Today the MAP Fund opened their website to letters of inquiry for their annual grant application process. I’ve done a bit of research into the grant already, and it’s a perfect fit. One of the requirements of the process is that artists have to apply with a non-profit organization. That organization can either be working with the artist on bringing the project to fruition or merely a fiscal sponsor (like The Field or Fractured Atlas). So before I set ISU to attack the initial Letter of Inquiry round of the application process, I checked one last thing: does ISU, in fact, have 501(c)3 status?

The answer is: at this moment, no.

They’ve applied for non-profit status so that they can apply for these sorts of grant opportunities, but they haven’t yet received the final approval from the government.

And this is where my status as a font of arcane knowledge kicked in. I suddenly remembered: when an organization applies for 501(c)3 status, once their application is approved, the status is retroactive to the date of application. Which means that provided that their application is approved (and I don’t really see how it would be rejected, but let’s not tempt fate here, people), they will be considered as having non-profit status from the time that they originally mailed in their application.

Of course, I’m a huge dork for knowing this off the top of my head. I know that. I revel in it. I take great pride in knowing these sorts of law/copyright/business/practical things, and go out of my way to learn more.

I’ve emailed the MAP Fund directly to ask a) may I apply as an independent artist under the sponsorship of The Field, and b) will ISU qualify as a collaborating organization since they have applied for 501(c)3 status, and upon approval (assuming that it will take past the MAP Fund’s October cut-off date for ISU to receive the approval), that status will be retroactive. I haven’t yet heard back on the latter point (I’m assuming that questions are being asked, and it’s entirely possible that lawyers are being called), but I definitely can apply on my own with The Field’s sponsorship. However, I suspect that the project would be much more likely to be funded if I were applying directly with ISU, so I’m going to press the point.

Fortunately, the ISU Development people have offered to help me find additional funding sources, which is great.