Introduction to Fundraising: Individual Donors

Introduction to Fundraising: Individual Donors


Before we get started, I want to mention that
tonight we are using Caption Access to provide attendees with closed captions and Video Remote
American Sign Language Interpretation or, VRI. This is an effort to better serve our D/deaf
and hard of hearing artists and the disability community at large. Our ASL interpreter tonight is Paula Meyer, you may
see her there, an RID certified interpreter. If you have any questions about Fractured Atlas’s accessibility work, feel free to contact us after the webinar. Before we jump in, I want to make sure that the slides
are visible. If you can see the slides and captioning and
interpreter and hear me, please type yes in the chatbox there before we get started. Wonderful. I am seeing a lot of “yes” being typed, which
is great. If you want to move the interpreter, there is an option within the box there for
you to minimize it or move it to the side or anything like that if you are not going
to be using it. That it is there for your use. Just so you know, this webinar is going to be recorded with captioning. Don’t feel pressured to take perfect notes,
as a copy will be emailed to you within a couple of weeks of the presentation. So, you may rewatch and catch anything that
you might have missed. So, welcome. First, a little bit about us. Fractured Atlas is a nonprofit tech company
that works with artists and arts organizations at all different disciplines across the country. We offer a variety of programs and services
that help artists strengthen the business side of their practice. Our four core programs
are Fiscal Sponsorship, a program that helps artists raise charitable donations for individuals,
corporate sponsors and grantors. Our Insurance program helps artists minimize their own risk
and liability. Artful.ly is a web-based software application
that helps artists sell tickets, take donations and track fans. And, SpaceFinder is an online marketplace that helps artists find performance and rehearsal space. Through these programs we work with more than
70,000 members, more than 4000 fiscally sponsored projects, and we have raised more than $142
million since the program began. We have secured more than 17,000 insurance
policies and served more than 1 million artists across the country. Welcome to tonight’s webinar, where we will discuss tips and tools for soliciting donations from
individuals and cultivating long-lasting supporters. We will address the benefits of individual giving,
how to prepare for an individual appeal with avenues you can use to reach out to donors,
how to engage and attract donors, creating long-lasting relationships, and advantages
of Fractured Atlas’s services.There will be a section at the end for questions. Feel free to type in the Q&A or chatbox as
we go along. But there will be a section at the end to
answer all questions. If, during the presentation, there is a moment
to stop and answer questions, I will. Otherwise, we will get to all questions at
the end. Before we get started, I want to say, it’s a pleasure to virtually meet you and
we are all glad that you are taking steps to advance your project or advance any fundraising knowledge
you might want. Who are we? The Fractured Atlas programs team is a lean staff of 11, all artists as well, and we are here to assist you. When you give us a call or shoot us an email
you can be working with any one of us at any given time, depending on the nature of your
inquiry. A little bit about myself, I am an artist as well. I do theater as well as I am a budding film
producer as well. I have two sponsored projects with Fractured Atlas. Not only do I have experience on the admin
side of Fractured Atlas, but I do have experience on the project side of Fractured Atlas. So hopefully, I’ll have some really unique insight for anyone who might be having specific questions about their work. My name is Aisha Jordan, I am a Program Associate with Fractured Atlas, so let’s get started. As mentioned in this section, we will provide some of the facts of individual donations
compared to other contributed revenue and the importance and benefits of individual
giving. So, we’ll jump into it. When talking about individual donors, it’s
important to see why we work so hard to get individuals on board with our work. Here is a breakdown of funds raised through
Fractured Atlas fiscal sponsored program. As you can see, more than 50% of the funding
we received for the purposes of our fiscally sponsored project come from individual donors
while less than 40% comes from foundations and less than 10% from other sources.So, historically,
donations from individuals account for over two-thirds of all donations. This trend is also prevalent in major institutions
throughout the US and shows we should rely on individuals to fund the majority of our
budgets. You might be thinking, but what about grants? Aren’t they usually in larger sums and more
reliable because they come from institutions? Well, grants make about one-third of our income. We cannot really rely on them because they
are very competitive and may not come through year after year. Statistically speaking, grants are the most
competitive type of support that exists and the amount of money available can fluctuate
from year to year. The best way to create a sustainable funding model is to build a donor a base made of many individuals rather than a few grants that may or may not come through the
following year. And it is unrestricted funds. Plus, many foundations consider individual
donors to be the bread and butter of your work and want to see that you have a strong base when reviewing your proposals. Before we can start soliciting donations, we first
need to prepare our strategies, content and materials. You want to tell a compelling story
so that your donors know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. The best way to find out how to tell a compelling
