Fiscal Sponsorship

CounterPULSE offers fiscal sponsorship to several local dance and performance companies. Fiscal sponsorship allows for independent companies to received tax deductible income by way of grants, contracts, and individuals donations. The sponsored company is a separate legal entity that is liable for its own taxes, insurance, and debts. Our sponsored companies retain intellectual property rights for all the art they create. Please visit our Fiscally Sponsored Projects page for more information on our current projects.

An Update on Fiscal Sponsorship with CounterPULSE (October 2013)

Thank you for your interest in our Fiscal Sponsorship Program. We are currently not accepting any new applications for Fiscal Sponsorship at this time. There are other similar organizations, however, that we can suggest for Fiscal Sponsorship of your project: Intersection for the Arts and Dancers’ Group.  These organizations are located in San Francisco and highly recommended by the CounterPULSE Staff for their excellent and attentive service. In addition, there is an online organization called Fractured Atlas which may be able to meet your needs as well.

Again, thank you so much for your interest in CounterPULSE!  We hope to finish our evaluation of our Fiscal Sponsorship program by the end of 2014, so please check back with this page around that time.  We hope you’ll visit us soon, whether as a performer or an audience member, and sign-up for our email newsletter on our home page.

More information on our current Fiscal Sponsorship program is outlined below. Thank you!

For Current Fiscal Sponsees:

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

All corporations in America – even non-profits – pay taxes: on income, on wages, on expenses. However, by applying with the IRS under Section 501(c)3 of the tax code, certain non-profit corporations may qualify for an exemption from certain taxes. Basically, this is the Government’s way of saying, “your organization does something beneficial to society that we support – but can’t do ourselves – so we’d like to cut you some slack in terms of tax burden.” The U.S. Congress, in other words, is giving up tax revenue because it believes so strongly in what these tax-exempt organizations are doing to help our society.

Fiscal Sponsorship is a financial and legal system by which a legally recognized 501(c)(3) public charity (such as CounterPULSE) provides limited financial and legal oversight for a project that does not have 501(c)(3) designation. CounterPULSE’s fiscal sponsorship program exists to provide support and guidance t0 independent artists and companies whose work furthers the CounterPULSE mission so that they may produce temporary projects and/or begin to develop on-going organization; and ensure funding agencies and contributors that funds are well-managed, spent according to their guidelines, and that the artists deliver their proposed services or products

CounterPULSE’s fiscal sponsorship program is based on a model of pre-approved grant relationship. In essence, the project and CounterPULSE (sponsor) are a grantee and grantor. The sponsored project is a separate legal entity that is liable for it’s own taxes, insurance, and debts. Our sponsored projects retain intellectual property rights for all the art they create.

CounterPULSE intentionally maintains a small Fiscal Sponsorship program. We only sponsor 40 projects at a time so that we can devote significant support and resources to our projects.


CounterPULSE offers fiscal sponsorship services to independent artists and companies whose work furthers the CounterPULSE mission.

Projects participating in CounterPULSE’s fiscal sponsorship program must be:

  • Art-related (we sponsor dance, music, theater, visual art media and literary projects)
  • Serving community needs
  • Serious in intent and well-planned
  • Responsible about proper reporting to funding sources and to the IRS
  • Non-legislative
  • Showing potential for future development

We prioritize projects that:

  • Blend more than one performance genre or discipline. Collaboration is strongly encouraged.
  • Are community-based and socially aware. We are interested in work that addresses current social, political or environmental issues.
  • Have a clear vision for how they would like to participate in CounterPULSE’s community and take advantage of our unique organizational resources.
  • Are lead by and based in the experiences of queer artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities.

Services Provided


  • Ability to receive credit card donations via our website
  • Check-writing service
  • Track and issue 1099’s*
  • Issue donation acknowledgements to all individual donors


  • Sponsorship of grant applications and administration of grant funds through a pre-approved grant relationship
  • Formal acknowledgement to grantmakers and monitoring of expenditures to ensure that they are in keeping with the original proposals
  • CounterPULSE will hold the project’s grant until projects submit invoices for payment. CounterPULSE will then disburse individual payments to artists, designers, vendors, as well as reimbursements for purchases. CounterPULSE, will, and will . For this service, CounterPULSE retains a fiscal sponsorship fee of 10% of all income.
  • Staff consultation on writing of grants and on final reports to funders

Liability Insurance

  • Coverage available for specific events ($50 min per certificate)


  • Access to CounterPULSE’s non-profit bulk mail indicia

Other Benefits

  • Discounts on CounterPULSE studio rental
  • Discounts on CounterPULSE performances
  • Discounts on CounterPULSE workshops including “Boot Camp for Artists” with Jessica Robinson
  • General guidance about possible funding source
  • Announcements of upcoming workshops and funding opportunities
  • Links on CounterPULSE website and inclusion in email announcements
  • Premier location for promotional materials in CounterPULSE’s lobby

*A word about taxes
Having a Fiscal Sponsor does not prevent you from having to pay taxes! Any individual who receives $600 or more in payments from CounterPULSE in a calendar year will receive a 1099 and is required to report that income to the IRS. CounterPULSE can recommend several workshops for artists on how to handle tax liability.