Shunpike: The Business of Art

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Programs & Services 

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

At its core, fiscal sponsorship allows independent arts groups the ability to raise funds for their artistic projects using Shunpike’s tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization. 501(c)(3) is the tax determination given by the IRS to a non-profit charitable organization, which allows donors to receive a tax deduction for supporting a public charity. Under Shunpike’s fiscal sponsorship, arts groups and organizations can offer tax-deductible receipts to donors and may be eligible to apply for government and foundation grant programs usually only available to organizations with 501(c)(3) status.

Shunpike offers two levels of fiscal sponsorship:

Compare Shunpike’s Basic & Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship

Program Comparison

Basic Fiscal Sponsorship

Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship

Access to online library of helpful tools and templates

Online profile and website link featured on Shunpike’s website

Secure online donation facility featured on Shunpike’s website

Receipt of, and accounting for, contributed income (cash and in-kind)

Bi-monthly donor reports

Acknowledgement to donors for all tax-deductible donations

Grants management*, including: updates on funding opportunities, oversight of grant agreement, funder liaison and support with agreement compliance and documentation (where grants are fiscally sponsored by Shunpike)

1099 tax forms issued**

Weekly deposit and check processing

Free assessment of grant applications***

Receipt of, and accounting for, earned income

Payment of approved vendors and expenses

Basic bookkeeping, including monthly financial reports

License and permit tracking and reporting

Help with procuring appropriate insurance policies

Support, guidance and general advice on a range of business and arts management matters


*Please note: Shunpike is familiar with a range of arts-funding grants (at a Federal, State and Local level), however some grants can be complex in nature and require more dedicated administration.  In these circumstances, Shunpike reserves the right to charge an additional fee. Arts groups should check in with Shunpike first.
**Please note: At the end of  each calendar year, Shunpike issues 1099 tax forms to ALL fiscally sponsored groups (both Basic and Comprehensive).  However, groups sponsored through the Basic Fiscal Sponsorship program are legally responsible for their own end-of-year tax reporting to the IRS.  Groups under Shunpike’s Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship do not need to independently report tax to the IRS, as this is automatically accounted for as part of Shunpike’s annual tax reports.
*** Please note:  Groups in the Basic Fiscal Sponsorship Program can access assessment of grant applications for an additional fee of $45 per assessment.
See Who We’re Helping

Fiscal sponsorship is a great choice for many emerging arts organizations and projects.

View current clients

Essentially, we wouldn’t be where we are today as an organization without Shunpike. The services Shunpike offers along, with their expertise for artists and arts orgs in the non-profit field, have helped us move forward in ways that would have otherwise seemed unimaginable. Over the past two years we’ve started leasing our very first year-round space, implemented our first donor campaign, managed our largest commissioned artworks, and created innovative partnerships for our organization – none of which would have happened without Shunpike’s support. Of course much of this has to do with the amazing staff at Shunpike who have gone the extra mile to support our organization’s growth in ways that are unique to how our organization works.

- Kenji Stoll, (Founder & Director of Fab 5, a client of Shunpike’s Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship program)