story is by asking the who, what, where, when and hows of your work. First, what is it? Be clear and concise about your artistic discipline. Is it dance, film, theater, performance art, etc.? This can be tough for our artists because
the whole point of our work is not to be put in a box. But think of it as opening a box for your donor. They may not know the subtle nuances of your
art form, but bring them in. Tell them what kind of box you work around. In addition, what problem does your work address
or seek to provide action for? After you establish what you do, be clear about what you do you work for, and who you do your work with. Who are the key players? Who make up the community? Be specific on the audiences that will actually be impacted, and examples of past impact is key. Where does your work take place? Let your donors know where the activities
will be conducted and exactly where you intend to make your impact and what locations you
are invested in exposing your work to. As you get to know your donors, you may find
some donors are very interested in projects in a specific region and you can cater to
this when soliciting. So, when? When will your project take place? Let your donors know the timeline of the project
and what phase their funds will be aiding. This is also a chance to highlight the urgency
and significance of giving now and not at a later portion of your project. So, how do you create impact? What are the steps that you take in order
to reach the goals you set out and get the desired outcomes for your work? How does your process of creation, production
or execution hope to yield the impact needed? Sometimes this manifests as a rubric or a
pedagogy or a specific method used. Be clear and specific and concise to your
donor, because they may not know the intricacies of the certain method or style. So let them in on the secret. So, why do you do this work? Detail the significance of the impact. This is very important in conveying the value
of the work you do. Many people get scared of the word “value”
because we tend to be pretty humble about our worth and how to put value on art? Here is the chance to let your donor know
the reason your work is so impactful and instill urgency and buy-in from the donor. Let them know that by donating, they are making this impact as well. First, know your constituents. Know your donors and their interests. Pay close attention to the kind of audiences
you attract and the followers who flock to your work. Be sure to know their habits and specifics
of what parts of their work that they may like most. This gives you the beginning of how to engage
them even further into your work. Now, we suggest administering surveys at your
shows or Eblasts to gauge the impact of your work on your participants. Fractured Atlas has a great service that helps you keep track of all this and it is called Artful.ly. Artful.ly helps you sell tickets, receive
donations for sponsored projects and 501(c)(3)s and track all this information. We will get into just how to utilize this service once we get down to the basics of individual giving. Many people want that magic, easy button to get a list of all donors who will give to you just because. I am sad to say, this magic list does not exist. Like many large and small organizations, it
takes hard work, perseverance and networking. So, we suggest, start small with close friends
and family. We know it’s tough, we don’t all have that
rich auntie or wealthy best friend. When you are building a community and a following,
the $5, $10, of $20 that a friend gives lays the foundation for your project’s continued success. Develop an advisory committee that can help you do all these things. They can help you write thank you notes or
make calls to donors. Have a group of people who can help and will
allow you to keep connected to your donors and thank them for their generosity in a timely manner. Also, have an advisory board of people who
might know specific things that you don’t, have connections to things you might not have
a specific connection to. This widens your scope and allows for more
interest into your work. So, in this next section, we are going to
talk about how to reach out to donors. We will go into the many avenues available to connecting our constituents and building relationships. First, letter writing can be a very effective
first step in fundraising plan for individuals. Letters should emphasize the who, what, where,
when and how we spoke about earlier. Be sure to do this in a condensed and concise way. Try not to use flowery language. You’re looking to gain their support rather than filling them in with the metaphors and jargon of your art. I like to use the peanut butter and jelly
sandwich explanation technique. Imagine you’re telling people how to make
a PBJ sandwich who have never heard of it. Tell them where you get the peanut butter
and jelly, what bread and where to get it, how you spread the peanut butter, what utensils
you are going to use, etc. Try not to explain the meaning of a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich. The end result is to have a sandwich. Make sure you are addressing your readers. Use “I” and “you” statements, but mostly “you.” Remember, you’re going to emphasize how this will benefit your donor. Using the word “you” will help to emphasize this fact so your donor’s benefit is very clear. Base your appeal on the benefits and not needs. You don’t want to highlight disparity, so
make sure speak less about your needs but also the benefits to your donors and your
intended audience. You are ultimately doing this work for someone
or a group of people, so talk about the benefit to them, as well. Now, give them a reason to send money now. They need to know that funds are needed now
and not in six months. Let them know you need money by such and such
date to make this particular initiative successful. Be sure to be specific about what you are asking for. Anyone can give support just by patting you
on the back or saying, “I support you.” But you want to be specific about requesting
a donation so your donors are aware of your intentions. Make it clear your goal is not just to raise funds. Ultimately, you’re trying to make art that will serve
a greater audience. Raising funds is just a means to an end that
will help you achieve your goals. When you’re writing letters, feel free to
use online resources to search for examples of amazing appeal letters. If you are fiscally sponsored we do have templates on your My Fiscal Sponsorship page under the Guidelines tab, so take a look at those as well. Eblasts are another great way to get the word out. MailChimp is a great Eblasts service that
connects to Fractured Atlas’s platform of Artful.ly. Artful.ly can help you engaging with your donors and keeping track of your correspondence, which we will get to in a little bit. Remember, if you are fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, you need to have these fundraising materials be approved before you send them
along to your donors. Make sure that you are sending those to us
before you are sending them out. As you prepare, be sure to keep accurate and
up-to-date front facing content such as websites, donor landing pages and social media sites. This way, when donors look into your work
you can be sure they are getting the most up-to-date and accurate information. Social media is also a way to engage new and
potential donors with your work. Studies have shown that 96% of millennials
have joined a social network, and that the fastest growing network in social media is people over 50. Considering the number of people using social
media and the ease in which people can share information using social media, it can be
one of the most important tools you use in your fundraising. Social media can be especially helpful when
running a crowdfunding campaign and it is the best way to make your campaign go viral. If you have a social media presence your followers
can help by spreading the word about your work. Develop a consistent posting calendar and make sure to link your donor landing page to Fractured Atlas as well. Remember, all approved by Fractured Atlas,
of course. Which brings us to our next popular form of individual giving, crowdfunding. There are many platforms available to hold
a crowdfunding campaign on your own to fundraise. If you are looking to give your donors a tax
deduction with their gift, there is only one platform that can do this Luckily, Fractured Atlas has its own platform and it is called Fundraising by Fractured Atlas. Any donations through our crowdfunding campaigns can be tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law with fiscally sponsored projects. Crowdfunding campaigns are about crowdsourcing your art, getting the word out to as many people as
possible to expand your reach and excite and motivate current and new donors about your work. Crowdfunding is best when you are fundraising for a specific activity or portion of your work. For example, a production or gallery exhibit, a new album or a performance run. You can set a goal, include images and videos
as well as rewards for donors. Many people think there are random donors
scouring the Internet looking for a campaign to donate to. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 99% of the time, donors are close friends,
family and acquaintances. But the work gets shared so often, there are
so many people getting the word out, it excites new donors to get involved. Crowdfunding is just one of those ways to
get the word out about your work. The best way to gain new donors and reach new followers is networking. Networking, ask your friends and family and
acquaintances to share your work, possibly put you in touch with someone they know who
might be interested in getting involved. Networking is big. Show up to other functions and get involved
in other circles you may not have been involved in before. Make sure you get business cards, ones with
clear contact information. The key is getting people you don’t know that
your friends and family may know or fellow artists know to get interested in your work. I know we are not all millionaires and sometimes
our friends aren’t either. But 6° of separation, you may get in touch with someone who has the cash to spare. Use their preferred method of correspondence. If your donor doesn’t respond to emails try
social media, phone calls or even mailed letters. Then, the reverse. If they don’t return your phone calls try
emailing them. Catering your ask helps your donors see how
integral they are to your journey. Providing the courtesy to meet them on their plane will go a long way. How else can you make sure you are getting the most out of
solicitations? There are three major ways to maximize your
donations for your project. First is monthly gifts. They are important for any fundraising campaign
because they allow donors to contribute less at one time, which allows for them to give
more over time. Let’s look at a typical donor profile comparing monthly donations vs. one-time donations. We make it super easy for you. Right here. Once they click donate now, they have the
option to give one time or to give monthly and their credit cards will be charged automatically
on the same date every month. Fractured Atlas offers an entire webinar about
strategies for monthly giving which I do encourage you to join. So, the next is non-cash donations. Donations don’t only need to be made in cash. You can often eliminate your budget items
by asking for a non-cash or in-kind gift. This is especially important if your donor
cannot offer funds but has equipment or other materials to contribute. Remember, only tangible items are considered
tax-deductible according to the IRS. Fractured Atlas can process donations of tangible
items and offer you tax receipts for those donations. For example, if someone is donating books
