Tag Archives: fund raising

#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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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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Is audience development for the arts the answer?

I have noticed that when I post tweets about arts organizations that are going bankrupt, I always tag it #auddev needed.  I know some people are questioning this and feel it better to attribute the downfall of these organizations to simply bad management.  Why would I continue to shout out about audience development?

To me, audience development is not just a method or technique of arts management, but an entire philosophy about how to run a business today.  In an age where crowdsourcing and social media are popular, the days of us dictating art are no longer valid.  Our business models of producing, marketing and fundraising without thoughts of our audiences are unraveling.  It is not wise to fall back on old business practices, and instead, it is better to be creative, engaging and involving with the people around us.

Some of us believe that the invention of the light bulb changed the arts from inclusive to entitled.  Elitism crept in to the point that the (benchmark) arts are not perceived as for everyone.  All of a sudden, the masses are not supporting the arts, and we have tiny niche markets that have developed due to this, well, development.

Audience development, true audience development, can change the way an arts business functions due to one very big reason.  Audience development is inclusive and focuses on partnering with audiences.  It is a team philosophy that not only includes everyone on your staff, all your volunteers, donors and sponsors, but it also includes your audiences.  This means that everyone will be on the same page working to support your business.

For producing and marketing, this is far different than simply placing an ad that professes (from your spinning marketing team) that your show is “something for everyone!” “spectacular!” “other marketing byte here!”  Instead, when partnering with your audiences, you can incorporate their perspective beforehand instead of attempting to sell something that they might not enjoy in ways that will be ignored.  A flop from the start is rather expensive to work with.  Wouldn’t it be better to produce something that has more promise?

In regard to fundraising, your audiences will help you to raise the money since they are a part of your team.  Your board members and staff will now have added energy to keep them going too. Everyone that is a part of your team will be helping to raise money for your business.  This team mentality for fundraising makes more sense than the “we are great, give us money,” shouted by a few people, views of old.  Plus, with all the people power combined, you can brainstorm new ways of asking for money.  Let’s face it, annual campaign letters have become trite and disposable.  You need to turn some heads and inspire some hearts!

I do hear one concern which I will quickly address. I am not saying that the audiences are now in charge.  You still have artistic license and the ability to create your own strategic plans.  The difference is, you will no longer be creating in the dark after knowing your audiences.  With this philosophy, you will be able to take more risks and produce new work that will have more of a chance of being successful. Your programming, marketing and fundraising can become fresh again.

If you are squeamish about this new way of producing art, and you rather be the sole creator without any feedback, perhaps use audience development to build the right audiences that will enjoy your art – find the best audiences for you!  Please do use audience development for your marketing and fundraising though in any case since you still need a team for support.

So, is audience development the answer? It does sound like audience development can promise the moon and the stars, and in a sense, it can.  With hard work and determination to build relationships and build your team of community support, I see a brighter future for the arts despite the light bulb.

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.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

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

Random audience development for the arts thoughts (and questions)

Today I do not have a guest blogger planned.  I thought I would fill in the gap with a variety of thoughts (and questions) that I have been thinking over the past week (in no particular order).  Let this serve as a summary of blog posts from past and future.

  • Audience development is hard work.  Are we ready to work?
  • Again, audience development is not “butts in seats” !!!  A butt doesn’t enjoy the show, people enjoy the show.
  • A team is needed for audience development.  Can we be team friendly people?
  • Should we appeal to audiences when programming is concerned?  Would we be letting them run our show?  More on this thought later.  This article spurred this thought.
  • We need to go beyond the discounts when it comes to building an audience or we serve to lose our bottom line.
  • Quality needs to be at the forefront for everything we do.
  • Why are board members so scared to ask for money?  They are passionate about their arts organization.  Aren’t they?
  • If I received a penny for “Something for everyone” and other inane marketing blurbs, I’d be rich! Maybe I should start an audience development fund this way?
  • Artists and arts organizations are supposed to be creative, right?
  • Social Media needs to be social.  It’s not termed Marketing Media.
  • If you don’t know your audience, you can’t develop your audience.
  • If you don’t know your audience, you won’t know what types of programs will be appealing and successful.
  • Ask them survey questions beyond the demographic questions.
  • Instead of targeting or segmenting – perhaps reaching out is a better term?
  • Numbers are not people.  You can data mine and analyze away, but this step will not build relationships with living people.
  • If something you are doing is not working, why are you continuing to do it?
  • Why spend money on something that is not working?  Because that’s the way you are supposed to spend your budget?
  • Audience development is a state of mind.  Everyone on your team can be a part of it.  Everywhere you go is an opportunity for it!
  • Learn to be a part of your community.  Use the other C’s to connect, collaborate and care.
  • If you have a big marketing staff, over 2 people, and you are still not getting an audience, either someone is not doing their job, or typical marketing is not working anymore.
  • Run your arts business as a business too.
  • Non-profits can be “profitable.”
  • If a certain business model isn’t working for you, explore a new model.
  • Your audience can be part of your team.
  • Ask your audience, they know what you don’t.
  • Treat your volunteers like royalty.
  • Treat your donors like royalty.
  • Thank your supporters often.
  • Be supportive and respectful of everyone on your team and learn to work together knowing that each part has an important role to play.
  • For gosh sakes, program new stuff too!
  • Be true to yourself and your mission.
  • Brand properly.
  • Be relatable.
  • Engage, but also get your audiences involved! There is a difference.
  • The arts matter, but only if you find out why they matter to your audiences.
  • Your thoughts here!  Feel free to comment below.

