We consider Alex Desebrock a triple threat around these parts – artist, curator and a savvy campaigner. We asked Alex to share some tidbits on how to prep and follow through with a fundraising campaign.
Before we delve into the nuts and bolts of your campaign, tell us about your recently launched #illshowyoumineaus campaign.
I hit a moment in time when I was hearing similar stories from independent artists: of under payment, high expectations and burnout. And then at Live Art Camp at Arts House, someone pointed me to Bryony Kimmings’ #illshowyoumine, which I thought was brave and brilliant.
So, I wrote my own but then realised what would actually be even better: 10 #illshowyoumineaus responses. I invited and coaxed others and we’ve ended up with 7 responses – which we hope will grow. I have had a lot revealed to me in just these seven. And I hope that it’s revealing to others too. There’s advice, there’s criticism, there’s numbers. I think it’s important we talk about this – so that those coming into the industry have realistic expectations and look after themselves. And those within find strength in other’s words. I hope it’s one of many things that raise awareness about this issue.
Tell us about your current ACF + MATCH campaign, Small Voices Louder. You have 15 days left, you’ve received 30 donations, with 53% of your target reached – you’re almost there!
Yes! We had a mad rush at the beginning which we were really excited about. The work is important to us: sharing children’s big ideas.
We spent some time on doing a video and making sure we began with a bang through our email lists, Facebook and Instagram. We’ve been focusing on the why for Small Voices Louder – there is so much competition for crowdfunding we wanted to hone in on the reasons we’re making the work. In list form this is: children’s voices, big ideas, independent artists, regional touring and high quality art for children.
There’s a lot of legwork involved in campaigning, do you have any tips on how to maximise the time and effort you spend on your campaign?
Our producer Jen Leys suggested we each take the social media reigns for a week. This has been great – it means each of the four key artists have their unique take on the campaign, which adds variety.
Has your strategy changed through the course of the campaign? If so, why?
The first week was go, go, go. Then weeks two and three have been “we’re working on this in Albury: see what we’re up to”. Week four is a focus on sound and the end-product of what we worked on in Albury (stay tuned!) and then we’ll be on the last count down towards the end! Fingers crossed!
What have you learnt through this campaign?
That I’m supported by people I didn’t expect. I had expected lots of arts industry to donate as this is what happened during my last crowdfunding campaign. What I hadn’t expected was the extreme generosity of some and who they were.
As an independent, I am quite often on my own chugging along, unaware that anyone is paying attention or even interested. So this has been a bit of a pat on the back, and not nearly as cringe-worthy as I thought it would be. I don’t like having to crowdfund, but this project was left without any other option – and having MATCH has made it all possible – there is no way we could raise $7,000 on our own.
What has been the most effective approach so far?
Our eNews has a really good reach. I’ve been working on this for a few years and we have about 450 subscribers and each time we send it out we get about 50% readership. So, we kind of knew this would be the best reach we’d have.
How will you celebrate when you reach your target?
I will probably cry and do a little dance. This work has been a labour of love for three years, and – when most would have given up – we’ve kept pushing through part-paid, self-funded and scraping by. Simply because we believe in the project. So. Yes. I will do a little dance.
25 MATCH campaigns will be running on the ACF between now and 29 May, including Small Voices Louder. Every dollar you preference to these campaigns will be matched dollar for dollar by Creative Partnerships, provided they reach their target. All donations are tax deductible. Spread the word, support your fellow artists and be a part of #makingculturehappen