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.

The next Fiscal Sponsorship Application Cycle will open November 1st, 2019 with a December 2nd, 2019 Deadline.


You can learn more about fiscal sponsorship at these FREE public sessions:

Shunpike offers two levels of fiscal sponsorship:

Compare Shunpike’s Basic & Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship

Service Provided



Secure online donations page (Click&Pledge)

Donation Processing

Donor tax receipts issued

Monthly contributed income & P&L reports

Basic grants administration and record-keeping

Special event compliance review

Review of fundraising materials/online campaigns

Access to online templates and resource library

Regular email updates with relevant opportunities and information

Detailed assessment of grant applications

Full cycle bookkeeping (on a cash basis only)

Detailed monthly transaction reports

Sales and use tax records and filing

Annual IRS tax filing and distribution of 1099-MISC as required

Annual and/or quarterly local business filings (if required)

Maintain and administer city business license* (submission & renewal)

Maintain WA state nonprofit incorporation status (filing of articles of incorporation, annual renewal, and serve as the registered agent)

Non-legal review of contracts and agreements (to offer feedback and support with contract negotiations)

Research and coordinate insurance coverage

Run state background checks for volunteers and associated personnel


Services NOT offered by Shunpike’s Fiscal Sponsorship Service include:

  • Payroll
  • Webhosting
  • Access to office space and facilities
  • Assistance with 501(c)3 application
  • Case-specific legal advice
  • Case-specific tax and/or accounting advice
  • Shunpike is not a grant funding body
* It is a requirement of being fiscally sponsored by Shunpike that all groups maintain a city business license. Shunpike can manage this process for client of our Comprehensive service. Clients accessing the Basic service must arrange for their own city business license, renewal, and maintenance.

Fiscal Sponsorship Service Costs




Establishment Fee – due at time of initial establishment of fiscal sponsorship agreement


Service Fee – percentage taken on revenue received by Shunpike on behalf of client

7% of contributed income* received

10% of all revenue#
Annual Maintenance Fee – Due on yearly renewal of fiscal sponsorship agreement


Minimum Opening Deposit – required at time initial fund is established with Shunpike. No fee is taken on initial deposit.


Maximum Opening Deposit – maximum amount of initial fund deposit that is free of fees. Additional funds over $2500 are accepted but are subject to Service Fee.


*Only contributed revenue (i.e. donations & grants) can be accepted by Shunpike on behalf of clients receiving the Basic service.
# Shunpike must receive all revenue (both contributed and earned), for client receiving the Comprehensive service.

As part of its Basic and Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Service, Shunpike covers the following costs:

  • File and data storage (hard copy and digital)
  • Printing, stationery, and postage associated with donor letters (tax receipts)
  • Banking fees associated with groups’ funds

Costs not covered under Shunpike’s Basic and Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship Service include:

  • Arts Business Dates (these can be purchases separately for a non-refundable fee of $20)
  • Any merchant or administrative fees associated with revenue received
See Who We’re Helping

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

View current clients

As an artist and owner of Seattle Women in Jazz, a business that has been fiscally sponsored by Shunpike since 2012, I can tell you firsthand that they’re awesome! I feel very fortunate to be a client of theirs. They’ve helped me to keep my business organized and they have given me ideas on how to make it grow, in addition to assisting me in securing grants. Shunpike has been an essential part of the success of my business.

~ Jessica Davis, Seattle Women in Jazz