The relationship between fundraising and artists

Learn the top tips for working with artists to deliver your fundraising objectives in this case study with Jam Factory.

Top tips for working with artists to deliver your fundraising objectives.

Case study with Jam Factory

Tip 1: Put your artists front and centre.

Arts fundraising is about storytelling, and at the centre of your organisation’s story is your artists.


It’s also about people – supporters give to people. They want to feel connected to them, and to be part of their success.


Your artists should be at the centre of your fundraising campaigns and activities.


Tell the story of your artists – who they are, why they do what they do – in a way that differentiates them from others and brings their unique talents and passions to life.  Your potential and existing supporters should know who they’re supporting.


And remember, everyone is a fundraiser. Make sure your whole team can tell your story – volunteers, board members, other staff and other artists.

Tip 2: Position your artists as passionate, successful creatives, because that’s what they are.

The trope of the starving artist is pervasive, and it can hamper the success of your campaigns.


Artists can and do make a good living. They’re talented and passionate, they understand their business and what they do has value to others.


It’s also important to remember that the person best qualified to talk about and showcase their art is the person who made it. When developing your campaigns and marketing material, you should – in the words of Jam Factory’s Development Manager Nikki Hamdorf – “promote artists as the rockstars they are”.

Tip 3: Choose the right fundraising model.

Your fundraising approach – or approaches – should be determined by the artists you support and the guiding mission and makeup of your organisation.


For example, where your projects align with the interests of a business, you might think about sponsorship.


Crowdfunding is a good option if you have a sizeable social media following and database.


Collective giving can be a hugely successful approach for organisations that can bring together a group of donors to have a shared impact or goal.


Think about what you and your artists have to offer and tailor your fundraising to suit.

Tip 4: Create opportunities for artists to spend time with their supporters.

Fundraising and philanthropic giving is a two way relationship.


Arrange for your artists to meet with their supporters – both formally or informally – and get to know them. Everyone’s got a story to tell.


Regularly meeting with supporters also allows artists to develop confidence and comfort with fundraising and promoting themselves to people who can have an impact on their careers.


Genuine engagement – where artists are learning from donors and donors are learning from artists – should be at the core of your fundraising activities.