What is fiscal sponsorship?

Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement where a not-for-profit organisation holding Deductible Gift Recipient status, like Documentary Australia, agrees to sponsor a project that furthers our mission, for the purpose of fundraising through grants and donations.

This alternative to starting your own not-for-profit allows you to seek philanthropic grants and solicit tax-deductible donations for your social impact project, documentary or campaign, with the oversight and endorsement of Documentary Australia.

Why documentary australia?

We work at the intersection of documentary, philanthropy and social impact.

We exist to support independent documentary filmmakers in utilising their films to create positive change in the world. Our Fiscal Sponsorship program allows us to elevate projects in all stages of development, production, post-production, distribution, outreach and impact campaigns helping filmmakers who may otherwise not be able to secure the funding they need to see their projects financed, finished and unleashed to have impact.

As your fiscal sponsor, we accept and administer funds for your project on your behalf. We are 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 any donor reporting requirements are met and in a timely fashion.   

What it does not mean

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 DocAus does not provide individual grants or do research for individual project funding, we are available as a resource to provide suggestions and answer your fundraising questions.  

What do we sponsor?

Documentary Australia grants fiscal sponsorship to independent documentary filmmakers with a quality social impact project, regardless of education, background or previous credits.

Whether this is your first film, or you’ve been making documentaries longer than we’ve been supporting them, if you’ve got a social impact goal, we can help. 


Your project must be a non-fiction film, video or multimedia project. The term “project” is used broadly, and may refer to a one-time project or an ongoing series.​

The project director (or producer) must have an Australian Business Number.

The project application should reflect your ability to develop a quality project and your ability to identify funding sources.

Although your film may be on any social issue, the film must have a clear social impact goal and must not reflect values that unlawfully discriminate, according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Your project must be social issue driven and must not be produced solely for commercial gain.

Terms and conditions

By submitting an application you agree to be legally bound by the Terms and Conditions.

Please review them carefully before applying.

We charge an application fee of $150 (+GST) to cover administration costs. In return we showcase your project to the philanthropic community for the life of your campaign and provide access to helpful workshops and resources.

We also offer annual memberships for filmmakers who wish to access our filmmaker support program DocWorks

SubmitTING an application

Simply create yourself a free login on our website and then submit an online application.  You can manage your submissions via your filmmaker dashboard.

Application submissions are taken every four months.

Read the Applications Guidelines

If you have any questions that are not answered in the Fiscal Sponsorship Application Guidelines or Frequently Asked Questions don’t hesitate to contact our office.