Monthly Archives: November 2012

Top 5 FUNdraising campaign tips for audience development for the arts

As reiterated at NAMPC, putting fun back into your audience development and marketing is important.  It is also a great way to run a fundraising campaign.  Is it simply a coincidence that “fun” is a big part of the word “fundraising?”  I often have wondered about this.

Since it is the time for the majority of our end of the year asks, I thought I would give you a few of my fundraising pointers:

1. Establish a campaign that is branded for fun and purpose – If your campaign is dulls-ville and does not express your purpose for the funds in easy to understand terms, people will also lack the energy to give.  Don’t forget to add a thank you program that is also fun for your funders.

2. Set an obtainable goal – Funders want to know that their money is going towards a winning campaign. Setting a reasonable goal is part of the strategy.

3. Get one or more of your main supporters to do a match program – Matched fundraisers are often successful since every dollar counts more.

4. Add visuals and video to capture the true value of your art and ask – Make your ask visually appealing to add energy and fun to the campaign.  Allow people to discover the joy of your art and why investing in it will be worth their time and money.

5. Sign-up for a service that allows you to create an online base for the ask and ask others to join in! – Audience development is about getting your audience more involved.  Believe it or not, some people have fun asking for money, especially when it comes to supporting a cause near and dear to their hearts.  Find a service that has a central online location for your campaign and allows others to share and create fundraising pages for your cause as well!  The more people you have out there asking, the better off your chances are for reaching your goals.  In Colorado, we have Givingfirst.org.

Do you have a FUNdraising tip for our readers? Has a particular idea worked really well for you to raise money for your art/organization?  Please reply in our comment box to keep the conversation going!

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

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“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Filed under arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development, fund raising, Fundraising

Takeaways from the #NAMPC Conference

I wanted to start out by giving you the link to my Storify – My #NAMPC experience via Twitter.  I ended up winning the Most Tweets Award, and I received this fun t-shirt!  I also won by connecting with more people on Twitter and getting to meet some of these people during the conference.  It has been a fun and educational experience for me.  If you had to miss the conference they promised to archive the live keynote presentations soon.

The NAMPC  (National Arts Marketing Project Conference) had its ups and downs, but mostly ups.  However, through the entire conference, this year, like last year, there were some common themes running through most of the presentations.  Instead of a complete play by play like I did last year, I would like to leave you with the my most impressionable takeaways and some of my own thoughts (in no particular order):

