Fiscal Receiver Services

Current fiscal receiver projects
Frequently Asked Questions

Arts Wisconsin acts as fiscal receiver for Wisconsin-based arts projects, providing tax-exempt benefits for individual donations, grants and contributions.

The Need: Countless creative entrepreneurs and small or new arts companies lack or have not achieved the 501(c)(3) tax status that makes public grants and private donations legal and desirable. That’s not a bad thing: there’s no rush to create a nonprofit organization until there is a solid financial and organizational infrastructure and plan in place.

In a Nutshell: That’s where fiscal receivership comes in. Fiscal receivership is a financial and legal system by which a legally recognized 501(c)(3) public charity (such as Arts Wisconsin) provides limited financial and legal oversight for a project initiated independently by an artist. That “project” might be a one-time project or an independent artist or an arts organization that does not have its own 501(c)(3) status. Once sponsored in this way, the project is eligible to solicit and receive grants and tax-deductible contributions that are normally available only to 501(c)(3) organizations.

The Service: Arts Wisconsin is here to help. Our fiscal receivership program is legal, efficient, and affordable. Our program is open and accessible to artists and arts organizations nationwide and in every discipline, who are working on projects and programs that take place in and benefit Wisconsin (in other words, we provide the service primarily for Wisconsin-based projects, but we do also provide the service for projects run by people who live in other states, but are doing specific work in Wisconsin). We don’t judge your work’s artistic quality or merit; that’s for others to decide. Our job is to give you the tools you need to raise the money to make it happen.

How it works: Our fiscal receivership program offers many benefits – here are some of the details:

  • 5% fee on each donation or grant amount received
  • Fiscal receiver donations can be made:
    • via check payable to Arts Wisconsin, Box 1054, Madison, WI  53701-1054
    • Online donations via PayPal or direct credit card (MC/VISA) with an additional fee for PayPal or credit card processing
  • Clear financial records available for project administrators as needed
  • Donors can make automatic recurring monthly donations
  • We can accept and process non-cash donations of equipment and materials.

Current fiscal receiver projects

To learn more about the projects and/or donate, click on the project names below.


  1. What does Arts Wisconsin need to know about our project? Make sure we have a description and keep us in the loop about your progress.
  2. What do I need to include in our funding proposals? Depends on the funder.  Some want just the name of the organization, some want financial statements.  Most of the time you need to give them our IRS tax exempt letter.  When describing your tax or business status in your proposal, you’d say something like, “We are working with Arts Wisconsin, a 501c3 organization registered with the state of Wisconsin, as our fiscal receiver.  All donations/grants are made to Arts Wisconsin on our behalf.”
  3. I already have a PayPal account; do I need to create another one that links to you?  If you want a PayPal account that allows people to make a tax-deductible contribution for your project, it’s the same as any other donation – the money needs to come to Arts Wisconsin directly.  So, Arts Wisconsin will create that site, and give you the link that you can use for your online purposes.  (Reminder that you will also have to pay the PayPal fee in addition to our administrative fee for those donations)
  4. How about offering credit card payments?  We can do that.  Donors can contact Arts Wisconsin at 608 255 8316 or to provide credit card info or receive a link to our credit card page.
  5. How do I request a disbursement of our grant or donation funds? Usually, we send out a check after we receive a donation or grant for you, unless you’ve let us  know that you expect to be getting more than one donation in within a short period of time.  In that case,  we will  “bundle” the donations and send one check.  Since we write checks twice a month, please allow up to 2 weeks to receive your funds.  If you want us to “hold” the money until you need it, we can do that too.
  6. What financial records do you request from me in regards to each project I do? We don’t need to see your financial records, but we do need the SS # or EIN # for whatever individual or business is receiving the funds.
  7. What about taxes on the money raised?  The IRS requires someone or some entity to count any funds as personal or business income.  If you receive the funds as an individual, you’ll need to count that money as personal income.  If the amount is over $600 we will send you a 1099 form at the end of the year for tax purposes.
  8. What are your requirements for you being a part of any promotions I do for any projects I do? We ask that you include our logo in your promotion, and if possible, a line that says, “Thanks to Arts Wisconsin for fiscal receiver services.”

Do you have other questions?  Contact Anne Katz (


updated 3-24-21