Shunpike: The Business of Art

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Programs & Services 

Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship

If you’re looking to support your group’s administrative needs, as well as its fundraising and earned income efforts, Shunpike’s Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Program may be right for you.

Under our Comprehensive Program, Shunpike:

  • Provides a dedicated online profile, website link, and  ‘Donate’ button, (attached to Shunpike’s website), so your group can receive donations online
  • Provides basic bookkeeping services for your group or arts project and produces monthly financial reports
  • Receives and accounts for all **contributed and earned* income, issues receipts to donors according to IRS regulations, and provides monthly donor reports
  • Accounts for eligible non-cash donations made to your group or project
  • Offers a free assessment of grant applications (for grants being sponsored by Shunpike)
  • Pays all approved vendors and expenditures on behalf of your group
  • Assists in the preparation of financial and administrative documentation required by donors and funders
  • Issues 1099 tax forms for contracted personnel as required by the IRS
  • Assists in procuring and renewing insurance, licenses and permits for your group or project
  • Provides advice on a range of business matters relating to running an arts enterprise and offers access to helpful online templates, checklists and resources

Shunpike is able to process income received through Indiegogo and Kickstarter, corporate employee matching programs, and eligible government grants and foundations. Income can be received online (via credit and debit card), by check or cash, and may be one-off or recurring.

*Earned income is revenue generated by admissions, merchandise, concessions, memberships, workshop fees, contract fees, performance fees, commissions, etc.

**Contributed income refers solely to income that has been donated or granted and is charitable in intent.

Are we eligible for Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship?

Through its Comprehensive Program, Shunpike fiscally sponsors arts groups and projects working in all artistic disciplines that:

  • Are aligned with Shunpike’s mission
  • Are based in Washington State (or the artistic process and outcome is in Washington State)
  • Have a clear public benefit and public outcome*
  • Assume a non-profit business model**
  • Budget for a minimum of $3,500 in projected revenue
* Because donations to fiscally sponsored groups and projects are tax-deductible, groups and projects must add value to the public or community in some way that doesn’t just benefit you as an artist or your group. Public benefit is broadly defined and public outcomes can include performances, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, artist talks, festivals, behind-the-scenes tours, open rehearsals, or any other public offering.
**Where all other eligibility criterion is met, Shunpike can sponsor specific programs or projects of an LLC’s work, as long as they are clearly non-profit in purpose and distinct from the organization’s other for-profit activities

What does Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship cost?

Shunpike offers fiscal sponsorship to independent arts groups because it is an important part of our non-profit mission. The fees we charge do not cover the full cost of the program and, in support of the artists we serve, we endeavor to keep all fees to a minimum. Following is a list of all fees and charges applicable to Shunpike’s fiscal sponsorship program:

Entering the Program†

Application Fee: All applications to Shunpike’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program incur a $25† non-refundable Application Fee, payable at the time of application.

Establishment Fee: Once your group or organization is accepted into the Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Program, you pay a one-time Establishment Fee of $150†.

Business License Fee:  Groups sponsored through Shunpike’s Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Program must secure a business license from the City government in which they are primarily based. The cost of this license varies for each city.  Shunpike is able to administer the business license application and annual renewal process as long as the required funds to cover this cost are received up-front.

† Payments can be made via cash, check, or credit card (A 2.5% fee will be applied to credit card transactions)

Ongoing Program Fees

Service Fees: Once we get you up and running, groups in the Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Program pay a Service Fee of 10% on all revenues received by Shunpike. To properly maintain your accounts, groups in the Comprehensive Program are required to direct all income (contributed and earned) through Shunpike.

Maintenance Fee: To maintain your account after the first year of sponsorship, groups in the Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Program pay an annual Maintenance Fee of $150†.  Maintenance Fees are charged annually on the anniversary of your fiscal sponsorship agreement with Shunpike.

Merchant Fees: All merchant fees directly attributable to income received on behalf of your fiscally sponsored group or project will be passed on to you.  Merchant fees vary from provider to provider and while Shunpike endeavors to negotiate the best rate possible for its client arts groups, the setting of merchant fees is up to each provider.

Leaving the Program*

Close-Out Fees:  Groups in the Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Program pay a one-time Close-Out Fee of $50† when closing their account with Shunpike. Groups closing funds at any time other than their annual renewal date are not eligible for a pro-rata refund of their annual Maintenance Fee.

 *Please note: A group or project with unused funds remaining with Shunpike is subject to Shunpike’s Suspension of Fund Policy & Procedures.
† Payments can be made via cash, check, or credit card (A 2.5% fee will be added to credit card transactions)

How do we apply?

If you think your arts group or project would benefit from Shunpike’s fiscal sponsorship services, please contact us to discuss your eligibility. If eligible, fill in a Fiscal Sponsorship Application Form and submit it to Shunpike by the required deadline (see details on application, agreement and renewal deadlines below). The application asks for information on your project or group’s proposed artistic activities, along with your financial and fundraising goals. For application questions, please contact us at

When can we apply and how long will it take to find out if we have been accepted?

Shunpike accepts applications to its fiscal sponsorship program four times a year on the first day of March, June, September, and December (or the first business day thereafter if any of these dates fall on a weekend). Applications must be submitted by midnight (Pacific Standard Time), using our online application. Generally, you hear about the status of your application by the end of the month in which you apply.

What happens if we are accepted?

If your application is successful, you will be sent an agreement that must be signed no later than one month after the day it was sent to you by Shunpike. If we do not receive your signed agreement within one month, we cannot move ahead with fiscal sponsorship of your group or project.

How long does fiscal sponsorship last?

Unless you tell us otherwise, your fiscal sponsorship account with Shunpike will remain active as long as you:

  • Are actively engaged in producing and presenting artistic activity that has a public outcome
  • Are actively fundraising
  • Pay your annual Maintenance Fee (see Fees and Charges above)
  • Submit renewal paperwork annually

If you stop any of the above for a period of 12 months, your fiscal sponsorship account with Shunpike will automatically be closed and any applicable Close-Out Fees will apply (see Fees and Charges above).

On the anniversary of your contract renewal date, you will be asked to provide Shunpike with up-to-date information on your group, its artistic activities, and financial plans. This information helps us to assess the ongoing viability of your group and make any recommendations to assist your group in its ongoing development. Groups not providing this information by the date specified by Shunpike will not have their fiscal sponsorship account renewed and Shunpike can no longer accept contributions on their behalf.

What are Shunpike’s application, agreement, and renewal timelines?

Successful applicants who apply on March 1 will generally be contracted by the end of April and required to pay their annual Maintenance Fee by April 30 of the following year.

Successful applicants who apply on June 1 will generally be contracted by the end of July and required to pay their annual Maintenance Fee by July 31 of the following year.

Successful applicants who apply on September 1 will generally be contracted by the end of October and required to pay their annual Maintenance Fee by October 31 of the following year.

Successful applicants who apply on December 1 will generally be contracted by the end of January and required to pay their annual Maintenance Fee by January 31 of the following year.

Ready to Apply?



Afterward, please remit your Application Fee once you have completed the above application materials: Fiscal Sponsorship Application Fee Page