisiana. 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 Louisiana with a 501(c)(3) in good status and a current state of Louisiana incorporation. Fiscal agents are not required to be an arts organization.
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. Contact information for the representative of the organization you designate as the fiscal agent will be required on the application 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
- 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 the Jazz & Heritage Foundation (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 the Foundation. However, there will be a minimum waiting period of 15 days from such notification before the Foundation will stop payment on the original check and issue a new one.
7. Must I appoint a fiscal agent now or can I decide to do so after I receive a grant?
The designated fiscal agent should be confirmed at the time of application. Organizations that find themselves facing fiscal agent issues at the contract stage of the funding process should contact the Grants Department as soon as possible.
8. Who is responsible for financial reporting to the Jazz & Heritage Foundation at the end of the grant period?
Whether or not a fiscal agent is designated, all grantees are personally responsible for submitting a final report – a complete and accurate account of all grant expenditures by the deadline specified in your award letter. Organizations with a fiscal agent should arrange to obtain an accounting of expenditures for the final report several weeks prior to its due date.
9. I applied for a grant as an individual and was awarded grant funds as an individual. Can I have a fiscal agent assume financial responsibility?
No. Individuals are not permitted to use fiscal agents in this program. If an individual applied and was awarded as an individual then they are assuming fiduciary responsibility.
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.