Transforming Baltimore and Beyond





Uplift Alliance is a Fiscal Sponsor Host Organization. As an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Uplift Alliance can support and partner as a host for projects that have a nonprofit mission but generally are not tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entities themselves.  

Uplift Alliance is well-positioned to support the creation and development of nonprofits seeking to transform Baltimore and beyond. Situated in West Baltimore and affiliated with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), we aim to fill a dire need for nonprofit support and connect with community leaders for the development of local partnerships. 

Uplift Alliance leverages the resources and expertise of UMB to create mutually beneficial connections between sponsored organizations and UMB students, faculty, and the broader community. UA provides fiscal sponsorship as a cost-effective way for charitable projects of any size and scope to be efficiently and effectively managed. We provide strict oversight of your project to ensure compliance with 501(c)(3) nonprofit regulations. UA abides by the Guidelines for Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship from the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors. We strive to uphold the highest standards in charitable project management so that our projects can focus on what they do best—engaging stakeholders, building capacity, and working with others toward a common goal to create more just and sustainable communities.  When UA accepts your application to become a project and you have signed the Affiliation Agreement and the signature page of this document, UA will be considered the fiscal sponsor of your project. 


Why Uplift Alliance?

Baltimore City’s local nonprofit ecosystem has struggled with limited fiscal sponsorship capacity in recent years. The demand for fiscal sponsorship significantly exceeds the available resources, and many local sponsors have no plans to expand, creating a bottleneck in the growth of Baltimore’s nonprofit sector. Uplift Alliance offers a unique advantage as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, while aligned with UMB’s vital role of impacting our local community, the economy, and creating vital assets. This allows Uplift Alliance to serve as a locally based organization with a proven commitment to the transformation of Baltimore and beyond. 



UA adheres to the Guidelines for Best Practices set forth by the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors. UA provides continual oversight of the activities of each of our sponsored projects to ensure compliance with all IRS tax-exempt organization rules and regulations. We file a consolidated IRS Form 990 that includes the financial activity of all our sponsored projects. You, as the Project Director, may, at any time, request a transactions report to get the most up-to-date financial activity report for your specific project. At a minimum, we provide quarterly financial reports and monthly transaction reports for each project. 

Some of the other services that we provide for your sponsored project include:  

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Deposits of all contributions and program revenues and disbursement of funds; 
Secure online processing of donations and event registrations; 
Donation tax receipts to donors who give more than $250 in a single transaction; 
Assistance with grant management and any required financial reporting to funders; 
Individual project account financial reports quarterly, and transaction reports monthly; 
• All required IRS 501(c)(3) federal and state reporting and tax filings.

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Operations and Human Resources

• Timely responses and resolutions to inquiries from the Project Directors; 
• Easy access to forms, policies, and procedures; 
• Annual financial audit of UA by an independent accounting firm;
• Payroll services and labor law compliance for projects with employees; 
• Maintaining solicitation registrations in Maryland; 

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• General liability insurance; 

Legal Services

• Oversight and supervision of project activities to ensure compliance with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt regulations; 
• Access to legal guidance, as required; 

Benefits of Fiscal Sponsorship


It is rather difficult in the U.S. to receive grants and donations for your project unless your organization has tax-exempt status. Filing for independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt status can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Fiscal sponsorship, on the other hand, provides a way for your organization to receive grants and donations to operate charitable programs without having an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Fiscal sponsorship means a nonprofit organization (such as UA) assumes the legal responsibilities for the activities of groups or individuals engaged in work that furthers the sponsor’s mission and its own respective purposes. 

Fiscal sponsorship has evolved as an effective and efficient way of:  

  • starting grassroots or small community charitable programs; 
  • incubating new nonprofits that need time to grow before applying for independent status; 
  • supporting charitable events that happen infrequently (e.g., a charity golf tournament); 
  • accepting and managing grants from organizations; and, 
  • focusing your energy on project activities rather than building an independent nonprofit organization. 

Our Guiding principles

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Our Mission

Uplift Alliance's mission is to support change makers and social entrepreneurs who are transforming and improving the human condition and serving the public good of Baltimore’s communities and beyond.

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Our Vision

Uplift Alliance will partner with and support innovative efforts to transform Baltimore and beyond by elevating leaders of community solutions and supporting the early-stage pipeline of social entrepreneurs in Baltimore and Maryland, with a foundation on equity and justice for our city's most vulnerable populations.

Areas of Focus

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As a fiscal sponsor, Uplift Alliance provides fiduciary oversight, financial management, and other administrative services to help build the capacity of charitable projects to strengthen Baltimore’s vulnerable communities. This can include grant writing and applications as well as management of grant funding.

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Uplift Alliance's unique alignment with experts across UMB allows for educational services to develop and support the administration of nonprofit projects. This includes expertise in social work programs, legal and immigration programs, business development, and a myriad research-based programs intended to strengthen Baltimore’s most vulnerable communities.

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Our alignment with experts from UMB’s six professional schools — dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work — and our innovative Graduate School programs will help set the foundation for research-backed initiatives with proven results.

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Community Support

Uplift Alliance is uniquely situated in West Baltimore and aligned with community programs and partnerships that are already serving the Baltimore community. As a fiscal sponsor, we can leverage our strong position in the Baltimore community to support the growth of nonprofit organizations that will make a measurable impact.



Executive Director: Heidi Arndt

Finance Director: Natasha VanWright

Chair: Elizabeth Embry (UMB, Office of University Council)

Secretary: John Brothers (T. Rowe Price Foundation, President)

Finance Chair: Jennifer Estabrook (Former FILA Executive)

Members: Tamara Arnold (Executive Director at AmeriCorps), Natalie Eddington (UMSOP Professor and Former Dean), Bill Joyner (UMB A.V.P. for Community Engagement) , Jon Kucskar (Enterprise Risk Management, JHU), Damien Myers (COO at MedReimagined)