Shunpike: The Business of Art

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Programs & Services


Programs & Services

Fiscal Sponsorship

Start accepting tax-exempt donations for your arts group or project through our fiscal sponsorship program.

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Arts Business Clinic

Learn strategies to take your project or organization to the next level.

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Partner Artists

We help arts groups stay nimble with financial management and other administrative support.

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Our neighborhood activation program matches artists and creative enterprise with vacant retail space.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you serve arts groups outside of Seattle?

Yes. Shunpike serves arts groups and projects across Washington state.

Do you serve individual artists?

Yes. Shunpike’s Membership program is open to individuals who are interested in gaining access to member-only events, discounted services and helpful online resources. Shunpike’s Arts Business Clinic services are also available to individual artists as well as individuals that lead arts groups. Shunpike also serves many individual artists through the Storefronts program.

While we primarily extend fiscal sponsorship to arts groups, solo individuals who lead clearly articulated projects with community benefit can still be eligible for Shunpike’s Fiscal Sponsorship Programs.

Do you serve worthy projects outside of the arts?

Shunpike is driven by its mission, which is rooted in the arts. If you believe your project’s goals are in line with our mission but are not typically classified as “arts,” contact us to see if we can help.

What is fiscal sponsorship?

Fiscal sponsorship – sometimes called a “non-profit umbrella” – provides community-minded projects with the benefits of tax exemption, without needing to apply for and maintain IRS 501(c)(3) status. At Shunpike, sponsored groups enter into a contract whereby they become an “Associated Program” of Shunpike. This allows the artist(s) to raise funds and otherwise act as if they were a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit. In exchange, Associated Programs are required to act in a manner consistent with such a non-profit and coordinate their activities with Shunpike.

If my group is accepted to the Fiscal Sponsorship program, does it become a 501(c)(3)?

No. Shunpike is a 501(c)(3) organization that enters a contractual relationship with its “Associated Programs.” Through its Arts Business Clinic, Shunpike also helps groups interested in pursuing their own 501(c)(3) status.

How long does it take to receive fiscal sponsorship?

Shunpike’s formal review process by our panel and Board takes roughly five weeks to complete. You will hear back regarding the status of your application at the end of the month in which you’ve applied. Shunpike’s next fiscal sponsorship application deadline will be in the Summer of 2014 (date to be announced).

How can I get a storefront for my arts project?

Artists and arts groups participating in Storefronts are approved through a formal application process. Sign up for our newsletter, where you’ll hear about the next open application cycle for the program as it’s announced.

I need help “getting my fundraising started” / “budgeting for my project” / “launching an advisory board” / “deciding if my project should be nonprofit or for-profit.” Can you help?

Yes, on all counts! The best place to start for these questions and more is in a 30-minute Clinic Consultation. Check out the next scheduled session, and contact us for an appointment. We’ll get you started on the right path.