Audience Development Tip of the day – choose enthusiasm over fear

I have been considering the economy once again and have been seeing many changes in our arts sector.  So what will make an artist and nonprofit arts organization thrive in these circumstances?  I believe that the artists and organizations that choose enthusiasm over fear are the ones that will come out of this time untouched or in better shape than before.

How is this possible?  Despite the economic challenges, people are still people, and they will still be moved by greatness.  Consider the two following fundraising actions:

$10 to the road of a thousand!  We are launching a challenge of seeking 100 people to donate $10 to raise $1,000 for a grand finale to 2009.  Your donation moves us so we can continue to move you!  Updates on this challenge will be on our website.


We are in desperate financial times and the doors to our studio may be closing at the end of this year if we do not raise $1,000.  Please give any amount to keep us moving.  We appreciate your support!

(Fictitious scenarios)

Now, which scenario do you feel more inspired to give your $10?  Being a part of a challenge or community effort is exciting.  The first scenario has room to celebrate success while the second one is a plea out of fear.  Now if you are attached to the group in the second scenario, you may be moved to give, but the majority of people will probably think how everyone is hurting right now, that there are so many fearful pleas that it may not inspire them to give.

People want to be inspired; they want to feel that their money is an investment for a bright future, not a bail out.  In these times, I encourage you to choose enthusiasm over fear.  Use your creative, talented juices to concoct fundraising efforts that will magnetize people to give to you.  Fear based fundraising only raises more fear.  It’s time to be brilliant and enthusiastic!

Until next time, may your audiences be happy and loyal ones, and if they are not, feel free to contact me!


Shoshana Fanizza is the founder of Audience Development Specialists. Her mission is to introduce artists and arts organizations to their existing and potential audiences and to help them to form more rewarding relationships.

Audience Development Blog

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Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

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