FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Ideas for an Arts Advocacy organization looking to diversify funding sources

ArtDiversity

Dear Kim,

I work for a small statewide arts advocacy organization, and by small I mean in staff size rather than geographic size. We receive funding from our state agency and membership but realize the need to diversify our funding sources. We are finding it difficult to approach foundations and corporations for funding because we are statewide and we do advocacy. Any advice on how to solve this problem?

~Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,

The solution is fairly easy: don’t look to foundations and corporations for funding. In the private sector, foundations account for a little over 10% of money given and corporations about 5%. Individuals account for the remaining 85%. I think many people who love arts and culture, and who recognize the importance of community-based arts and culture groups, will be interested in donating to your organization to do advocacy work.

Although the solution is easy, the work is hard, and I don’t want to trivialize what lies ahead for you. Let me just suggest two things to get you started:

  1. Create an “associate” membership that is for individuals. For that membership, a person will get a newsletter and the knowledge that you are helping the arts on a statewide basis. Give this category of membership a name, but no voting rights. Create a simple brochure with a tear-off form and ask your organizational members to display it in their theaters, museums, galleries, libraries, and so on. Post this information on your website also, and make it possible for people to join from your site.
  2. Seek out opportunities to talk about arts advocacy to service clubs, professional associations, and even faith-based groups. Tell people if they want to help, they can join your organization.

In other words, start building a broad base of individual donors, donors who give you any amount of money. From there, you can start to identify, from your list of supporters and from people in the community, those who believe in what you do and who can afford to give larger gifts. Developing a major gifts program — which requires a long-term commitment to building relationships with your donors — is something that will allow your income to grow year after year.

In addition, I suggest exploring some earned income ventures. Charge fees for workshops, create materials to sell, and, generally, look around for things that you know how to do, that you can offer your members for free or cheap, and that other non-arts organizations or people might be willing to pay for.

Finally, look for opportunities to do any joint fundraising with your members or with other advocacy groups. Linking the issues of arts and culture to civil liberties, environment, education, and so on is important politically because it helps build a stronger base, and it also will help you raise money.

Creativity is the name of the game here, and your work is built on the creative impulse. I have total confidence in you.

~Kim

Orignially published in the Grassroots FundRaising Journal. FundRaiser users can subscribe at a special rate of $30/year by entering is "$30" in the coupon code field on the second page of the subscription process.

To learn more about how FundRaiser can help you build your base of individual donors 

take a look at Spark, our program for small and new organizations

7 key components for donor cultivation you should ...
Solicitor Codes & Reports: Not Just For Major Dono...

Related Posts

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
nonprofit fundraising entering auction gifts annual maintenance plan how to handle auction gifts communications In-Kind gifts FundRaiser Basic mailing upgrading donors community supported gardens upgrade correspondence word processor user interface capital campaign features spreadsheets volunteers #GivingTuesday Company culture board members welcome packet appeal recurring gifts memorial giving banquet Task List general fundraising letters product news in honor of donations Reporting to IRS Volunteer module spare fields brick campaign Thank You overview vacation data conversion social media premiums donor attrition rate tech tip NCOA processing salutation the Ask animal rescue donor engagement tribute gifts how-to videos budget raffle Alternative Addresses reports government grants GoFundMe project donor targeting legacy giving membership programs donor profile ticket sales holiday letters event management gift notes field large donations Cloud small donations arts annual campaign donor happiness advanced tab GivingTuesday passwords campaign management segmenting donors Excel look and feel FundRaiser Spark donor source merge notes transparency Groupings solicitors operating systems personalizing letters direct mail membership benefits disaster relief Tickles relationship tracking LYBUNTS ticketsales donor retention rate letter templates training tip new donors National Change of Address pledges gift acceptance policy donation history New Year lapsed donor motivation PayPal Facebook donor loyalty donor contact information donor retention monthly giving online donations mode code Thanksgiving new features publicity materials anonymous donors alumni gift entry texting donors holiday FundRaiser Hosted donor relations pictures charity golf tournaments fundraising case study role of nonprofits data analysis Resiliency Donor Portal office technical support campaign adding personal notes to letters giving levels password protection Importing Data online donations change of address updating phoning donors backing up data Constant Contact support major gift prospects new version security mission driven foundations donor prospects moves management updates Crowdfunding Campaign training planning targeted mailings flash sales motivation code tax summary letters Congratulations importing csv grassroots campaign endowment campaign repeat donors understanding giving trends grants Snow Birds email new leadership Codes donor advised funds giving history accounting software merge fields major donors SYBUNTS development director planned giving donor preferences add ons on site training prospects donor slip thank you letters holiday giving announcements corporate sponsors operational costs membersip benefits Reminders letter follow up Personalizing appeal letters Network for Good user spotlights customer portal building donor relationships community broadcasting End of Year Letters community arts nonprofits donor attrition data entry correspondance volunteering increasing giving amounts new nonprofit custom page auction Facebook campaign donor recognition ROI customer service

Connect With Us

  800-880-3454 ext 3
  Email Us
  Request More Information
  Monday-Friday
      8:30AM-5:30PM CST

Customer Portal Login Form

   

The customer portal is unavailable. If you need support please reach out to support@fundraisersoftware.com Thank you.

 

  User Name:
  Password:

If you are not sure about your Customer User Name, please call 800-543-4131 and we will be able to help you.

Or you have lost your password, Request Password