Thinking about running a fundraising campaign to support your Fringe show? Here are some key things to consider before you launch a campaign.
In the last year, the Australian Cultural Fund has helped more than 700 artists raise over $11.2 million to fund their art. This has given us some great insights into what works and what doesn’t. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what makes a successful campaign, thinking about the following questions will help you run the best campaign for you.
Why run a campaign on the ACF?
To raise money is the obvious answer, but there are a number of other reasons artists register on the ACF.
The ACF is a ‘keep what you raise’ platform which means that if you have a target of $2,000 and raise $1,500, for example, you get to keep the $1,500 that was raised. Another perk is that, as we provide donors with a tax-deductible receipt from the ACF, you don’t have to worry about creating and managing rewards – which can often be quite expensive and time consuming.
In addition to funds, we also provide the tools to create and build a community. When you register a campaign you’ll be given your very own campaign page to promote your show, find new supporters, stay in touch with supporters and use all the handy features of your own personalised Artist Dashboard.
How much do you need to raise?
Whilst we are a ‘keep what you raise’ platform, we always recommend being ambitious and optimistic, but also realistic when setting your target. Determine what your base level of funding needs to be and set this as your original target, if it looks like you’re getting close to hitting this – get in touch with our team and we can raise this for you.
Remember, donors are more likely to give if they can see that a project has momentum, they will be hesitant to give if your campaign has only raised a fraction of the target.
How long should you run a campaign and when?
Majority of campaigns on the ACF run for 1-3 months however, it’s important to remember the time that is needed leading up to the launch. Before launching your campaign you should, ideally, have a plan and strategy ready to go. Whilst this might seem like unnecessary legwork, it can save you time in the long run, in addition to raising more funds. You should also be prepared to set aside several hours per week towards actively promoting, campaigning and facilitating donations.
Another thing to factor in is our payment timeframes. Donations are bundled together once your campaign closes and are distributed as a ‘grant’ in the month following your campaign. This means that if your campaign finishes on the 20th of September, you won’t receive your funds until early October. If you choose to run a longer campaign (anything past 3 months), you do have the option of receiving monthly payments.
Who is your audience?
Who are your backers and potential backers and how will you approach them? Often the best approaches are multi-faceted and include a combination of social media, emails, phone calls, face to face meetings and events. Segmenting your network into groups ranging from those most likely to give to those least likely can help you organise an effective roll out of your campaign.
Sending your campaign to those most likely to give first, and then rolling this out segment by segment, means that by the time your campaign reaches those least likely to donate, the campaign is looking healthy – prompting people to donate.
Think about the ‘why’
We’re all good at explaining what we’re doing but not many people stop to describe the why. Why are you doing your project? Why should people donate to your project over other’s? The why is all about opening a door for further connection with potential donors.
Running a fundraising campaign can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both in terms of money raised and by providing a solid foundation to build ongoing relationships with donors and supporters. But it’s also hard work and time-consuming so plan your approach in advance where possible.
If you’re thinking of using the ACF to fund your art or if have any fundraising questions, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you! Or you can register with the ACF now.