Category Archives: Arts funding

Be the change you want to see

Change2

As some of you may know, I am in the midst of a legal challenge with Getty Images.  I will write more about this in the future, since the knowledge will help others.

Today though, I have been thinking about all the support requests I receive.  There are so many crowd-fundraisers happening and so many requests to spread the word for an event, that I am starting to have my head spin.  Maybe I need an exorcist, but what I really would love to see happen is more collaborative efforts for helping each other out.

If you want more support for your art projects, it would be good if you helped others as well.  Here is a list of easy things you can do to be the change you want to see:

  • I follow a give 10% away rule for events and personal donations.  I feel it is good karma, and you become part of the community with this effort.
  • Help spread the word of other peoples’ events.  This will show the other people that you are a team player in your community!
  • Buy another artist’s art or go see a show that is not put on by your organization.  We all need audiences.  Being a part of their community will likely see a return that they will become one of yours.
  • Purchase books, webinars, and other educational resources from your respected consultants.  The consultants are here to lend everyone a hand, but will only remain helpful and in business if you help them too.
  • Donate to other art projects when you can.  I understand budgets are tight, but again, being the change and distributing the change you want to see will come back to you.
  • Be part of an arts solution team for your community.  If you want the community to help the artists, the artists can continue to be creative in helping the community.  They will sit up and take notice!

All of us need support.  In a world where more individuals are clamoring for attention and support, this being the change you want to see happen to you can cut through all the noise and make a huge difference!

If you have any other ideas, please feel free to post in the reply section for all to see.

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

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

My eBook

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

Random thoughts on audience development for a wacky Wednesday!

Pictures from iPhoneCamera 130

It’s one of those days when I have too many different thoughts to process and am having a difficult time picking just one to focus on.  So, here is my next installment of random thoughts.  Let me know which ones you would like me to develop further!

  • Some organizations/artists have a catch-22 situation in terms of doing personal emails.  Personal emails have proven to be quite effective, and email is still the number one social media avenue. If you want to build your audience, this is an easy way to do it!  However, there might be a capacity issue that excuses attempting personal emails.  They do take time.  So, should an artist/organization make the time to build their audience or keep doing what they are doing due to time issues and have lower attendance?
  • I just took a survey regarding online art sales.  I prefer going to an artist’s studio and purchasing in person.  Seeing the art and the artist makes it more special than the online marketing formats.  Is this just me?  And, what would the art world look like if they focused on more in-person formats instead of the online marketing galleries?  Could they possibly use the new “Hangout” technologies to get the best of both worlds?
  • I have a presentation coming up for the Boulder County Arts Alliance – Audience Affairs: Audience Building for All and Your Top 20 Tips to increasing everything.  If you happen to know anyone in the Boulder/Denver area, please do invite them to join me.  We all need to build our audiences in one way or another.  It is good to go to events that give tips and education on audience building!
  • I love when people contact me, yet I wish some of them would contact me during times they do not need/want anything from me.  Are you doing your H.A.Y. (How are you) calls/emails?
  • Is it good to live in a society with social media everything?  It seems like every experience we have now is linking to a specific social media format.  New formats seem to be cropping up everyday.  Is this a good thing?
  •  I have seen the challenges that occur when a specific person leaves an organization, and then a big gaping hole is there until the position is filled again.  It’s the same issue when an organization or artist hires a consultant.  The consultant does a good job, yet when he/she leaves, the organization or artist falls back to the pre-consultant situation.  I’m thinking an educated, team mentality would be good to establish so these sink-holes do not gulp us up.  How can we achieve this?
  • Evolution in the arts is happening, slowly yet surely.  We can decide to join in on the fun or stick to our traditions.  Either choice could be the better choice.  It all depends on your mission and your passion.  There is a place for traditions as well as the new.  What audiences do you wish to serve and partner with?  This will lead you to your answer.
  • Why are CEO’s of organization that are in financial straights making the big bucks?  Are they cutting their salaries to be part of the solution?  Are they relying on cutting everything else instead of their salaries?  It is a shame when a non-profit organization starts behaving more like the United States Congress or the humungo over inflated corporations.  Great benefits and pay for us, cuts to programs, benefits and salaries for them.  How is this attitude helping the arts?
  • In the past week, two successful Kickstarters of people I know reached over $10,000 each.  Fundraising for your art and passion is possible, especially when you have connections with people and ask for help.  I received one of these notices from their mother.  Audience development works!
  • Let’s switch to a “What’s in it for us?” mentality.  The me, me, me is getting quite taxing. Even social media is being called out for its narcissistic tendencies.
  • We create our worlds.  If you want to get something accomplished, focusing on creating and implementing solutions is what we can do.  The solution doesn’t always have to fit into society’s neat little boxes.  Remember, those boxes were created by people too.  Who is to say what is best, especially if what is “best” is stalling our own progress.  As long as it doesn’t harm anyone, why not go for it?

