A fountain pen, ink stamps, and legal documents arranged on a wooden desk


Here are some legalities we have to attend to at and around events.

See also FAQ: Holding Events as a Nonprofit

Licensing Art

If you want to reproduce, republish, or reprint creative work, you must seek written permission—this includes posting photos to your social media accounts.

Reprinted with permission: Requesting permission to reproduce published material | LegalZoom

When hiring out photography, graphic design, and other artworks for our events and promotion of those events:

Selling Art

Q: If we sell art at an event (for an artist) and then take a portion of the proceeds would it be better to 1)if we process the money and give the artist their cut, or 2) we have them pay the artist (through a QR code etc) and then the artist donates a portion to us. What is the best way to go about this?

A: The artist should be paid for the sale of their art and they should donate a portion to you.

Q: We have an artist volunteer, and he wants to promote Stimpunks and also be able to sell his art at events etc and be able to donate a portion to Stimpunks. We want to make sure we are doing everything to legal standards and also the best way possible.

What is the nature (legally etc.) of the relationship between the parties when a)  The artist decides to do an event where he is donating proceeds to Stimpunks (a. in general b. for a specific purpose ie. learning center or general funds).

A: The nature of the relationship is pretty simple and transactional. Should the artist choose to hold an event and donate proceeds to Stimpunks, they are free to do so without any legally binding repercussions. Charitable giving is considered a voluntary action and he can choose to give where he sees fit. A nonprofit has the opportunity to accept or deny the artist’s gift per its values and gift standards. This typically comes into play when someone is trying to launder money through a nonprofit, so that doesn’t apply here.

Best practices for all are to adhere to the Donor Bill of Rights and honor the wishes of the donor’s gift. If he wants to give it to a specific program or purpose, that must be honored. If that is not honored, the artist has the ability to request his donation be returned. Donors have the right to ask for their donations back if the organization did not deliver on its promises. It’s a lot like getting a refund on a faulty product or service.

Q: Is it lawful if a charity contributes to creating the artist’s event?  IE has flyers, or advertising done on behalf of the artist’s event.  And or if the artist had already received something like a creators grant, to create the same artwork? Do any of those cause a troublesome issue for auditing / compliance?

A: As long as Stimpunks doesn’t charge the artist for the services done on their behalf, you’re fine.

Hiring and W-9s

  • Folks who we hire to provide entertainment, food, etc. should invoice us for their services. Have checks or digital payments for the time of the event. Be able to pay people directly after the event.
  • Make sure we get W9s from all folks that we intend to hire for the event, including the venue space.
  • Make sure we get a receipt for the payments made. We will have to report all this on our tax docs.

Insurance, Liability, Safety

A lot of the liability falls on the venue. If someone is injured, it’s on their insurance. You can go the extra mile and get a venue listed on your insurance as a “named insured” but that’s usually reserved for permanent partnerships. You should make sure that your organization’s insurance is up to date and paid before an event just in case something goes wrong, but for the most part liability and safety are the venue’s legal obligations.

  • Always make sure venue has insurance and capacity. Asking for proof of coverage is a standard of how we have to operate.
  • What if the venue doesn’t have coverage? Then we take risk. Our policy is the one that takes the hit.
  • For each venue we use that isn’t insured, we take a hit on our insurance. We have to pay. So, we can have an event at at uninsured venue, but we’ll pay extra for it and be exposed to more risk.
  • We have to prove that businesses we deal with are legit with the state. They need to be able to fill out a W-9.
  • We have edits and omissions insurance and nonprofit directors insurance.
  • Vaping is a liability at an all ages event.
  • Our insurance does not cover serving alcohol, but we can host at venues with licensed bartenders and a liquor license.