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.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

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Audience Development for the Arts & the future of crowdfunding

Today for my guest blog post, I came across a post with some interesting information about the future of crowdfunding. Enjoy!

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Crowdfunding
by Grace Williams
April 23, 2012

I read an article by Craig Newman on Crowdfunding this week. Before I read this article, I was not really familiar with the term “crowdfunding.” I assumed it was referring to fundraising efforts such as Kickstarter. However, Kickstarter doesn’t really bring in serious investors since your return is just the incentives given with specific dollar amounts. This speaks more to investment opportunities in which you get an actual financial return. Bills are apparently making their way through the House of Representatives and the Senate that will allow investors to buy small businesses’ stock online. The article speaks to the great opportunities that come from this, but also cautions readers that it could be used to defraud investors.

I see the great opportunities that could potentially come from the passage of this bill, not just for small businesses, but for the entertainment industry as well. The latest Broadway production of the musical Godspell was funded in entirety by small donations from individuals. This allowed the production to focus more on the artistic side of the production instead of worrying so much about what the investors would think. However, this process could have been streamlined with the passage of these bills making their way through the House of Representatives and the Senate. Instead of donating money, they would be investing. Instead of just getting their name listed in the playbill, individuals across the country could see a return on their investment. Record companies could also fund projects by enlisting the help of the general public. Upon further research, I saw that this bill has been passed. Hopefully the government will be able to regulate the investments to keep investors from being defrauded. It will be interesting to see how this progresses in the next year. [:O)]

Grace Williams is a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Industry Management. She hopes to someday be a part of this great wide world of theatrical management. She is passionate about live entertainment.

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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.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

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#NAMPC National Arts Marketing Project Conference – Winning Audiences – Final Day

After practically no sleep, I was still excited about the last day.  This was the day I was scheduled to present!

8:45 Engaging Audiences through Collaboration and Innovation

I had a great team to work with.  Our moderator was Kory Kelly, Director of Marketing & Communications at Actors Theatre of Louisville.  Also presenting with me were Sam Read, Deputy director of Theatre Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington and Greg Fiedler, President and CEO of the Greater Flint Arts Council in Flint, Michigan.  We decided to tag team our presentations so one would lead into another.

I started off the morning of our Engage Audiences through Collaboration and Innovation with an overall look at the variety of collaborations you can achieve.  Each type of collaboration had a case study story to give an example – the case study pointed out how it engages with your audience.  This presentation was from the view point of one organization working with many other arts and community organizations.  This was a milestone presentation for me too since I vowed to never do another “PowerPoint” presentation ever again.  You can hold me to it!

My audience was a little sleepy during the beginning of my presentation, but I could see them waking up in the middle.  8:45 am?  Much too early, right?

Sam Read took the ball and presented Arts Crush.  This festival is full of creative ideas on how to get the different disciplines of the arts working together and working with the community.  Innovative programming, venues, and audience development can result when a community gets together to co-create an arts festival.  His presentation was exciting and the theme of collaboration and innovation was demonstrated perfectly.  One of my favorite quotes – Move beyond the butt!

Greg Fiedler had a video presentation that spoke about the Parade of Festivals that his Arts Council is responsible for.  The point of the presentation was to not only show how different and interesting festivals can work together to build audience, but also how the arts are changing the perception that surrounds Flint, Michigan.  Unfortunately, almost everyone raised their hands (before the video) when asked if they heard something negative about Flint.  Fortunately, everyone raised their hands when asked if the video gave them a more positive perception of Flint.  The arts are making a difference in Flint, and through collaboration (and innovation), the difference is noticed!

