Public Lab Wiki documentation

Funding Partnerships with Public Lab

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Want to work with the Public Lab non-profit, or know more about how we work with others to fundraise for projects? The non-profit has several models; read on!

Partnership models

1. Fiscal Sponsorship: For groups that are interested in applying for grant funds related to the mission of the Public Lab nonprofit but don’t have a 501(c)3 determination, Public Lab will consider requests for fiscal sponsorship on an individual basis. Public Lab does not accept requests for fiscal sponsorship for grants totaling more than $5,000. Generally, the request must meet our policies for acceptable funding sources and we will only consider projects and funders which align with our nonprofit mission. Typically we'll require 10% overhead for administering funds coming through Public Lab, and we will require monthly or quarterly check-ins to ensure funds are properly used (not that we don't trust you, but because we'd be liable to the IRS). Fiscal Sponsorship requests must be sent to at least six weeks before the proposal due date to allow sufficient time for consideration. Once a fiscal sponsor relationship is established, Public Lab doesn’t require substantive involvement in the proposal preparation process, but does require review of final proposal narratives and budgets prior to submittal to ensure it is appropriate and aligns with our mission.

2. Grant Partnership: Public Lab regularly partners with community organizations, nonprofits and academic institutions working toward similar or related goals on funding requests to federal and private funders. If you are interested in including Public Lab in a grant proposal as a partner, subawardee, consultant, or contractor, please contact at least four weeks prior to the proposal due date. If you are interested in including Public Lab as a co-lead on a grant proposal, and for all Federal proposals, please contact at least six weeks prior to the proposal due date. If you are interested in partnering with Public Lab on a grant proposal, please note that Public Lab does not provide overhead support to subgrantees. Grant partnership requests will be considered on an individual basis based on the requirements of the RFP, the nature of the potential funding stream, time commitment for proposal preparation, and fit with our current priorities. In such cases that Public Lab does partner on a proposal, we request that final budget and narrative drafts are sent to at least one week prior to deadline for final review and approval, and that Public Lab retain a final copy of all submitted materials.

3. Advisory Roles: Public Lab will consider requests to act in an advisory capacity, or be written in for such roles in grant proposals. Request must meet our policies for acceptable funding sources and align with our nonprofit mission and/or staff-specific skill set or expertise. In general, rates based on industry standard, averaging $500-1000 per day, plus travel and incidental as required, but are negotiable on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in Public Lab or our staff joining your proposal in an advisory capacity, please contact at least two weeks before the due date.

4. Letters of support: For organizations with which Public Lab is familiar or has partnered before, we are happy to supply Letter of Support for grant applications to the extent it is helpful. If you are interested in receiving a Letter of Support from Public Lab for your fundraising efforts, please contact at least one week before the due date.

5. Tool incubation: If you’re interested in incubating a hardware tool with Public Lab, please contact

Request for Donation from Public Lab

Please contact the with any requests for donations to an organization or individual. Kit donations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the following considerations will be taken when determining if a donation is appropriate:

1) Will the tool be used to address environmental justice issues, per the Public Lab mission? 2) Does the request fit within the current supplies budget, either generally or for a specific project? 3) Will the tool be used to further hardware or methods development? 4) Does the person receiving the donation agree to share, via a research note, documentation of its use? 5) Is the requested kit or material no longer needed by staff?