Get Certified

Since 2014, W.A.G.E. has certified well over one hundred institutions from across the U.S. with operating budgets ranging from $3,000 to $94 million. Getting W.A.G.E. Certified represents a long term commitment to equity and requires institutions to demonstrate having paid W.A.G.E. fees at the end of each fiscal year. While not all institutions have remained certified, to date they have collectively paid out more than $18 million in artist fees. If your institution is interested in certification, please read the program guidelines  and review the information below before registering.

Annual recertification

W.A.G.E. produces custom fee schedules and issues certifications to institutions based on their projected Total Annual Operating Expenses (TAOE). Because this number changes each fiscal year, certifications must be re-registered and maintained annually. Your first certification will be your current fiscal year. It can be registered at any time during the year as long as fees meeting W.A.G.E. standards have been paid throughout. If you can demonstrate having consistently met W.A.G.E. standards in previous fiscal years, you may register them but they must be consecutive.


Because certificates are associated with fiscal years, your first certification will expire when your fiscal year does. Before registering your next certificate, you must demonstrate having met or exceeded W.A.G.E. standards by entering each artist fee payment using the certification app and submitting them for review. This can be done anytime but must be completed within 60 days of fiscal year-end. Waiting more than 6 months to recertify will incur a $100 late fee; waiting more than 12 months to recertify will incur a $200 late fee.

Service fee

To help keep W.A.G.E. raging, in 2023 we began charging a modest service fee to certify institutions with operating expenses over $250,000. Service fees are calculated at 0.02% of an institution’s projected expenses, starting at $100 and capping off at $700. W.A.G.E. Certification is free for institutions with operating expenses under $250,000.

Required documents and institutional information

  • EIN number

  • 501c3 determination letter (PDF)

  • Fiscal year dates

  • Projected operating expenses

  • Projected budget (PDF or Excel)

  • Projected highest salary at institution (amount only)

  • Administrator's role at institution

  • Contact information

All institutional information and payment documentation are kept confidential.

Get Certified