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.
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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.
A Sustainable Creative Practice Is Different For Everyone As an artist, you want to build your creative practice in a way that nourishes you and sustains you, that lets you stay inspired and connected. If you run yourself ragged trying to balance out your creative commitments as well as the rest of your life, you’ll find yourself burned out and frustrated. At Fractured Atlas, we want more artists to make more work. And if artists are burned out and frustrated, you’re not able to create! We need to develop sustainable creative practices.
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!
Artists looking to build support by using your own network often run crowdfunding campaigns. Crowdfunding refers to time-limited, goal-oriented fundraising. Unlike other ways to raise money, crowdfunding depends on smaller donations from within your own community, often shared on social media.
Building and maintaining a website as an artist can be daunting. It’s a lot of work, especially if you aren’t naturally inclined to digital space, digital creation, or marketing yourself. It might be so daunting that you wonder if you need an artist website in the first place. So, why do it in the first place?
There is a lot of art-related work that just can’t happen in your home. You might need more space, more equipment, or a more professional atmosphere. When you come across those kinds of work, you’ll need to find a studio space. You might just need an extra space for a few hours for a photoshoot or private dance class. You might need to rent space weekly to host meetings or rehearsals. Or, you might need to pay rent on a fully-fledged studio space where you can come and go as you please.
Selling your artwork can be an important revenue stream for you as an artist. It can help you support your work, spread the word to new audiences, and grow your practice overall. Within the context of capitalism, it can also be a way of legitimizing your work. If people will pay for work, it might be perceived as more valuable. If you’re an artist who wants to sell you work, one of the first challenges you’ll encounter is figuring out how much to charge for it. Trying to figure out pricing for each individual piece in an ad hoc way can be exhausting and stressful. We recommend building yourself a system or framework to help you price your work. If you’re selling work, you need to know why you’re pricing a piece the way you are. That way, you can move forward with more confidence and ease.
When you’re looking for support for your artwork, you’ll need to think broadly about the kind of support you need. You’ll probably be fundraising, which might entail crowdfunding, applying for grants, building a sustaining donor base, or even exploring corporate partnerships. Building the support structure for your creative practice is about more than just bringing in cold hard cash. It’s about building a community of people who are invested in your work, and who are able to help you bring your work from vision to reality.