Again, let me know which ones you would like me to develop further!

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

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

My eBook

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Filed under Arts, Arts funding, arts management, Arts technology, Audience Development, Fundraising, Online fund raising, Online fundraising

Digital Fundraising – how can I get into the action?

I came across a motherload of digital fundraising infographics via William Deckers’ Digital Fundraising Pinterest board.

What I am seeing that we can no longer ignore is the majority of people surveyed participate in online activities.  Here’s an infographic that demonstrates:

At this point in time, the majority of fundraising is still done via offline methods, but I feel we are about to see a change since our audiences are shifting to the new way of donating online.

And, of course we all know that the younger generations are increasingly using digital formats in their lives.

We are also seeing an increase in donations per digital formats since last year.  Meaning, people are becoming more acclimated to donating online.

So, how can we get into the action?

Just like any other fundraising campaign, I do suggest that you sit down and plan out your strategy and get as many people involved in spreading the word as possible.  Through my basic research, here is a list of  digital fundraising formats to consider:

  • Your website – As long as it is highly visible, well marketed, and easy to use, donating via your website is still the easiest form of online fundraising.  If you happen to be using a CMS for your website, such as WordPress, there are plug-ins available for sprucing up the functionality of your online donations. PayPal has a widget that you can use to make it really simple, or if you are set up on Google Checkout, or Amazon’s platform, there are widget options for you as well.
  • Third Party Fundraising Services such as Causes, Razoo, Network for Good, are an easy way to get into the online donation game.  Be sure to compare their fees and marketing abilities.
  • Text to Give options! More people are donating via text donation campaigns due to the increase in mobile phone usage.
    In 2008, the American Red Cross raised over $190,000 via text donations, and this is when the technology was fairly new! If you are interested in setting up your own mobile donation campaign, check out:

  • Tweet donations – One of the new formats is the ability to receive a donation via a tweet on Twitter.  If you have a good following, this is a great way to see which of your followers will evolve to become donors.  These programs allow people to sign-up and store payment information to be coordinated with their Twitter accounts. Some of the new ones connect you to your PayPal account.  Of course the organizations need to register too. When the donor tweets the specific code that is set up by the organization, a donation of a certain amount will be withdrawn and paid out to the organization.Currently there are not many service providers for this type of donation program.  You can look into Givver if you are interested.
  • Facebook donations – Many of the donation services have Facebook apps that will coordinate with your Facebook Page.  If you are interested in receiving donations via your Facebook Page, be sure to select a service that has an established app you can install.  If you are not already using a service that has an available app feature, you can sign up directly with Causes.com.
  • Crowdfunding – Many of you already know about Kickstarter, but there are many other options out there to start a crowdfunding campaign.  Please see my past post Choosing the right Crowdfunding is good Audience Development for suggestions on how to choose the right option for you.

In any case, you will want to choose the format that your audiences want to use.  Go where your audiences are, and if you do not know where to go, ask them in your next survey!

Digital fundraising does not have to be daunting if you treat the process with the same care as you would for any other offline form of fundraising.  The key is to build relationships online before, during and after using these new formats, just as you would with your regular fundraising campaigns.  Once you dip your toe into the world of digital fundraising, I think you will find it fun and rewarding.

If you know of any new digital fundraising formats, please reply and share with us!

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  Donate here! 

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

My eBook

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Filed under Arts funding, Audience Development, fund raising, Online fund raising, Online fundraising

#Auddev chat 2/14, Noon ET – Loving Your Donors

#Auddev chat 2/14, Noon ET – Loving Your Donors

On Thursday we had an hour long chat with fundraising coach, Marc A. Pitman, on how we can show our appreciation for our donors and supporters.  Please do click on the link above for new ideas and thought provoking conversation!

Have a super weekend!

