Say you’ve decided you want to hold a virtual fundraiser to support your art work or for your arts organization. You’ve read the basics behind virtual events and advice from artists familiar with creating work virtually. But now what? Once you determine that you do want to hold a virtual fundraising event, you’ll have to figure out exactly which kind of event to hold (not to mention which platform you will use).
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Crowdfunding is, as a field, crowded. According to Fundera in February 2020, crowdfunding generates $17.2 billion in North America. Crowdfunding grew 33.7% in 2019 and there were almost 6.5 million campaigns. With so many crowdfunding campaigns out there, it’s clear that many people are finding success. But it also means that it can be hard to make your project stand out against all of the other crowdfunding campaigns competing for attention and donations.
Our mission as an organization is to support artists so that you can make the work that is inspiring and resonant to you and your community. One of the primary ways we help you do that is by helping artists fundraise.
We are now approaching a year of COVID-19, even though it feels like it’s been either a decade or just an incredibly long month of March. Over the last few months, many organizations, including Fractured Atlas, have been experimenting with various kinds of virtual events. For example, we’ve hosted livestream events highlighting our members’ work. In spring 2020, virtual art events were the exception. Now they are the norm.
In November or December, nonprofits and projects with fiscal sponsors often send out what’s called an annual appeal. An annual appeal is the final financial ask before the end of the year. Around the holidays, people are feeling generous and reflective about what has been valuable to them in the previous year. And, of course, people and corporations are looking to maximize their tax-deductible donations. Annual appeals are an important part of a fundraising calendar year and something that many established nonprofits and independent creators count on.
For artists who have never fundraised before, it can feel daunting. After all, institutions like museums and nonprofits have departments full of people whose whole job is just fundraising. As an artist, you might worry that you have to become a one-person writing, editing, social media, advertising, PR, videography, and photography team. While there are indeed a number of skills needed to run successful fundraising campaigns, we want to let you know that it’s not as scary or mysterious as you think.
Fiscal sponsorship is a mechanism by which individuals or small organizations can access some of the benefits of 501(c)(3) nonprofit status without going through the process of actually becoming a nonprofit. It’s a powerful tool for artists and arts organizations to boost your capacity without significantly changing the structure of what you do. Fiscal sponsorship lets you receive tax-deductible donations, apply for a wider range of grants, and often access the expertise of the people working for that fiscal sponsor.
Right now, we’re in the midst of grant season. If you’re looking to get funding for your work through grants, you’re likely to be awash in deadlines and applications. But really, grant season is year-round. You can check out all of our grant opportunities to see proof of that!