  • You gotta have passion – if you don’t, people will not be attracted to your mission, cause, project, program… Without passion, what is the point.
  • Be weird and silly – or in other terms, be true to your own particular self.  It’s not about being similar – it’s about standing out.
  • Adding your own personality will increase your likeability.
  • Have fun!  What makes people want to join?  Fun!  If it is not enjoyable to you, it probably won’t be to your audiences.
  • Everyone is diverse in one way or another.  These are my personal thoughts:  We can learn to reach out to others after we discover our own sense of diversity and understand personally what it feels like to be stereotyped and discounted.
  • Keep ego out of the organization.
  • Visual impact is necessary!  There is so much blah, blah, blah, and not enough “language” of our arts.  If you are a music organization, it would be good to have clips and videos of performances and music.  If you are an artist, make viewing your art an experience.  If you are theatre and dance, videos are a must.  How can people figure out if your art is for them if they can’t “see” it and feel it.
  • The arts are powerful.  The creative arts can differentiate a brand from a competitor.  Unleash the power of the arts and start asking people, “what can arts do for you?”
  • Start studying the psychology behind a purchase.  We are humans with quirky human behavior, and the findings of this type of research can help steer us in the right direction.
  • Give people the opportunity to share and create content that is extra fun to increase shareability.
  • Create programs where the community buys into your art/organization.  They may not know you exist because there is nothing in it for them personally.
  • You can turn your customers into advocates.  Make your mission and passions meaningful for them, and it is more likely they will automatically share with others.
  • There is a paradox: Tension exists – how to relieve the tension?  Find the common enemies, our monsters, and figure out how to solve the problems.
  • If you do not have a social mission, there isn’t a point to social media.
  • Content on social media can be attended to like a magazine – create information that people are interested in and analyze to see what content is relevant to your followers or not.
  • “We are in this together – that’s what arts do – they bring us back to humanity.”  – Eric Ryan, author of The Method Method
  • Get rid of “Yes, but” and instead use “Yes, and!”
  • There is a difference between business thinking and design thinking.  Personally, we need both.
  • What would MacGyver do?
  • Sometimes it is better to present the dessert instead of trying to spoon feed the veggies.
  • Does your audience make up reflect who you are?
  • Have more conversations with different people!
  • Sometimes too many choices make people want to give up.
  • A tangible voucher does better than an emailed discount.  Direct mail can make this work!
  • Giving choices subsequently instead of simultaneously can help people to slow down and make a better choice.  This will turn into higher loyalty.
  • On the flip side though, a quick choice can lead to spontaneous happiness such as the simultaneous choice between carrots and chocolate.  Most people choose the chocolate and enjoy the chocolate.
  • Big gaps between lower and higher ticket prices = more tickets purchased at lower price.
  • Anchor and decoy pricing can lead the consumer to purchase the ticket price you desire.
  • We have a primary error of choosing based on comparing the first item we see.  Use this relational comparison wisely!
  • If only one choice is offered, that also could lower purchases – use joint evaluation by adding at least one more choice.
  • Customers also compare prices with their own experiences and memories of pricing.
  • Rewards are better than punishment.  Reward for purchasing early instead of punishing for purchasing later.
  • Praise is considered a reward.
  • “Benchmark before moving the needle.” – Ron Evans
  • It takes 5 things of right to make up for 1 wrong.
  • The build up stage before an event is super duper important!!!
  • People interact in a variety of ways.  Be sure to provide different avenues of engagement to accommodate.
  • Be relevant to your community, the times, and the people you serve. – Cat video festival was a huge success!
    “Our goal is to focus on the relevance part & the marketing part will take care of itself.”- David Tang Firebird AA
  • Use a team based approach.
  • Outrageous discounts do not increase revenue or loyalty.
  • Have fun with marketing and experiment!
  • Be sure to have objects of social interaction – “Ever notice how dogs attract people to converse with each other? ” – Nina Simon
  • Dogs and cats rule!
  • Funny-arts is a risky business. The arts risk every time art is created. Why are we not taking risks too?
  • We all would do better if we get in touch with our inner artist and create marketing and audience development programs like an artist!
  • Arts presentations need to be more artsy.
  • You need to do more than just satisfy.
  • Product may not be the most important factor – think of Beta vs VHS.  Beta was the better product, but VHS won the competition.
  • Be your quirky self and tell the truth by sharing your outtakes.
  • Bottom line, we need to learn to take risks and then share with others.
  • Personal last comment – share the passion and joy of the arts again and incorporate into all that you do.  People will be able to relate to this.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Filed under Arts, arts advocacy, Arts funding, arts management, arts marketing, Audience Development

Quick comment on Kaiser post

For some reason, my comment wasn’t approved on his blog.  I’m hoping it was a technological glitch, otherwise it looks like he is only taking soft comments that agree or do not go against his post too much.

To catch some of you up, Michael Kaiser wrote a post entitled: Where Are the Senior Arts Managers?  It was in fact a nice piece basically saying that we need to give the younger generation a chance.

I didn’t think my comment was that bad to warrant a shut out.  Here was my comment as best as I can remember with a little expansion:

The reason there may be a lack of senior arts managers is due to the passing over the GenX generation (mainly the older segment of this generation).  During the time I was in college, there were not many arts management degree programs.  Instead, we were the generation that gained the experience without the arts management degrees.  These days, many jobs at this level are requiring Masters degrees in arts management.  I attempted to go back to school for my Masters.  The very first class was a waste of time and money for me.  While all the younger students were contemplating “What is art?,” etc., I realized that I have already been through this process.  I only truly need a few classes to complement my close to 20 years of on the job experience.  If you want smart, talented, senior management candidates, perhaps you need to consider changing some of these Masters programs to accommodate the more experienced learner.  Why not have Masters programs for this age group that assess their job skills and knowledge and allows them to qualify for credit for what they already know?  This way, it will not be a waste of time and money, and instead, these candidates can fill in their gaps on a case by case basis.  Or, perhaps, you need to relax a little on the degree requirements for some of these positions and evaluate based on the years of on-the-job experience.

