A fiscal sponsor is one solution. That means there is another nonprofit or NGO that is willing to receive the donations for you. The way it works is fairly straightforward. If you are asking people for donations that you would like to be tax-deductible, or if you want to apply for grants and other funding that is only for organizations that are exempt from paying tax, then you request that the donation be sent to another organization, which then gives it to you minus a small percentage. That is what a fiscal sponsor is. There are many organizations that do this for artists all the time, and they take between 8 and 10 percent of the total amount donated for their services. That is generally fair because they have to deposit the donation, write you a check, and do all the books themselves. There are several institutions that do this type of fiscal sponsorship, but you can go to any local organization that is nonprofit or the equivalent and ask them if they would take a donation for you for a percentage of the total.
Usually everyone will say yes if they understand what you are asking. Tell the fiscal sponsor as much as you can about your project and why it might have a relationship to them. In other words, if you are starting a gallery or community project, then a possible match for someone who would take donations for you might be other art centers or cultural institutions. An idea of an organization that does not match your aims would be the Red Cross or a church or another organization that has little or nothing to do with the arts.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.