Getting and keeping donors, patrons and benefactors is complex and challenging but TOTALLY worth it. Here are some really great tips to learn how to get and keep donors and patrons for your art.
Hi. This week we’re going to dive in to donors and patrons. I’m John Paul Fischbach, the CEO and Chief Alchemist here at the Auspicious Arts Incubator with this Hot Tip. I think the situation for most artists starts out something like this. I’m a worthy artist. I make great art. How do I find a donor or a patron or a benefactor?
There’s a hierarchy of giving. Typically a benefactor gives you more than just money, a patron is ongoing support and a donor is perhaps just a single gift or single money. You find them in your immediate circle of friends and family and you build it over time. The skill of approaching these people is definitely something to learn for every artist. The key is standing in their shoes and figuring out their motivation for giving. What is it? So that you and your art are a match right from the start.
There are four things that motivate donors. Number one; philanthropy. That is just the desire to make a difference or a change in the world for the better. Number two is affinity. Donors with strong personal connection to the cause or to you. Number three; mutual benefit. That is more transactional because there is a benefit that they give in exchange for what they give you. Number four is social. That is a motivation to be part of a group or to build influence on the part of the donor.
That is pretty straightforward. There are seven steps and that is way too much for a Hot Tip Tuesday but they are identify, research, plan, cultivate, ask, close, thank and steward. The biggest failing is due to a lack of planning absolutely. Then being clumsy at the cultivation and the ask.
Let’s talk about cultivation of a donor and the ask. Cultivation, typically 6 to 18 months to build a relationship with a donor. Your job help them build enthusiasm for you and your work and be clear about why their financial support will have the biggest impact for you and your art.
Let’s look at the ask. There are four keys at the right level, for the right area of your work, at the right time and by the right person. In the arts who does the ask is critical. People give to people. It doesn’t have to be you doing the asking but whoever it is they have to have three things. Number one, personal commitment. What have they or what have you invested? Number two, rapport. Are you or are they known and respected by the prospect. Passion is number three. The person asking can describe why they are so committed to the goal.
Please don’t take the money and run. If you manage to secure a donation that donor can become a patron and a benefactor. It’s up to you to share the emotion for your art and your growth, your success and then stay aligned with their motivation for giving. That was really fast but that is kind of the nuts and bolts of donors and patrons.
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