-Shoshana

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Filed under Arts funding, Audience Development, fund raising, Fundraising

I Have A Dream for arts audience development

I have a dream today too.  I have a dream that the arts will learn to be more inclusive and welcoming.  I have a dream that we as artists will bring passion and quality to all our art, productions and events.  I have a dream that we will engage with our audiences and partner with our audiences to become our best selves as artists and arts administrators.  I have a dream that we will collaborate more and become a part of our communities again.  I have a dream that we will become part of the solution for our communities to earn our funding instead of feeling entitled to funding.  I have a dream that we will start to experiment, take risks and stretch ourselves to the limits to create a new beginning toward a more relevant end.  I have a dream that the people, all people will see the arts as the backbone of our society.  I have a dream that we shall rise up to spread the word of the common good through our art, that we will continue to process history through art, that we will be brave enough to make ourselves heard once again. I have a dream that art will become a living, breathing form that speaks to us as we are today and not as who we were yesterday.  I have a dream that if an artist or arts organization wants to succeed badly enough that they put in the work to make the difference to make a difference.  Yes, I have a dream.  Let arts ring!

Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Happy MLK Day!

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

Please consider supporting ADS so we can continue our work.  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, Audience Development

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

Becoming aware: arts management, classical music, and arts audience development

Oh dear!  The headlines today were not very encouraging.  More orchestras are locked out, one opera company has to shut down until their bills are paid, and the woe is classical music stories keep popping up too.  Yes, we are in the midst of dealing with changes that have already happened, and the classical music world in general is scrambling to get back on track.

In my area, there have been cuts too.  Many of the organizations have downsized their concert schedules to deal with their funding cuts.  I know musicians across the country are not happy with all that is happening.  The musicians blame the management.  The management blames the musicians for not understanding.  It’s a vicious cycle of finger pointing.

I myself am wracking my brain to figure out how orchestras and classical music can start thriving again.  I have already chimed in with my suggested action points.

In the article about the Minnesota Orchestra, the management wants to cut musician salaries and at the same time they are raising money and spending money on a $52 million renovation.  The management views this as accessing support from big donors.  Wouldn’t the big donors rather donate to secure the best musicians for their orchestra instead?  I can see why the musicians are protesting this factor.  Unless the hall was in such a severe state that renovation was imperative, perhaps money that pays the musicians that create the “product” for the organization would have been better raised and spent.

I have been on both sides of this fence.  I have been a musician grumbling that I haven’t been paid enough, and I have been on the management team attempting to secure funding to keep the organization functioning.  An orchestra or opera is an expensive endeavor.  The economy and lowered demand due to the change in times are a downfall to these organizations, but these challenges can only account for part of the deficiency.

If it were up to me, I’d blame everyone!  Not that I want to blame anyone.  The real problem here, as I mentioned before, is the lack of team mentality and lack of functioning as a real nonprofit business.  In times of trouble, all line items need to be evaluated.  All salaries including the management, all fundraising, all audience development, outreach and marketing efforts, have to be looked at with honest eyes.  Priorities for the business need to be established.  For example, the $52 million dollars that was raised for renovations,  I do not see this as a bigger priority than making sure the musicians are paid fairly.  It’s a similar mentality that our country is going through. Our veteran soldiers are not being provided for fully after their duties have ended.  The musicians and soldiers are doing the work.  Are we taking care of them or are our priorities out of balance?  Are we are raising and spending money on the wrong types of initiatives?

I have witnessed some classical music organizations that have decided that one of the top priorities be keeping their musicians happy.  Without the musicians, they reason, there would be no music.  These organizations are still doing well.  The audience wants happy musicians.  Happy musicians provide the concert experience they desire and pay for.  Happy musicians perform better too.  The audience knows this.

I plea for organizations to start surveying their audiences if they don’t believe me.  I once structured a question on my survey to ask, “If you were king of the orchestra, what changes in management would you make?”  We had several come back commenting on how they would like the musicians to be paid fairly.   The audience knew what is going on as much as the supposed behind the scenes management.  In our world of further transparency, paying for $52 million worth of renovations is not going to delight your audiences as much as having top quality musicians to perform the music they love.

I will say this though, coming from the side of management, I feel the musicians now have to be part of the team for reaching new audiences.  Everyone needs to be a part of this initiative. We now need some support for outreach efforts, word of mouth marketing, and other audience development programs to increase audience and demand.  The management is not able to perform these outreach concerts for the musicians.  A management team can only spread the word so far.  It now requires more and more circles of people to spread the word.  The musicians need to step up too, and even volunteer in troubled times, to make the music for awareness of the music to happen.

It needs to be a team effort, all hands on deck, if you want to become a healthy nonprofit arts organization.

So, evaluation of budgets, prioritizing line items, and becoming a team to bring awareness to and further your mission is what it is going to take to be healthy again.  Good old fashioned hard work by everyone!  I hope more arts organizations become aware.

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 funding, arts management, Audience Development