Now really, was my comment that bad?

-Shoshana

 

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Filed under Arts, arts management

Get out the vote and arts advocacy/audience development

I am thankful that the election is only a day away.  Being from a swing state, I have been bombarded by emails, calls, and commercials.  It will be most peaceful on Wednesday, November 7th.  One issue that has been brought up is the get out the vote and how this may relate to arts advocacy and audience development.  Let me explain.

Getting out the vote never used to be so challenging.  Back in the day, most people valued voting and saw how important it was for them to vote.  Voter turnout wasn’t as much of an issue.  Today, there are “Get Out The Vote” movements, or as a friend pointed out on Twitter the “GOTV” movement. I did not know what the acronym stood for.  I thought it was pro-television or something.  All kidding aside, the fact that there needs to be a movement for something so important and a privilege for each of us that are of age, is a little bit of a shame.  We can relate to this in the arts world.  It’s a shame that we have to prove how worthy the Arts are for support and attention.

However, what I am noticing is that the movement of “GOTV” is one that is built on the principles of grassroots, community efforts and pure hard work.  People who are impassioned by helping to get out the vote are dedicating time and effort to make it happen.  How does this relate to the arts world?  Well, it is not a parallel relation.  I am not seeing as much of a grassroots, community effort across the nation.  Instead, I see a smattering of efforts.  We may come together on a national level to discuss, but I am not seeing a national effort to execute.

Why aren’t there “support the arts” buttons for purchase (I’m an arts person, and I’m not “seeing” them).  Why are we not talking with our neighbors, friends and families about the arts?  Why am I not seeing yard signs or banners?  Why are there not more memes on Facebook and Twitter in support of the arts?  Why are we not sharing, RTing the arts every chance we get? There is a disconnect between our intentions and our actions.

Winning an election these days is an “in your face” endeavor.  Due to people feeling lethargic about voting, it has to be a visible effort to get them to vote and to get them to vote for you.  Let’s consider this for our future arts advocacy and audience development efforts.  We need to be seen as well as heard.  We need to bring awareness for the “Get out the Arts Support!”  or “GOARTS!”

My small effort.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Filed under Arts, arts advocacy, Audience Development

Slipping into old habits? – arts audience development

I have witnessed a few organizations that have started audience development, see great results for their first year, and then lose ground due to slipping back into old habits and ways of marketing.  Audience development does work when you apply it correctly, but it is not a one-time solution.  Instead, it is an ongoing solution that you constantly need to work at.  Here are a few old habits you may slip back into:

  • You are short on time and you just want to get it done, so you mass market instead of sending more personal invitations.
  • You lose some key players and do not have the team so you decide to do it all yourself instead.
  • You rather have your marketing person/department deal with everything, since that is what you hired them for.
  • You don’t have time to interact with your volunteers so you don’t (leaving your volunteer program to go flat).
  • You don’t want to share the work with others since you feel you are the only one that can do it right (and instead enter into burnout leaving everything done a little half-assed).
  • You do all your programming without any audience feedback due to artistic license.
  • You rather not “bother” your audience by conducting a survey.
  • You don’t want to ask for help via donations and volunteering so you don’t appear too needy.
  • You rather just place an ad and hope for the best because it is easy to do.
  • You don’t want to ask for money since it makes you uncomfortable.

Do any of these ring true or at least sound familiar?  There are probably more old habits that need breaking.  All I can say is audience development works when you focus time, energy, and a little bit of money on your plan and you keep playing this record instead of the old habits die hard one.  All of the above old habits, if they worked, I wouldn’t even bother to write this blog post.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists

http://www.buildmyaudience.com

FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

***Purchasing my book will help support ADS and our mission.***

My eBook

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Filed under Audience Development