Earlier this month, Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties gathered with local artists, creatives, and culture bearers for an inside look at the promise and particulars of fiscal sponsorship. Convened at You Belong Here, a City Heights-based incubator space for creatives, this program was designed to shed light on a financial support vehicle that offers a variety of benefits for arts practitioners.
Catalyst’s Kamaal Martin and Nic Roc, CEO of You Belong Here, led the panel conversation featuring local leaders in the arts, Christine Jones, Chief of Civic Art Strategies at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture; Dominic Porter, COO of RISE San Diego, and John Highkin, Executive Director of Fern Street Community Arts. These expert speakers laid out essential concepts for creatives considering operating under a fiscal sponsorship and for funders wanting to learn more about how this structure can make it easier to fund the creative community.
What is A FISCAL SPONSORSHIP?
Fiscal sponsorship is a way for donors to fund initiatives that are not set up under tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, including arts and culture. Artists can grow and sustain creative projects through grants and tax-deductible donations under a fiscal sponsor’s tax-exempt status.
How can A fiscal sponsorship benefit creatives?
Fiscal sponsorships can support capacity building and alleviate the burden of administration, tax, legal compliance, and financial management. Depending upon the specifics of a fiscal sponsorship agreement, arts practitioners can also leverage an established nonprofit’s institutional knowledge and connections.
WHAT TYPES OF FISCAL SPONSORSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE?
Fiscal sponsorships come in a variety of forms. They can vary in levels of support and administrative fees, which is why it’s essential to know what you’re looking for before taking the fiscal sponsorship route. Be sure to educate yourself on the different forms of fiscal sponsorship before starting your search for the right partner.
Fiscal sponsorship is not the sole solution to funding challenges, but the right partnership can clear obstacles and elevate your work. To ensure a successful fiscal relationship, artists and funders should do their due diligence to ensure partnerships align with individual missions, visions, values, and capacities.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FISCAL SPONSORSHIPS
- The National Council on Nonprofits Guide to Fiscal Sponsorships
- All you need to know about fiscal sponsorship
- 10 Questions Funders Should Ask Grantees Who Use Fiscal Sponsors
familiarize yourself with funding pathways for artists and creatives
- You Belong Here capacity building resource page (Learning and funding resources)
- The City of San Diego’s Intro to FY24 Funding Opportunities (Local grant opportunities)
- Far South/Border North grant opportunity for creatives in San Diego and Imperial Counties (Grants for artists and cultural practitioners – mid-March deadline)
- San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture Information on Funding For Arts & Culture (City of San Diego grants)