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Communication guidelines for projects in the Fiscal Sponsorship Program (FSP)

Last updated: Nov 13, 2023

This guide for fiscally sponsored projects is meant to address how to get in touch with CS&S and how long requests may take to process. If you have general questions about CS&S, the program, or our policies or procedures please check out our resources page on the CS&S website.

The FSP Program Manager role

Each fiscally sponsored project has an FSP Program Manager (FSP PM) assigned to them that oversees CS&S services and activities for the project. In this role, the FSP PM has the relationships, context, and awareness of timelines required to support their set of projects.

The FSP PM is responsible for:

  • Ongoing stewardship of CS&S’s relationship with fiscally sponsored projects 

  • Onboarding, offboarding, and training project leadership

  • Coordinating activities between fiscally sponsored project and CS&S Finance, Partnerships, and Operations

  • Co-developing and evaluating financial, operational, and governance strategies with fiscally sponsored projects

  • Sharing and developing tools and resources to support project teams in their work

Questions and Requests

We use a collaborative inbox tool at CS&S and ask that all FSP requests and questions be submitted by email to fsp(at)codeforsociety.org. This inbox is visible to the FSP Program and Operations teams and ensures that your message can be handled promptly. 

In your message, please include your timeline and any other information relevant to your request or its priority. Someone from our team will follow up within two business days to confirm receipt.

Your FSP PM may delegate a request to a more specialized department, but they will remain in the loop to ensure the request is resolved.

Urgent requests

Our team is committed to supporting FSP projects when urgent issues arise. We consider any request requiring resolution within 5 business days or less to be urgent. In these instances, email [email protected] with “URGENT” in the subject line to support our triage process, and include timeline information within the request details. We will escalate your request and respond as quickly as possible with next steps.

Please note that, while CS&S has switched to a 4-day workweek, we have administrative support that checks our team inbox on Fridays to monitor any urgent requests.

Typical lead times for requests

The table below includes common requests at CS&S, and their typical timelines for processing once details are confirmed and approved.


Request type

Lead time

Grant applications

1 month

New employee hire, International

1 month

New employee hire, USA

10 business days

Employee wage, status change, or termination

5 business days, applied to the next payroll period

New contract for a new contractor 

10 business days

Outbound services agreements

10 business days

Make a payment to a new payee or vendor (including honoraria)

15 business days, subject to vendor onboarding

Make a payment to any existing payee or vendor

10 business days

Receipt of payment to vendor or payee

Typically 2-5 business days after payment is made 

Send an invoice to an external party

7 business days, subject to providing confirmed evidence of agreement


Communication norms at CS&S

CS&S is a fully-remote organization, with core team staff distributed throughout the United States, and contributors located throughout the globe. While this is a benefit to our organization and its ability to respond to the needs of our stakeholders, we also value sustainable work boundaries for our staff. Staff are encouraged to set their own working hours, and to block off time to balance deep and focused work with fielding communications and handling requests. 

Availability

Our core team practices a four-day, Monday through Thursday workweek. On Fridays we have administrative support who reviews our team inbox for urgent issues. Core team staff are online Monday through Thursday, between the hours 9am ET to 5pm PT. You can find our holiday closure dates listed on our website, as well as a link to a public google calendar. 

Managing work during staff time off

The FSP program uses a shared email inbox in order to collaboratively manage incoming requests and avoid delays that may arise from staff absences. If an FSP PM has planned time off that will interrupt planned work with a project, the FSP PM will provide advanced notification, and details on how that work will be managed in their absence. 

During any absence, whether planned or unexpected, other members of the FSP team will provide backup support to effectively triage and manage project requests. Our goal is a sustainable workload for the FSP team member, and to staff so that individuals are able to take time off without it impacting service to projects.

Communication channels

Email

Our preferred mode of communication for work requests and questions at CS&S is email. Items requiring action related to FSP project should be submitted by email, and directed to [email protected].

Google workspace

We often utilize google workspace tools such as docs, sheets, and slides in collaboration with projects and for drafting purposes. Our FSP program team may add comments and tag contributors in these workflows. If you are commenting on a document and require a response, please tag your FSP PM. If the comment is urgent, please also flag this in an email to [email protected].

Slack

Slack is a wonderful tool for remote teams to connect and socialize, but it is not ideal for managing requests that require action to be taken. Urgent and standard work requests and questions should always be submitted via email. We support our team members to use slack in the ways that are sustainable for them, and as such not all team members have notification on or use the tool daily.

Maintainers

Co-Director of Fiscally Sponsored Projects
Co-Director, Fiscally Sponsored Projects
she/they
Co-Director, Fiscal Sponsorship

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