Frequently Asked Questions

  1. About Fiscal Sponsorship
  2. About Fresh Arts
  3. What is a Fiscal Sponsor?
  4. What does a fiscal sponsor do?
  5. Why choose fiscal sponsorship?
  6. Who can apply?
  7. How much does it cost?
  8. What kinds of projects does Fresh Arts sponsor?
  9. How do I apply and how long will it take?
  10. How will I receive the funds I raise?
  11. What services does Fresh Arts provide to projects?
  12. What is my responsibility as a project?
  13. I still have questions
  14. What should I know before applying?

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.

Fresh Arts is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening 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.

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. (Source: National Council of Nonprofits).

The role of the fiscal sponsor can include performing many different administrative functions on behalf of the sponsored organization or program, including taking on the responsibility of receiving and administering charitable contributions on behalf of the sponsored organization. Some fiscal sponsors do a lot more, such as performing back-office functions.

Fiscal sponsorship is often used by newly formed nonprofits that need to raise money during the start-up phase, before they are recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS. Using a fiscal sponsor enables a program or organization that does not itself qualify as tax-exempt to attract funding for its operations that will -- through the fiscal sponsor - be tax-deductible to donors. Therefore, fiscal sponsor arrangements benefit organizations or programs that are not tax-exempt by providing a flow-through pathway for revenue that the organization may not otherwise be in a position to receive.

  • The applicant must be a Fresh Arts member and must keep their annual membership up to date. Unincorporated artist-driven projects may join as individual artist members; all others are required to join as organization members.

  • All fiscally sponsored projects must have some legal entity (e.g. a person, a corporation, a partnership, an LLC, etc.) which is responsible for the project and which is the legal recipient of all distributed funds.

Fresh Arts charges a 7% administrative fee for grants or donations up to $50,000 if the donation is made by cash or check, or a 10% administrative charge if the donation is made by credit card or online (the higher rate covers costs incurred by credit card fees).

  • Arts educators and/or arts education programs

  • Arts organizations that have applied for 501( c )3 tax exempt status and are awaiting IRS approval

  • Emerging arts groups

  • Independent creatives from all creative disciplines

  • One time projects – like a festival or special event

  • Small but stable arts organizations that are under-resourced and have minimal staff

  • Mix of all or some of the above in any creative discipline

Applications that are submitted by the 1st of the month will typically be reviewed and approved/denied by the end of the same month.

All funds received on behalf of your organization are kept in a restricted fund by Fresh Arts.  When you need to access your funds, you will simply fill out a disbursement request form online. Requests are reviewed and disbursed bi-weekly.

  • Fundraising Support:

    • Help to connect you to funding opportunities

    • Offer an online fundraising platform for you to accept donations

    • Send you quarterly fund reports and funding resource newsletters

    • List grant opportunities and deadlines on our Resources for Projects page

  • Professional Development:

    • Provide on-demand resources on our website

    • Host in-person professional development workshops

  • Marketing:

  • Fundraise for your project with our support

  • Submit requests for funds to be disbursed online

  • Submit annual reports at the end of each calendar year

  • Focus on your creative project!

Contact us as fiscalsponsorship@fresharts.org to arrange an informational appointment 

  • Your project must have a charitable purpose

  • Your mission must allign 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