Monday, March 19, 2012

Bringing Patrons Back

I don't consider myself a marketer, but I will admit that my love of deepening relationships with patrons does fall firmly within the aspects of marketing. Seth Godin says in When Should We Add Marketing?: "Build virality and connection and remarkability into your product or service from the start and then the end gets a lot easier." That connection is what I'm interested in. How can an arts organization build connections from the start? It's not enough any more to assume the connection with the art itself will be enough to bring patrons back. We have to give them more: relationships with staff, with actors, with designers or directors, musicians, composers, writers, dancers, painters, sculptors, etc etc etc. Once we can open up and share the artists--not just the art--will we start to be remarkable.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Authentic Rocks

I'm not certain how this "trackback" thing works, but hopefully if you click on that link, you can read about how Reddit users donated to a Kenyan orphanage. Really powerful stuff. 

I don't have much time but I wanted to throw out this question: when it comes to fundraising for arts organizations, how can we be authentic? How can we strip down our ask to the most basic form, tell the most compelling story, and really connect emotionally with our donors? 

Too often, we ask in a polished, guilt-laden way, because we feel we have to "keep up with the [nonprofit] Jones'". We do our donors, and ourselves, a disservice by trying to be something we're not. 

We're artists, after all. We do things differently, artistically, every day. Why do we approach fundraising by trying to be like everyone else?