Skip to main content

Is Fiscal Sponsorship the Key to Revitalizing a Middle Sector Economy?

In a recent blog post, I promised to continue the investigation into whether or not Andersen Design, a ceramic art, design and hand crafted production company, established as a free enterprise in 1952, can fit  NEA guidelines as part of the new "creative ecosytem"which connects the "arts" with the non-arts".and "investigates how support systems for the arts are changing, explores how the arts can connect with other sectors that want and utilize creativity, and invests in innovative projects to spark new, collaborative ideas"

Of course not, because eligibility requirements for a NEA grant have remained unchanged for decades.
National Endowment for the Arts’  "Legal Requirements" including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application. (All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor are not allowed. See more information on fiscal sponsors.)
ART WORKS Guidelines
As the National Endowment for the Arts champions itself as agents of change for others, and fancies itself collaborating with the world of business and economic development, the NEA is stuck in a rut concerning the effect of its eligibility policies on the economy. Eligability is tied to a 501 (3)(C) tax exempt status and explicitly excludes fiscally sponsored projects, now accepted by many private foundations. The difference between a fiscally sponsored project and a 501 (3)(C) organization is that the latter is tax exempt and the former is not, while both can accept tax deductible contributions. The NEA is yet another example of how the wealth redistribution systems in America work to tax some without representation while representing and exempting others from taxation and, in some cases, empowering the tax exempt entity with private taxation authority using the guise of refundable tax credits.

There is a popular call in the non-profit sector to discourage new non-profits. It may have started in 2010 with this post from Don Griesmann's Nonprofit Blog and transformed into the rhetoric of official policy in places like and the Guidestar Blog. Don Griesmann offers a single reason for not starting a non-profit. It is because there are already a lot of non-profits. He does not expound further but the concern is apparent that should the ratio between tax exempt organizations to tax paying organization become over burdened on the side of tax exempt organizations, government resources for non-profits will dry up, and that will only be the beginning of larger economic problems.

There is also the competition factor, based in a conception of a fixed amount of wealth to be distributed. In this paradigm every non-profit donation received takes it away from another non-profit. The common sense solution to both concerns is to distribute more funds to fiscally sponsored social enterprise projects. Social enterprises are free enterprises and part of  the wealth creating economy. Fiscally sponsored projects pay taxes, producing more government revenue,a primary source of non-profit funding.

Also, social enterprises are often micro economy enterprises. Why does this matter? An economy with many small parts is a hedge against an economy dominated by fewer and fewer organizations. More importantly, an economy with many small businesses, as well as larger ones, provides greater opportunity that every individual can find a compatible and productive place within society.

Fiscal sponsorship opens a door to funding possibilities for micro businesses, which make up the middle sector of the economy, a sector which has been drained of capital resources by policies implemented to advantage public-private relationships (corporate welfare) and by the corresponding growth of general welfare. A fiscally sponsored project pays into the tax stream which funds the NEA. What goes around, comes around.That's old school, economic development 101. But instead the NEA compounds upon the mission to discourage newcomers on the scene by its funding policies for museums, which is for established museums,only, reinforcing the movement which calls for discouraging the creation of new nonprofits.

Upon reading the guidelines for NEA museum funding, I made a comment via email about how the support system for the arts is changing. I asked "What happened to the America which is about opportunities for all?"

I received a personal phone call which offered information about associations. One is called the American Association of State and Local History which I am told has a special group for businesses that start museums. I was not aware of this organization, which I hope will be helpful in my own historical research. Even though our government seems to have lost track of the founding intentions of Publius, that of a government that strives to serve all factions equally, still, every one who works for government is an individual trying to serve in their job to the best of their own understanding of what that means under the United States Constitution. So when we speak up with our own individual voices to those individuals, we reinforce the principle that government exists to serve all of the people. and like the butterfly that flaps its wings we change the system when we interact with it, in ways we cannot know. Keep the faith.


Popular posts from this blog

Communism and State Ownership of Intellectual Property

Tweet This: Government As a Secret Society The response to my informal suggestion that public accessibility to government could be improved by making information available in a searchable data base ( see previous post) subjectively confirmed that the  functioning power elite of Maine's economic development programs and policies are both intentional in instituting a political ideology that supersedes the will of the people, as expressed in the Maine State Constitution, and deceptive towards the general public. 1.Information made available on an agency website but not in a searchable database format may not provide the research and investigative tool needed by the public. The Freedom of Access Act does not require that public information be posted online in any particular format, just that public records be made available. While there is a strong argument for increasing the accessibility and usefulness of information, there is no current requ

An Incomplete Theory of Inflation Made to Order for Mass Consumption.

M oney is not what it used to be, so must our ways of thinking about it adapt. jaakko-kemppainen-unsplash The message treads across the media terrain, beating louder and louder as if to drown out the beat of the distant drummer. W arning! The only thing the stimulus will stimulate is inflation. The people will pay as the wealthy elite invests their windfalls in financial assets. Doom and gloom set to march across the land to the beat of the distribution of stimulus funds. In recent years as past predictions of fiscal disaster following stimulus spending failed to materialize and so the thinking about national debt and deficits has evolved, most noticeably with the development of  Modern Monetary Theory . In the   fall of 2020,  National Affairs  published a story,  Does the Debt Matter ? by Peter Wehner & Ian Tufts. Peter Wehner is vice president and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and served in the last three Republican administrations. Ian Tufts is a recent g

Which Currency will Emerge as Most Valued in the New World Order ?

pascal-meier-unsplash Also published on Medium;s Data Driven Investor I woke up in the morning contemplating how the world had just suddenly changed over night, or at least the human perception of the world. My thoughts then jumped to a time I have only read about, when a similar event happened in the realm of science. The story goes that around the turn of the twentieth century, scientists believed that mankind had figured everything out that there was to know about how the workings of the physical world except what was considered to be a minor detail. Existing theory could not account for why the observed spectrum of black body radiation, diverged at higher frequencies from what was predicted. Plank solved the mystery by making a different assumption about the nature of the frequency of black body radiation. Others were assuming that radiation was continuous but Plank assumed that atoms could only vibrate at certain frequencies that were whole number multiples of a base fre