Arts and culture organisations are stepping up.
Our communities have always benefited from great arts and culture, and it’s amazing to see the sector remain at the heart of keeping communities connected during this crisis. For example, the Royal Exchange wardrobe team is #helpingDressMedics, Sydney Living Museum is offering downloadable activity sheets, and the Old Vic has made End Game available for online viewing. Countless other organisations are contributing materials, content, and culture in their own ways; we’re keeping a list here.
All over the world, we see organisations being agile and innovative. They continue to deepen engagement with their audiences whilst reaching new ones across new channels. This is something that fundraisers should celebrate and harness.
Next Tuesday 5 May, GivingTuesdayNow gives our sector the opportunity to highlight the importance of arts and culture during this time and ask for the support that is essential to the ongoing strength of our organisations.
GivingTuesdayNow gives our sector the opportunity to highlight the importance of arts and culture during this time and ask for the support that is essential to the ongoing strength of our organisations.
But how do you ask for gifts during such a complicated time?
1. Share the importance of arts and culture
Our digital platforms are swimming in amazing content that is keeping our audiences, as well as new audiences sustained whilst experiencing lockdowns and restricted movement. Arts and culture enriches people’s lives. Talk about the impact your organisation has on your local communities.
Looking for ideas? The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra has announced that it will make up to 5,000 free tickets available to NHS workers, once concerts resume following the coronavirus pandemic. Along with this offer, they have posted a video of CBSO chorus members sharing the joy of singing.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center published a video message from their President and CEO highlighting the importance of its patrons and expressing their anticipation of the time when they can welcome people back through their doors.
2. Make appropriate asks when sharing digital content
It’s ok to ask. Think about the channels you would have to give when your doors are open – programme adverts, asks on stage, donation boxes or bucket collections, membership and loyalty schemes. Leverage your digital content to make appropriate asks.
The Metropolitan Opera held an impressive online gala, with an understated ask on the event’s landing page.
3. Ease the path to giving online
Whilst your buildings and performances aren’t taking place, is it easy for your donors and potential donors to give? Do you have quick donation links from your home page? Remove barriers to giving: ensure you have a simple way to donate on your website which you can then promote through other online channels.
Think about other incentives to encourage online donations or revenue gain. For example, Mystic Aquarium is encouraging donations by offering to send a “cute clip” with a personalized message featuring the marine animal of your choice. Black Country Living Museum is inviting support through advance ticket purchases and donations.
4. Most importantly: Say thank you.
Even though our desks are now our kitchen tables, you can still send genuine thanks to donors and supporters. #GivingTuesdayNow is an opportunity to elevate that thank you publically by joining a global voice. Highlight the support you’re receiving from donors, funders and sponsors. I like these examples from the National Theatre and the Old Vic.
More than an ask
GivingTuesdayNow is more than another time to ask for support. The event gives everyone an opportunity to say thank you to the people and organisations who are helping us through this global pandemic. In addition to our frontline key workers, carers and those getting essential items out, this also presents an opportunity for our sector to publicly thank the patrons who have donated their ticket refunds, thank our regular donors and members for continuing to support us, be grateful to those funders who are providing emergency funds or relaxing requirements, and a platform to showcase the digital joy our cultural organisations are bringing into our homes.
By saying thanks, we have an opportunity to elevate the importance of philanthropy.
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Giving Tuesday is providing some great resources across our regions to ensure you’re ready to take part.
Also check out Part 2 of this article, offering hands-on advice for making the most of GivingTuesdayNow.