Gain nonprofit status through fiscal sponsorship

Every year, hundreds of organizations partner with Hack Club Bank and get access to a powerful, safe, and easy-to-use financial platform to help their missions come to life. Givebutter’s native integration with Hack Club Bank allows organizations to apply for fiscal sponsorship right from the Payouts tab of the Givebutter Dashboard.

When you apply for Bank access, you instantly become a fiscally sponsored organization with nonprofit status and get a full-stack toolkit for your organization, including:

✅ 501(c)(3) nonprofit status

Become part of Hack Club's legal entity The Hack Foundation and receive the benefits of their tax status.

🧾 Tax filings (990, end-of-year)

Hack Club handles all filings with the IRS, so you can focus on your organization, not hiring CPAs.

🏦 Bank account

Access to your own bank account backed by Silicon Valley Bank with a custom, user-friendly dashboard.

💳 Debit cards

Issue physical and virtual debit cards to all your teammates, backed by Stripe.

💸 Built-in invoicing

Send invoices and accept sponsor payments with low negotiated rates from Stripe.

And so much more…

What is a Fiscal Sponsorship and why is 501(c)(3) status important?

Organizations that serve the public good and that are not operating primarily for profit are considered nonprofit. Nonprofit organizations generally obtain 501(c)(3) public charity status from the IRS. Registered nonprofit organizations qualify for exemption from federal income and unemployment taxes in addition to possible exemption from state sales tax. With 501(c)(3) status, charitable organizations are able to receive grants and tax-deductible contributions that they otherwise would not be able to receive.

Registering with the IRS is a long, tedious, and potentially expensive process. Organizations must have $500 to $3,000 set aside to afford the start-up costs of filing legal paperwork and potentially hiring lawyers. The wait time for the IRS to review submitted paperwork is anywhere from 2-12 months. On top of that, the nonprofit must pay up to $2,500 annually to stay in good standing with the IRS; this doesn’t include the costs of accounting and bookkeeping work. If an organization decides to terminate, the cost of filing the closing paperwork with the IRS amounts to around up to $5,000.

As an alternative to the traditional process, people may choose to become fiscally sponsored by an existing registered nonprofit. Fiscal sponsorship provides an accessible avenue for small charitable organizations and student-led organizations to obtain all the benefits of 501(c)(3) status without having to deal with the IRS. These organizations piggy-back on the fiscal sponsor’s status and can pass certain overhead costs to the sponsor. In exchange, the sponsor typically requests a fee from revenue raised by these organizations.

So, why The Hack Foundation and Hack Club Bank?

The Hack Foundation (EIN: 81-2908499) was founded in 2016 to serve as the legal entity for Hack Club, a nonprofit network of high schoolers creating the coding education they wish they could have. In 2018, The Hack Foundation expanded to act as a nonprofit fiscal sponsor for Hack Clubs, hackathons, community organizations, and other for-good projects. Today, hundreds of diverse groups ranging from a small-town newspaper in Vermont to the largest high-school hackathon in Pennsylvania are fiscally sponsored by The Hack Foundation.

Partnered organizations gain access to a user-friendly web interface with all of the traditional banking functions through Hack Club Bank. Through the Bank dashboard, organizations can issue virtual and physical debit cards to spend money and can also send and receive money through traditional means such as invoices, checks, and ACH transfers, all fee-free. Hack Club Bank uniquely provides the ability to enable “transparency mode” which makes finances available to the public. If enabled, an organization can then share all of its financial information with its donors and potential donors.

Constantly innovating, like Givebutter, Hack Club launches new features regularly, always with the aim of improving user experience. Its dynamic software means that users can provide personalized input about their experience and whether they would like something to change. Available at [email protected], the Bank team is always taking feedback to make changes and add features. On top of all the benefits, Hack Club Bank users can expect a 24-hour turnaround time on all emails and new applications from a team of full-time staff.

That sounds great, do I qualify?

One of the best parts about Hack Club Bank is that it’s all the benefits of being a nonprofit without all the headaches of being a nonprofit. Only three requirements need to be met to become fiscally sponsored:

  1. Your organization must remain fully committed to being nonprofit and charitable in nature.

  2. Your organization must remain nonpolitical (political nonprofits are classified differently by the IRS).

  3. Part of your team must be located in the US.

I’m in! How do I apply?

The Givebutter / Hack Club Bank integration is currently accepting waitlist applications.

How do Hack Club and Givebutter work together? What are the fees?

Givebutter’s native integration with Hack Club Bank allows organizations to apply for fiscal sponsorship right from the Payouts tab of the Givebutter Dashboard.

Givebutter is always free thanks to 100% optional tips we receive from donors. If you'd prefer to hide tips, a small Platform Fee applies instead. No matter which option you choose, a standard Processing Fee always applies (which is covered by most donors). Read on for every detail and complete transparency about how our pricing model works.

The only cost to operate on Hack Club Bank is 10% of the organization's revenue with no up-front fees. The fee helps pay for the running costs of maintaining Hack Club Bank and providing an excellent user experience.

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