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

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 Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists


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

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

2 responses to “Top 5 FUNdraising campaign tips for audience development for the arts

  1. These are great ideas, Shoshana. Do you think it is even more important now than ever to make arts experiences FUN to offset the doom and gloom surrounding the nation’s economy?

    Chad Bauman wrote a post recently emphasizing the need for arts organizations to be “inviting, accessible, and fun.” I am excited to see his example of cdza and their “musical video experiments” to make classical music fun. There’s hope yet!

  2. Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for stopping by! Yes, the idea of FUN is the honey that will attract more audiences to donate. People want to be a part of something that lifts them. They want to add their energy to something that gives them energy. All the deflated, defeatist campaigns of woe are creating barriers. There is a way to be honest without looking pathetic.

    Some of the best campaigns are solutions to a current challenge. People can get behind a solution. This is very different to the mentality of asking people to throw money at a hole to get yourself out of the hole without any assurance that you won’t fall into the hole again (since usually there are no plans or solutions being communicated).

    Thank you for sharing Chad’s blog as well. There was much discussion about this topic at NAMPC. I do feel there is hope. It will be a matter of more artists and organizations moving away from the “dark side” of donation asks and moving toward the lighter yet more effective approach.

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