How it Works

Things you need to know before applying:

  • Your project must have a charitable purpose
  • Your mission must align with Fresh Arts' mission to strengthen the sustainability and vibrancy of Houston's arts sector by bolstering the capacity and professional practice of artists and arts organizations and enhancing the public's engagement with the arts.
  • Fresh Arts will not fund your project, but we aim to connect you with the people that will!
  • Fresh Arts charges an administrative fee of 7% (10% for credit card donations), this helps us offset the costs of running the program
  • You must be an active member of Fresh Arts to have access to fiscal sponsorship

In the city of Houston, there is a passionate community of philanthropic individuals, charitable foundations, and government institutions devoted to funding the arts, however, many of our most talented independent artists and small companies are ineligible to receive grants and tax-deductible contributions without 501(c)(3) tax status. That's where the Fresh Arts fiscal sponsorship program comes in! A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit organization that provides fiduciary oversight, financial management, and other administrative services to help build the capacity of charitable projects. In other words, we help you to fundraise like a nonprofit without the administrative burden. Learn more about the process of fiscal sponsorship here.

Fresh Arts offers a fiscal sponsorship program which allows artists and arts organizations to create methods to support our creative community outside of traditional nonprofit models. In the city of Houston, there is a passionate community of philanthropic individuals, charitable foundations, and government institutions devoted to funding the arts, however, many of our most talented independent artists and small companies are ineligible to receive grants and tax-deductible contributions without 501(c)(3) tax status. The alternative to working through a fiscal sponsorship program (creating a new nonprofit organization) comes with a significant administrative burden, which is neither in the average artist’s wheelhouse, nor the best use of their time—time better spent in the studio, in the practice room, or on stage. Via the fiscal sponsorship program, individual artists and projects aligned with Fresh Arts’ mission are able to utilize its nonprofit status to solicit funds. Through these services, Fresh Arts can open the door to new streams of support for our city’s independent artists, while providing fiscal oversight for utilizing charitable funds, as well as consultation services to enhance their professional skills.

Non profits can be so consuming and often kill the fun and creativity of new or small projects. Having an organization willing to take that part on for us is an incredible relief and a huge help-- plus they do a better job than we ever could. Its also incredibly educational to work with an organization like Fresh Arts, this experience will no doubt give us a foundation and direction for our future.
- Julia Wallace - Experimental Action

They’re one of the first organizations that I’ve seen in the city of Houston that has made fiscal sponsorship opportunities for people working in creative fields. It’s made it accessible for them. We wouldn't be able to evolve this idea that we had without it. We wouldn't be able to apply for the funding we are able to apply to without it.
- Chris Valdez: PG Design For Public Interest

When you are a new group it takes time to settle. The main thing is that you have the opportunity to receive donations and that those donations can be tax-deductible. It opens doors for us and people are more likely to donate. For us, it’s a blessing, because it gives us more opportunity to still be an ensemble, not a nonprofit yet, but still receive the donations we need for the season. I think Fresh Arts is a great opportunity for new ensembles and projects in the city. It’s a tremendous help.
- Jackson Guillen: Terra Nostra Ensemble