Welcome to Gray Area's fiscal sponsorship program. This page will provide you with instructions and tools for efficiently processing financial and other requests.


➢ Proper financial procedures must be followed in order that Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GRAY AREA), charged with the responsibility of conducting financial activity in accordance with the laws of the State of California, does not jeopardize its legal tax-exempt status. GRAY AREA cannot process transactions with items missing, and will neither cash a check submitted to us for deposit, nor make funds available to a project unless all proper procedures are followed. All payment requests and deposits missing information will be returned to projects for completion.

➢ Be sure to keep copies of all financial forms for your files. Always keep original invoices and receipts for your files, and provide GRAY AREA with scans/photos.

➢ GRAY AREA does not accept or disburse cash.


➢ For income derived from benefits, raffles, and/or auctions, contact GRAY AREA staff for procedures well before any event materials are printed. There are special requirements for these types of events.

➢ A grant/contribution letter and/or contract must be included with all checks in the amount of $2,500 or more from individuals, foundations and government agencies. Checks must be made payable to “Gray Area Foundation For The Arts”. The letter must be addressed to GRAY AREA. GRAY AREA will not cash the check, nor make funds available to you until such a letter is supplied. Please use exact wording from Sample Contribution/Grant Letter.

➢ Checks must be made payable to “Gray Area Foundation For The Arts” if the donor wants a tax-deductible contribution acknowledgement. If the check is not made payable to Gray Area Foundation For The Arts, it is not a gift to a tax-exempt organization and the donor will not receive a charitable contribution acknowledgement from GRAY AREA. Checks that are not payable to Gray Area Foundation For The Arts will not be deposited at GRAY AREA.

➢ Once funds have been received by GRAY AREA on behalf of your project, you have access to them after 7 business days, less GRAY AREA’s administrative fee. You may not request funds before they have been received by GRAY AREA. Checks are issued on the fifteenth and last day of each month. Deposits must be made at least 7 business days before the check date.

➢ GRAY AREA will provide written acknowledgment for checks totaling $250 or more. According to IRS regulations, contributions of less than $250 can be supported by a cancelled check.

Depositing Funds

➢ Please mail or hand deliver funds to: Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, ℅: Fiscal Sponsorship Program, 2665 Mission St. San Francisco, CA 94110.

➢ Ensure that the check is made payable to Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, with your project name in a memo.

➢ Ensure that a donor letter specifying your project name, as well as the grant agreement if applicable are enclosed with the check.

➢ For wires, please use the wire instructions and sample contribution form. It is important that you provide this information so that we can identify and correctly allocate your funds. Please note that there is a $35 bank fee for wires.


➢Use the Payment Request Form to draw funds from your GRAY AREA account.

➢All payment requests should be sent digitally.

➢Please be aware that GRAY AREA cannot provide certified checks.

➢For all reimbursements you must provide proof of payment. Acceptable forms of proof include an itemized credit card receipt, a copy of the cleared check(s) plus the invoice, a bank/credit card statement plus the invoice, or an invoice with a zero balance marked paid.

➢GRAY AREA encourages you to have GRAY AREA pay your vendor or service payments directly. Direct payments to vendors require less paperwork than reimbursements.

➢Reimbursement payment requests are processed on the 15th and last day of each month.

➢Invoices received for Independent contractor services are net 30.

➢ There is a $50 fee for an expedited reimbursement payment- to process a payment outside of the check run cycle. We do not expedite independent contractor service payments.

Payment Request Form Instructions

To withdraw funds from your Gray Area Foundation For The Arts account, you must complete all sections of the Payment Request Form.

Amount: Enter the check amount. This amount should match the attached invoice or receipt. If it does not, please provide an explanation in the podio form.

Project Name: Enter the name of your project as it appears on the fiscal sponsorship agreement.

Payee: Add the name of the person or entity to whom we are cutting the check, the mailing address where the check will be sent, and a phone and email for the payee. Note: If the payee is an unincorporated individual providing a service, the payee will need to provide a W9.
➢When paying an independent contractor, you must include an Independent Contractor Invoice. You may use the blank, generic independent contractor invoice, or you can create your own invoice, as long as it contains the same information.
➢The independent contractor invoice must include the Invoices must include the payee name, mailing address, the date of the service, a description of the service or the amount owed. Payment for services can either be a flat rate previously agreed upon or an hourly rate. If you are paying an hourly rate, the invoice must include the number of hours worked on each date worked, the hourly rate, and the total.
➢When paying an independent contractor or vendor for the first time, include a Form W-9 (available online) with your payment request. Form W-9 is required for 1099 tax reporting purposes; it is an information document that reports to a payer (GRAY AREA) the legal status, address and taxpayer identification of a payee.
➢On behalf of your sponsored project, GRAY AREA will prepare IRS Form 1099-MISC, for all unincorporated business entities and individuals that have provided services of $600 or more during the calendar year. These payments will be reported as miscellaneous income (Box 7) on IRS Form 1099-MISC. GRAY AREA generates 1099 forms for your project annually. Your project will receive a written inquiry regarding 1099’s at the end of every year.
➢GRAY AREA cannot process 1099’s for your organization if you pay independent contractors using funds from a cash advance or reimbursement.

Category: Choose an expense category from the drop down menu. If you need help choosing a category contact Gray Area.

Description: Please add a description of the expense. For example “printer paper”, or “travel from San Francisco to Oakland to meet with XYZ potential funder.”

Receipt Image: Add a pdf, jpg, gif, bpm of the receipt, invoice, or any other supporting documents for this expense such as W-9 if applicable.

Notes: Include any special notes to Gray Area in this space.

Sample Forms

You may use and customize the following templates to fit your project needs.

Sample Budget: Use this template to create an organization budget or a project budget. You can also add a column to track how your actual expenses compare to what you budgeted.

Sample Prospect List: This is a great way to keep track of your funding prospects, which team member is assigned as their contact, and what their action items are.

In-Kind Donation Form: If you are receiving in-kind donations (supplies rather than money) and the donor wants a letter for her taxes, please complete and return this form to Gray Area.