10:45 Closing Plenary with Sam Horn

This was an interesting move since this talk tied together all the elements of the conference – marketing, development, audience development.  We all seemed a bit brain dead and Sam Horn was speaking in codes, or rather acronyms.  The messages of her talk were extremely valuable. Some of her main points are as follows. When relating to people – don’t just tell them what you do – tell them an example of what you are doing.  Tell stories instead of relying completely on facts and figures.  Get them to raise their eyebrows by asking “Did You Know” questions and supply them with some of the most interesting details about your organization.  Lastly, relate your message to who you are speaking to.  Instead of a typical elevator speech that states your mission, which is the same for everyone, first find out who they are and then give them something to relate to about your organization. Even though I was dog tired and ready for lunch, I got the messages and agree wholeheartedly.

My Final Tweets

Lunch

My last little session of hanging with some great people.  A group of us went to hotel sports bar and grill before we left in our cars, taxis and eventually our airplanes toward home.  It was a fantastic ending to the conference – down time with folks that understand you.

Overall Impression

I have to say that all in all, NAMPC was an amazing experience.  The people I met, the presentations, the building of relationships – all factors were well worth it.  I will also say that I am proud of myself for presenting in front of my peers (which can make you a Nervous Nelly).  I am also proud of all of us that attended (well most of us) for leaving our egos at the door and being able to share our good ideas with each other.

I look forward to keeping in touch with the many people I was honored to become associated with during the conference.  If asked again to be a part of this experience, of course, I would say yes!

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

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Choosing the right Crowdfunding is good Audience Development

Crowdfunding has become a viable resource for raising the funds that you need as an artist and arts organization for your particular projects.  It is also a great audience development tool.  With crowdfunding, you are asking for support from your audience, and it is a great way to find out who in your audience is ready to become more involved with supporting your art!

I was researching for a client to find the right crowdfunding resource for her specific project and set of circumstances.  You may have heard of Kickstarter, RocketHub, IndieGoGo, but have you heard of some of the lesser known such as ChipIn, GoFundMe, and Kapipal?  But wait, there is more!  I found the motherload of crowdfunding lists today, and yes, I am going to share it with you (all sources that are mentioned are on this list).

Welcome to The Crowdfunding Wiki!

There are so many sources out there for specific needs.  There are options that are specific to the type of artist you are (film, music, play production). Some of these resources are strictly for non-profits while some are open to all individuals with project ideas and needs.  Some have time limitations and other limitations such as needing to make your goal before you collect any of the funds, but some don’t have strict limitations.  Some charge for the service, but get this, some are actually free to use (minus processing fees for PayPal).

With all the options out there, how do you figure out which source is best for you or your organization?  I would start by making a list of your needs. You may want to consider the following:

1. Are there age, location restrictions?
2. What are the fees or is it free?
3. Can you collect using a variety of currencies?
4. Do you need a PayPal account or not?
5. Are there limitations to how much you can raise?
6. Do you need to raise the full goal amount to receive the money or not?  Are there extra fees if not?
7. Are there limitations on time limits for raising funds?
8. Do you need to set up gifts for levels of donations? You will need to budget if so.
9. Can anyone use the resource or is it strictly for 501c3 nonprofits?
10. Can you use the money right away or do you need to wait for the deadline? Some resources allow you to use funds right away!
11. Do they have resources to help you spread the word: website, widgets, FB, Twitter, YouTube capabilities?
12. Is it easy for your donor to use?

For example,  my client, who happens to be an international musician, she needed a source that could handle different types of currencies and the ability to use without any address restrictions (since some require you to live in a certain region to use).  We also needed a resource that did not require prizes at each level to cut down on overhead costs.  Lastly, we were hoping to find a resource that was free to use, but still had the ease of connecting with social media and the ability to use digital media to outreach.  After researching this long list, I was able to narrow it down to two possibilities that fit her exact requirements.

For organizations and artists with long term goals, there are some interesting ones out there.  One that I found that has great potential is Give.fm.  This site allows donors to micro-give by increments as minimal as $.10 a day.  They can create a portfolio of causes to give to or simply give a certain amount to one main cause.  This site allows anyone at any income to donate to your cause.  It does cost $5/month/campaign, but for $60, it looks like there is potential to raise more than enough to cover that and your projects.

There are simply too many resources out there to cover all of them in this little ol’ blog, but if you make your list and check it twice, you can research to find the exact crowdfunding resource that will be user friendly for your supporters in order for them to help make your projects come to life!

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

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