Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What An Artist Needs...a Fiscal Sponsor

There are not a lot of individuals who fall in the category of being eligible for grants on a regular basis, outside of researchers and artists.  For artists, fiscal sponsors are a necessity. It's simple.  Most grants are only given to entities with a 501c3 (nonprofit charitable) status by the IRS, and individuals don't have that.  But a "fiscal sponsor" is an entity that does have the status, and serves as a "pass through" organization.  They receive the money, and then give it to the individual.  So where do you find such an organization?

Artists can find them in a number of places, but it's good for the organization to have some sort of logical relationship to the individual or small, non-501c3 organization for whom they are serving as a pass-through.  So, an art organization that deals with artists.  One place to look for one is at the Fiscal Sponsor Directory. Once you go there, do a search by service category, and you can choose "Arts and Culture."  You will see an alphabetical list of organizations that provide this service, along with the criteria for eligibility, and conditions.  They may require a small part of the grant as an administrative fee, and may have other stipulations.  They also have more suggestions for fiscal sponsorship.  You can also go to the New York Foundation for the Arts resources website and do a keyword search for "sponsorship."  Another place to try would be the local or state art's commission near you, and check whether or not they offer this service.  A prominent national organizations that does fiscal sponsorship for artists on a national basis is Fractured Atlas.

Another place to look is in the Foundation Grants to Individuals.  This is a fee-based database, so to access it for free, see one of the several hundred Foundation Center Cooperating Collections near you, which will have it. When you get to FGI, choose "type of support," and enter "fiscal agent/sponsor."  They list 92 such organizations.  You can narrow it down by the "field of interest" search box, and choose "art." For more information on fiscal sponsorship, see the Foundation Center's (totally free) online information on the in's and out's of using a fiscal sponsor.   For more information, buy or go to your local library for the Gregory Colvin book, Fiscal Sponsorship: Six Ways to Do it Right.

No comments: