Tailored to the needs of fiscally sponsored projects on the separation track

If you’re part of a fiscally sponsored project – especially operating under Model A or Model C sponsorship – you know projects are their own, unique animal. Sure, you’re a nonprofit – but there’s another layer to your operations.

And if your Project is “on the separation track,” you’re operating as a sponsored project, while keeping an eye on becoming an independent 501(c)(3). It’s a lot to deal with.

With that in mind, Schulman Consulting has developed two services specially designed for your needs:

  • Separation Readiness Audit – The place to start if you’re considering separation – we’ll assess your organization from top to bottom and let you know what you’ll need to successfully separate from your sponsor and operate as an independent 501(c)(3).
  • Separation Retainer – If you’re separating and want expert, on-demand counsel throughout the process, this is what you need.

Whether you’re ready to separate soon — or its a bit down the road, Schulman Consulting’s Separation Services will help ensure your organization is making the right decisions, prepared, and ready for the next step.

If you know what you need and are ready to get started, click here to set up an initial phone call. For more information on each of our services, please keep reading.

Separation Readiness Audit

The organizational assessment for projects considering separation

No matter where you are in the separation process, the first thing you should do is download our free PDF Separation Checklist and read our four-part blog series on the separation process, starting here.

After you do those things, if you are evaluating separating from your sponsor, our Separation Readiness Audit should be your next step.

The Separation Readiness Audit starts with a detailedinspection of your organization’s current capacity and readiness to stand on its own. From current staff and the services your fiscal sponsor provides to your potential service providers and Advisory Board, we’ll dig into your organization through the lens of what you need to have, and what you need to do, if and when you separate.

Your Audit also includes a customized roadmap and a suggested timeline, should you plan to move forward, based on your current situation.

From start the finish, this process usually takes about 6-8 weeks. And after going through our Audit process, you will come away with a clear assessment of your organization’s strengths and vulnerabilities related to becoming an independent nonprofit:

  • In which areas are you well positioned?
  • What are the areas where you need to build capacity or bring in outside experts?
  • What should you be concerned about or give extra attention to?
  • What are your most important next steps?
  • How much time should you plan for your separation?
  • What sort of workload can you expect related to the separation process?

Your Readiness Audit will reduce wasted time by allowing you to focus on the areas that need the most attention, and, just as importantly, it will provide you, your funders and advisory board with the peace of mind to know it’s going to take for your organization to successfully separate.

  • The fee for the Separation Readiness Audit varies but is usually between $3,000-$5,000 (your Audit purchase includes a credit for our Separation Retainer service should you move forward with that – see below)
  • Length of Engagement: Usually about 6-8 weeks, depending on availability (yours and ours). If you need Audit turned around more quickly, let us know and we’ll see what’s possible.

**Following the completion of your Audit, if your organization decides to move forward with a Separation Retainer (see below), a credit of $2,000 will be applied to your first three-month purchase — the equivalent of one month’s Retainer. This credit expires two (2) years from the purchase date of your Separation Readiness Audit.***

Still have questions about the Separation Readiness Audit? Please see the FAQ below or email us at hello@schulmanconsulting.com.

And if you’re ready to get started, click the blue button below to get schedule your initial phone call.

Separation Retainer

The peace of mind to successfully become an independent 501(c)(3)

Going from the warm embrace of fiscal sponsorship to the harsh realities of independence means taking on responsibility – and risk – for every part of your organization. From finance and accounting to governance and HR, you, your team and your Board are now responsible.

Plus, it’s a pretty involved process that carries real costs and takes real time.

You, your team and your Board will have lots of questions…and not enough answers:

  • What types of corporate insurance do I need and how do I know what a fair rate is?
  • How do I find a benefits broker and what should I be providing?
  • What work should I hire external service providers for and what should we handle internally?
  • Who should do my payroll?
  • What forms do I need our employees to fill out?

But what if you had an experienced professional by your side, someone who could help you navigate this process and give you the peace of mind that you’re dotting all of you i’s and crossing all of your t’s?

That’s what our Separation Retainer service provides.

I want to show you where the landmines are, what you need to take care of and when, and help you make the right decisions for your organization so your separation can go as smoothly as possible.

If we haven’t already gone through the Separation Readiness Audit process with you (see above), we’ll conduct a topline assessment of your needs. From there, we’ll do up to 3 hours of monthly follow-up phone calls (split up as small as 15-minute increments) and we’ll answer an unlimited number of questions via email.