to your work, they can donate those books. But if someone is offering their service of working the door at free cost, that is something we wouldn’t be able to accept. The next is matching gifts. Many companies match employees’ donation
to a charity. Make sure your donors are aware that Fractured
Atlas can accept these donations. The match will usually be a one-to-one amount
but sometimes the company will match the donation 2:1 or more. Have your donor check in with their HR or matching gift departments, to see what protocol is necessary to submit for a matching gift. Generally, the process will start with your donor making a contribution. From there, they will need to report the donation
to their employer. The employer will then check with Fractured Atlas and we’ll confirm that we have received the donation. Then a few months later, we will receive a check from the employer matching the original contribution. So it’s pretty simple. So, now that we have
the content, the materials and the strategies, how do we engage our donors? Because making a donor base is easier said
than done, of course. In this next section, we’ll discuss positioning
your product in a way that brings in interested followers and cultivates relationships. So, what do donors want? They might care about the audience you’re
serving and want to help you bring your service to that audience. Perhaps they want to help in some way but
they can’t give time so they give money instead. Some might want status and some might just
want the tax deduction. I know it sounds crazy but the most important
thing to remember when you’re soliciting donations is that it’s not about begging for money. It’s about gaining resources for art. Donors want to be a part of your journey. They want to have a sense of connection with
themselves as part of the work, even if their involvement is a monetary one. Your solicitation is an invitation, of sorts,
for them to be part of your work. They want to see the value of your work and
the impact. Because in return, that means that they themselves
are providing that value impact, as well. So, how do we engage our donors in a way that
excites them about becoming a part of our work? Let them in on the work. Let your donors know exactly where their funds
are going. Focus on their interests specifically. If a donor advocates for paying for artists,
make sure you let them know how you prioritize this in your work. Use the information and materials you have
prepared to pinpoint where the donor fits in within your work. Offer rewards in appreciation for their donation. Rewards can be shoutouts on social media,
their name listed on your website, credit within the work such as in programs and film credits or goods such as tickets to performances, admissions to classes, pieces of artwork and
more. Now, Fractured Atlas provides this with the
easy to use tool of Giving Levels on your donor landing page. This allows you to indicate different donation amounts and attribute various rewards for each level. It also ensures Fractured Atlas can give the proper tax receipts to donors with the accurate tax-deductible amount included. You can add this through your My Fiscal Sponsorship
page if you are already fiscally sponsored, when logged into Fractured Atlas. You would log in and click donations and go to Giving Levels. Just be sure if you are giving rewards that
you list the value of whatever you’re giving in the non-gift amount so that we can give
the proper tax receipt. Another part is to guide your donors through the process. It’s important to be very clear about what
you want from your donors and how they can give that to you. You should give them explicit instructions
for how to donate. Make sure your instructions are easy to understand
and clearly define each step donors need to take to make the donation you requested. You’ll also want to clarify for your donors that they will contribute on Fractured Atlas’s
website and that their credit card statements and tax receipt will show Fractured Atlas
as the donation recipient. When they go to your donor landing page, they
will see the information about your project and a button right there to donate. They need to know they will be giving to Fractured
Atlas for the purposes of your work. Write a personalized thank you to each donor immediately upon receiving the gift. It will add that personal touch that shows
your donor how important they are to you — which brings us to our next section. In this section
we will discuss their way to keep your donors engaged, gather data about what your donors
love to see and how they engaged. Celebrating our donors and involving them
in the working journey, and the services and platforms that make this processes smooth
and efficient. So, what makes donors keep coming back? Keep in constant contact. Make good on your promises and rewards. Even if you don’t reach your goals, this shows
your donor how dedicated you are and sometimes how rough the road can be, but that you are
resilient. Keep them up-to-date on your activities. Invite them to any events you might have coming
up or shows, and keep them in the know as to where their funds actually went to. Following up after an event to say thank you
for your donation, it helped our artist do XYZ, it really helps your donor to become
part of the work and along for the ride. Survey your donors, ask them what they think about
the communications you sent. I suggest starting with your friends and family,
asking both those who have donated and those who haven’t what they think about your solicitation. What did they like? What didn’t they like? What do they think you could have done differently? As you continue to expand your donor base,
you should continue to survey your most faithful donors in order to continue refining the way
you interact with them. Show your appreciation even when they’re not giving you funds. Send holiday greetings. Have small or low-cost events to bring them
together and meet up at a bar or an invitation to an open rehearsal. This shows how excited you are about the work
