Do you make art? What are your plans for making this art into a business? Many artists believe that they need to become a 501(c)(3) in order to create a sustainable business for their art-making. Becoming a 501(c)(3) can be a difficult endeavor that can take years to complete. Frankly, it is just not the best option for everyone, especially the individual artist. We’ll, I’m here to tell you there are other options.
Fiscal sponsorship is a fundraising tool that opens up the doors for more funding opportunities for individuals or organizations that are not recognized as 501(c)(3) public charities. It is a contractual relationship between a 501(c)(3) and an individual or organization that allows the non-exempt entity to access some of the benefits of the 501(c)(3)’s charitable status. Typically, the artist or arts organization will need to apply for fiscal sponsorship, and the application will need to be reviewed and approved by the charity’s board of directors. That way, the charity can decide if the project or activities outlined in the application will help them further their own mission.
If you’re unfamiliar with fiscal sponsorship, here are 5 ways Fractured Atlas’s fiscal sponsorship program can help you fund your work.
- Raise tax-deductible donations: Fiscal sponsorship allows for you to solicit tax-deductible donations from individual donors and companies. The way it works is that your donor will give a donation to Fractured Atlas and recommend a pre-approved project to receive the donation. Fractured Atlas, as the public charity, will issue that donor a tax receipt. From there, Fractured Atlas will hold onto the funds until the artist needs to use them for business expenses.
- Apply for grants: Being fiscally sponsored means you can apply for grants that might otherwise only be available for 501(c)(3)s. Some grants even encourage you to apply with a fiscal sponsor. In these cases, Fractured Atlas will usually become the legal grantee for the grant contract. We’ll receive the award and release them to the artist when needed.
- Obtain non-profit discounts: Many venues, rental houses, and retail stores will offer discounts for non-profits. As a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, you can access these discounts. The vendor will likely ask for proof of non-profit status, which Fractured Atlas can provide. You’ll just need to let us know who the vendor is and we’ll write a letter confirming the relationship.
- Collect donations online: Don’t have the time or money to hire a software developer to build a donation processing tool into your website? No problem! Fractured Atlas’s tools are online, so your donors have access to your donation page 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your donors can even set up a monthly pledge in order to continuously support your work.
- Talk to us: We spend all day, every day, talking to artists about fundraising for their work and discussing best practices when it comes to their finances. We want you to pick our brains, bounce ideas off of us, and ask for advice. We’re here for the artist who wants to learn more about fundraising and we want to share our knowledge with you.
Fractured Atlas’s fiscal sponsorship program is the largest arts fiscal sponsorship program in the country, with more than 3,600 active projects. During the lifetime of our program, projects have raised more than $95 million. To learn more about Fractured Atlas and its fiscal sponsorship program, please visit the Fractured Atlas website or join us in-person or via livestream Wednesday, March 9, 3:30-5:00 pm PT for Fiscal Sponsorship + Crowdfunding = $$ for Creative Projects.
Want to learn even more about fiscal sponsorship? Check out the fiscal sponsorship knowledge portal at GrantSpace.
THERESA HUBBARD, Program Specialist, Fiscal Sponsorship, Fractured Atlas holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Syracuse University in Voice Performance. After graduating in 2009, she completed internships with the National Symphony Orchestra at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and with the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. Outside of the office, she keeps active in the New York choral community while singing with The Oratorio Society of New York and The Choral Society. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and playing with her puppy.