Crowdfunding for Arts and Culture

Art and culture

If you do not know what crowdfunding is or have not had the chance to read our blog on Introduction to Crowdfunding, please review it prior to reading this blog.

Crowdfunding for art and culture is a unique environment compared to other industries. What you’re asking is the ability to expand or add to someone’s current perspective and mindset.

For art projects it can be about adding more meaning to what you understand and see.

“For those who love them, the arts are not frivolous. They’re not extras or nice-to-have. They’re what gives life depth and meaning. They’re how people come together – to wrestle with big questions, to understand the human condition, to expand their worldview” (Cahalane, 2016).

For culture projects it can be about expanding one’s own understanding and knowledge, museums are great example “…museums are even more important as a gathering place to present and understand different perspectives” (Canada Helps, 2017).

For art and culture organizations these tend to be the main goal and purpose of what they are trying to exhibit. Trying to display what life can fully be, to expand imagination and interpretation.

Current State of Crowdfunding in Arts and Culture

According to Market Wired, in 2014 global crowdfunding for films and performing arts received funding of $1.97 billion; music and recording arts received $736 million in donations. Stats Canadareported that for traditional fundraising efforts (not crowdfunding), arts and culture were one of the least popular to donate to.

Canada’s funding for art organizations from the budget for 2017 will greatly help. However, that may be the main (possibly only) source of fundraising they receive. In regards to the budget 2017, culture projects that are smaller, do not receive as much as fundraising as larger organizations. Using crowdfunding can help arts and culture organizations increase interest. One of the reasons is that it can be used as a marketing tool and even gain international reach.

Examples of Art and Culture Crowdfunding

One example of a successful crowdfunding project was The Veronica Mars Movie Project. Those of you who do not know, originally Veronica Mars was a three season TV series about a young privateeye. Veronica works for multiple clients but the main purpose of the show is to solve murder cases. Fundraiser Rob Thomas used crowdfunding in order to fund for Veronica Mars movie. The project was a great success surpassing their $2 million goal by fundraising $5 million. The crowdfunding project also gained international reach.

Another example of successful crowdfunding project was Luchtsingel Rotterdam, in Netherlands.  The purpose of the project was to create a 400 metre pedestrian bridge to connect three previously disconnected areas of the city. This bridge runs through a building and across railways that link with individual public projects, such as rooftop vegetable garden and a new park. The donors were able to have their name on a wooden plank that would be used for the creation of the bridge. Just after a few weeks 17,000 planks were sold (£25 each).

How to Fund for the Arts and Culture

Each industry has its own unique environment, but here are the most important things to keep in mind when developing a crowdfunding project:

  • Emphasize your art or culture project:
    • If you think your project has the ability to power change, share that with audience. Why does your project matter?
  • Tell a story:
    • This is important for any campaign, it allows potential investors to connect with your message. This is to ensure your investors understand why they should crowdfund to you.
  • Don’t ignore the hard questions:
    • Most likely you may get the question to why invest in your project, when people in need could use their money. Although, this is a tough question to answer it is important to do so. To remind people the importance of arts and/or culture. The answer lies in your motto, story and much more. All you have to do is show them.
  • Look at it from the donor’s perspective:
    • Try to understand how they will view your project. It will help you to strategize the right message and method to have them crowdfund to you.
  • Find emotion:
    • Emotion is one of the main messages that art and culture try to get across. That is one of the many things people respond to.
  • Understand your project isn’t for everyone:
    • When it comes to art and culture everyone has their interpretation. Find your people and they will be able to dive into your project easily.
  • Be creative:
    • Having a creative tactic or presentation is important to bring in potential investors for your campaign. Reason being, is that crowdfunding platforms for new products can quickly grab attention of investors. You must work to shift their attention to your project.
  • Connect with supporters:
    • This is again important for any crowdfunding project, particularly for a project that is not selling or giving a product to the investors. Connecting with supporters allows them to feel linked to your project.

With all the challenges that can take place when raising funds for arts and culture projects, crowdfunding can help by using a innovative way raise funds. To help gain interest (or awareness) from other potential investors who may be interested in donating to your project. Other than primarily depending on government funding or your current donors.

Reach out to us to find out more. We like helping passionate people meet their goals, and we can help you with the crowdfunding platform, campaign marketing and research.

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