and gets them even more excited about it too. Make sure if they are digitally inclined that they are following you on all social media. Make sure that you are sending newsletters. It’s the easiest way to keep in touch with
your donors over long periods of time. This can be done with MailChimp or eblasts
or even sending letters. In this next section, we’ll talk about the wealth of services that Fractured Atlas provides that can position your project for maintaining individual donors
and for continued success. As we mentioned before, Fractured Atlas’s service Artful.ly is a great way to keep track of your donors and works with fiscally sponsored projects. Once you’re fiscally sponsored, you can go
to Artful.ly just as it is spelled above: A-R-T-F-U-L . LY Sign up your project as an organization. There is no extra cost to using Artful.ly
and once you’re connected, you can email us to set up a sponsored project Kit to accept donations
through Artful.ly. It also has links to best manage your donor correspondence, as well as patron records for your events. It’s a great way to start understanding your audience, managing your segments, and organizing communications. The service syncs with fiscally sponsored projects, creating an individualized record for each donor. You can sell tickets to shows and events, take donations. The system then saves a record when patrons have attended events and when they have donated to your work. This service can also link with MailChimp, allowing you to manage correspondence and keep up to date records for your supporters. So, you can track your donors and other fans all in the same place. This is also a great service for nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations as well. This means if your project becomes a 501(c)(3)
you can continue using Artful.ly to receive donations. Because all records sync from a sponsored
project, if you close your sponsorship with us, you can still access your donor records
through Artful.ly. It’s a great platform for sponsored projects and all arts organizations as well. Our next program is SpaceFinder. It’s an online marketplace that matches renters
with venues that meet their unique needs. For artists, this process of finding work space can be frustrating and inefficient. Meanwhile, venues have a limited number of
resources to spend finding new renters. Earned revenue is critical for creative venues, yet
many venues are tragically under utilized. Through the SpaceFinder program, Fractured Atlas is
increasing visibility of rental options, helping artists find the space they need, and helping
venues promote and rent their spaces. There’s over 5000 spaces listed and 554,000
searches for space every year. There are also about 800,000 annual rental
referrals to participating creative venues. So definitely take a look at SpaceFinder,
it’s one of my favorite services with Fractured Atlas. Thanks to the combined purchasing powers of the Fractured Atlas community, our members have access to high-quality coverage for much
lower rates than might otherwise be possible. More importantly, with one foot in the arts
and another in the world of insurance, we have worked with some of the world’s leading
insurance companies to design a number of proprietary insurance programs that are specifically tailored to meet your specific needs. We have even made the process as quick and
painless as possible. You can use our website for insurance to actually get a quote online and buy said quote if you’re interested. Once you are ready to buy, you would need
to become a member of Fractured Atlas to do so. Getting a visa to work as an artist in
the United States is a time-consuming and frustrating process. Fractured Atlas is considered a peer group
and offers to review your O and P visa applications and provide a letter of consultation/no objection
for the application. Whether submitting as an immigration attorney,
or employer petitioner, or visiting artist group, we can provide this service for a fee
of $200. We can help make this process quick, easy,
inexpensive and efficient. Relevant visa application documents can be
submitted online through our website. Please note, you do need to be a member at
the free, Community level in order take advantage of this service. Again, this is for international artists trying
to come into the United States. If you are working with an international artist
or are an international yourself and need a letter of no objection for that, definitely
reach out to us for that. Now in this next session, we will take a time for some questions. Again feel free to type your question in the
chatbox or the Q&A box and I will answer any questions you might have. It doesn’t look like we have any questions popping up yet. We will wait a little bit. You might be typing. All right. It doesn’t look like we have any questions
coming in. That makes me feel good. I guess I covered everything as well as it needed to be covered. If you have any specific questions about anything that maybe you aren’t able to type in chatbox or that you feel might come up later as really specific to your work, you can email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 888-692-7878. Feel free to give us a call or send us an
email and we will help you out. Well, thank you everyone for joining and here is a list
of the other webinars that we actually offer with Fractured Atlas. Definitely take a look. You can also see what webinars we have coming
up when you go to FracturedAtlas.org. If you click “About Programs and Services”
and “About Fiscal Sponsorship,” on the right side you will see a list of webinars
we have coming up and you can click there and register on the site. Again, thank you everyone for coming. And we will see you next time. And yes, one of our staff members, Colleen, who attended is letting everyone know, May 15 there will be VRI and captioning included as well. So take a look at that webinar coming up. Thank you everyone, and have a great night.

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