As a fiscally sponsored project of SDF you are entitled to make one disbursement request per month. Those funds will be disbursed directly to your account within 14 days of this request.

Please prepare a report of anticipated expenses and/or expenses paid.

Anticipated Expenses – submit an outline of what disbursed funds will be used for.

Expenses Paid – submit documentation for funds spent for which you are requesting a disbursement for.


- In order to disburse funds, you must have submitted a W9 and completed your account.

- Funds will be disbursed electronically through

- We do not pay vendors directly.

- You are responsible for maintaining good bookkeeping for all project expenses. You must retain all invoices, receipts, and other financial records for auditing purposes and make those items available to SDF upon request.

If you have any questions, please email:

Welcome, Makers! Thank you for your interest in Southern Documentary Fund's Fiscal Sponsorship Program. Please be sure to review project criteria prior to submitting your application.  

We do require an application fee of $25. The required fee must be paid separately through PayPal here. If we have not received your Application Fee by the time the panel convenes, we will be unable to review your application.  

Please email us if you have questions:

Criteria for project selection include:

  • Project Director(s) actively fundraising through the duration of fiscal sponsorship.
  • Project Directors connection to subject matter.
  • Feasibility of the project (budget, financing, schedule, and scope).
  • Project should meet the goals of SDF as stated in our mission and values.
  • Well written and well-researched proposals.
  • Potential to reach its intended audience.

The Southern Documentary Fund offers fiscal sponsorship for documentary projects made in or about the American South. Having a fiscal sponsor allows makers to solicit funds from government agencies, foundations, trusts, individuals, and other philanthropic sources that require IRS nonprofit status in order to contribute to a project. These contributions are then tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. SDF charges a modest 6% administrative fee for any monies contributed to projects through our Fiscal Sponsorship program, plus credit card or other payment processing fees incurred for online donations.

Project Directors (PD’s) must submit an application for each project seeking sponsorship (see submission info below). All submissions are reviewed by our New Projects Panel, and accepted or denied based on artistic and editorial merit, project director’s ability to continue fundraising for the project and the need for fiscal sponsorship and mentoring services. Sponsored projects range from broadcast-quality feature-length documentaries with budgets close to one million dollars, to relatively modest projects with budgets in the thousands. We sponsor first films by passionate and talented novices, as well as works of mid-career professionals or veterans. In addition to films, SDF is proud of our distinctive collection of sponsored photography and audio projects. The range of subject matters is broad and diverse, including projects about social justice, the environment, history, and the arts.

More information available at

Southern Documentary Fund