Fiscal Sponsorship Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE NOTE: Links Hall’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program will resume
accepting applications from new applicants in November 2015.

Fiscal Sponsorship – What is it?

A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that makes a choice to support
a project that does not already have non-profit status. For example, fiscally sponsored
projects do not have to incorporate as a 501(c)3 themselves in order to apply for grants.
If a project has a fiscal sponsor, the project can accept tax deductible donations from
foundations, individuals and other funders.

What kinds of projects does Links Hall sponsor?

Projects that can be completed within 2 years and fit within Links Hall’s mission, aka projects
that are: artistically innovative, that engage the public, that are based on the research,
development and/or presentation of new work in the performing arts.  For a list of past
sponsorship projects, visit our Fiscal Sponsorship Projects Page.  If you have questions
about whether your project is a fit, just give a call:  773.281.0824.

Okay, but what do you really mean by a project? (AKA – my practice has multiple projects)

It’s up to you.  It can be a single project you are undertaking that over the course of, let’s say,
6 months, you will research, develop and present to the public.  Or your practice may have
multiple projects within it like, let’s say, you’re curating a festival AND making a new performance
AND conducting a series of workshops over the course of two years.  Both are equally valid
for fiscal sponsorship at Links.  If you have questions about whether you want to apply for
a single project or multiple projects within your practice, just give a call: 773.281.0824.


Who can apply?

 

Individual artists and collectives whose project aligns with the mission and values of Links

Hall. Midwest artists who are based primarily in one of these states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, though their work my be presented anywhere.
Please note: at Links Hall, an artist’s project, not the artist her/himself, is fiscally sponsored.

What does that mean? (about a project, not the artist, being fiscally sponsored)

It has to do with what a 501c3 designation is all about.  It is not about enriching an individual but
supporting work for the common good.  Your project, if it fits within Links Hall’s mission, is not being
taxed – and donations made to your project through Links Hall are tax deductible for the donors.
Individuals and vendors paid to work on your project, including you, must count their fees/
payment as taxable income.   Still confused?  Fear not – just give us a call: 773.281.0824.

Can an individual artist apply?

 

Yes, individual artists should apply as individuals in charge of a project.  Please note:
at Links Hall, an artist’s project, not the artist her/himself, is fiscally sponsored (see above).

Can a collective of artists apply?

Collectives can apply as a group or consortium, but will need to select a lead or point
person as the primary contact for the project.  Please note: at Links Hall, the artists’
project, not the artists themselves, are fiscally sponsored (see above).

I have incorporated as a for profit company, can I still be fiscally sponsored?

If you have a project that is charitable or educational in purpose,
that project can be fiscally sponsored. But any donations raised
through the fiscal sponsorship can only be used for that project, not
your company’s general operations.

Why the annual fee and 5%?

It takes staff, time and organization to maintain this program, your annual fee ($50 for
individuals, $100 for collectives) and 5% of the project’s donations processed through
Links Hall help us make the program possible.

Why is insurance required for fiscally sponsored projects?

General Liability and Accident insurance are required for each fiscally sponsored project
because it protects both the artist/collective and it protects Links Hall.  If you do not
have insurance, fiscally sponsored projects can apply for it through Links Hall’s group policy.

Why is insurance via Links Hall less expensive?

Links leverages the power of the group by simplifying the application process for the

insurance carrier and providing higher volume of customers in the same industry.
General Liability plus Accident insurance is typically around $800 annually; through
Links Hall’s group policy, an artist’s project can be insured for $80 annually.

How long does it take to find out whether my project will be fiscally sponsored by Links Hall?

The Fiscal Sponsorship Committee reviews applications monthly and the Director responds
to applicants within the month.  If your circumstances require a different timeline, please
call: 773.281.0824.

What if my project takes longer than the 2 year limit to complete?

Projects are approved by the Fiscal Sponsorship Committee for a two year period. However
if you have a project in mind that you intend to be longer than two years, give us a call
773.281.0824.If your project is already fiscally sponsored by Links and you would like to extend the timeline,
you must communicate with Links the reasons and timeline for the extension.  Links wants your
project to be successful; just be sure to communicate with us.

What if my project changes?  Will it still be fiscally sponsored?

We understand that a project may evolve artistically or need to adapt to financial realities.
It’s the nature of any human endeavor, especially creative projects.  Just be sure to communicate
with us.  We want your project to be successful; we just need to make sure its evolved state
continues to fall within Links Hall’s mission.

What if I am starting a new project?  Will it automatically be fiscally sponsored?

No. If you have completed a fiscally sponsored project and have a new project needing
fiscal sponsorship, you must reapply for the new project.  Remember: at Links Hall an
artist’s project, not the artist her/himself, is fiscally sponsored (see above).

What if I cannot complete my project?  Do I get to keep the project funds? 

No.  When donations are made to Links Hall on behalf of a fiscally sponsored project they
are tax deductible because they are held in trust for the furtherance of Links Hall’s mission.
If you cannot complete your sponsored project and there are funds remaining, Links Hall will
use the funds to further other projects within its mission.  However, we want you to complete
your project.  It’s why we established this program.  If you are having difficulty completing your
project, give us a call: 773.281.0824.

Are my ticket and merchandise sales tax deductible for the buyer?

No.  Only donations where no goods or services are received by the donor can be recognized
as tax deductible.

Are raffle ticket sales tax deductible for the buyer?

No.  A raffle ticket purchase (or any game of chance ticket where dollars are exchanged in hopes of
winning something) is never tax deductible.
Other questions? Contact us: fsp@linkshall.org.