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How to ask for money during a crisis – Arts Hub

Arts Hub, Brooke Boland
3 May 2020

For TNA, the recent crisis has led to the launch of 1000 x 1000, a fundraising campaign that seeks to raise $1000 for 1000 artists who have missed out on available support. It is a campaign that supports TNA’s efforts to advocate for independent artists and aligns closely with their values and mission.

While a fundraising campaign in response to a crisis must be carried out swiftly, that doesn’t mean it should be rushed. Lewis said it is important to pace yourself throughout the process.

‘We understand the ambition here in relation to the resources we have – so internally, we are staying focused on our goal, but conscious that we must be patient and pace ourselves. Every campaign has its surges and lulls, and we are planning for an even-paced ebb and flow,’ she said.

‘Every campaign should have its own approach – best is relative to each specific context and goal,’ said Lewis.

‘I think what is difficult is asking for money for ourselves. But to reiterate – to have specificity in your campaign message and goals – the campaign goal is what you are raising the money for. And that goal is bigger than ourselves as an individual, or as an organisation.

‘And a good goal is also much more than the total sum raised,’ she added.

Lewis’s comments are a reminder that a campaign is not just about the dollars, it is about relationship and community building, as well as recognising that donors are people.

‘Sometimes you are strengthening existing [relationships] ones, and sometimes you are developing new ones. This relationship doesn’t end with the transaction,’ she said.

Testing and developing your communications strategy is key to a successful fundraising campaign.

For Lewis this meant the formation of a small group who knew the sector and could offer useful feedback.

‘It’s a mistake easily made at the start: not testing your fundraising idea out! Especially in the arts and the not-for-profit sector, where passion is a big driver for our work – we can sometimes leave blinkers on and assume everyone loves our cause, just because we feel strongly for it. Form a small advisory/steering group made up of people who know the landscape in which you are fundraising for, test drive the campaign idea, and take the feedback on!’ she said.”

Read the full article.

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