This is a flexible engagement and, with a deep understanding of your organization, we can assist in a number of different ways, including:

  • Providing recommendations around key decisions you’ll need to make during the separation process
  • Assisting in the review and selection of vendors/service providers
  • Making introductions to vetted, high-quality service providers
  • Helping you navigate delicate communications with your fiscal sponsor
  • Presenting (via phone or Skype) to members of your Advisory Board/Board of Directors and answering their questions

With our Separation Retainer, you and your organization have an expert by your side to guide you through the process, provide you with objective guidance and help you troubleshoot when issues arise.

  • The fee for Separation Retainer is $2,000 monthly retainer (3 month minimum)
  • Length of Engagement: As long as you and your organization need it.

Have a question about our Separation Retainer service? Please see the FAQ below or email us at hello@schulmanconsulting.com.

And if you’re ready to get started, click the blue button below to get schedule your introductory phone call.

Click Here to Schedule Your Call


What are Separation Services?

  • Separation Services are a suite of consulting engagements designed to assist fiscally sponsored projects through the process of separation from their sponsor.

Who are Separation Services for?

  • Separation Services are for sponsored nonprofit projects on the “separation track.”

How does this work?

  • We treat each client engagement as a unique endeavor, and, depending on your organization and the specific stage your organization is in, things will go a little bit differently. But, for example, here’s how the Separation Readiness Audit works:* To get started, we’ll have a 20-minute phone call to make sure our services are a good for your needs.
    * If we decide to move forward, we’ll send you an online invoice and, when you submit payment via a secure link, we’ll get started.
    * We will then send you an initial questionnaire and schedule a follow-up 60-minute phone call to discuss your situation in additional detail at a time that’s convenient for you.
    * After we speak, we will follow up with your detailed audit report including a proposed timeline, next steps for your separation process and recommendations.
    * Following your receipt of the report, we can schedule a call to discuss these recommendations and go over any questions you may have.
    * You and your team confidently move forward, prepared for what’s to come.

Each of our services works in a slightly different way but all of them start with you reaching out via email or an introductory phone call to ensure a fit. From there, each service follows its own path depending on what’s involved.

What if I purchase a one of your services, like the Separation Readiness Audit. and need more support?

  • While the Separation Readiness Audit is a fixed-length and fixed-scope project, our Separation Retainer service is much more flexible and designed to provide ongoing support when you need it.

How come I’ve never seen anything like this before?

  • Good question. The concept of fiscal sponsorship, while not new, has been gaining acceptance and popularity over the last decade. Even so, this is an extremely focused market and an area that most people never experience. So, that may be why there aren’t a lot of people focusing on this kind of work.But after working in and around fiscal sponsorship for the better part of the last decade, we have unique, specialized knowledge and a deep understanding of what it takes to successfully separate from a sponsor and thrive as an independent nonprofit.

How much do Separation Services cost?

  • Our Separation offerings are priced as follows:
    * Separation Readiness Audit – usually between $3,000 and $5,000
    * Separation Retainer – $2,000 per month (3-month minimum)

By moving forward with your project, you, both your organization and Schulman Consulting all agree to our terms of service.

What are the payment terms for Separation Consulting?

  • For project work, payment, via credit card, must be submitted before we move forward. For monthly retainer work, the first monthly payment must be submitted before the work starts. Subsequent months will be invoiced monthly.

How can you learn enough about my situation in just a few emails and a phone call to develop a custom solution for me?

  • We understand this concern. Every organization and situation is somewhat unique and we take that into account when discussing your situation with you and providing guidance. But the reality is that fiscally sponsored projects face similar sets of questions of issues at each stage of their development, and that means we’re able to offer these services at cost-effective rates.

What if I’m not happy with the results?

  • Our goal is to provide you the tools, information, and peace of mind to understand what’s ahead and confidently make decisions, no matter where you are in the lifecycle. Our success is based on your success. If we start a project and determine that we can’t provide you with actionable recommendations, we will refund your money.If we get to the end of the project and you’re not satisfied with the results, we will make best efforts, to provide you with the information and resources that meet your needs.

What if I need help in other areas of my organization?

  • If you have other operational needs, you may want to take a look at our Organizational Pathfinder offering. If you are a fiscal sponsors, you should look at our Services for Sponsors. We also occasionally take on other nonprofit projects depending on current and upcoming workload. If you are interested in that, please contact us by clicking here.

You haven’t answered my question yet – how can I reach you?

I’m ready to get started, what do I do next?