Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fund raising options

I've been thinking about different ways to raise money for artistic productions.  I was not successful in getting into this theatre festival (at least in part because I didn't have the entire script ready nor had I gathered the entire cast, so I can understand that the pitch looked a bit on the flaky side).  That means I won't need to raise money for this project in the short term, though assuming I keep working at it, I might try to go in as a site-specific work in next year's Fringe.  If not this, then I will advance some other production, and in a non-festival or non-Fringe venue, I'll need to raise even more money.

It's interesting, and perhaps more than a little depressing, that even relatively well-known artistic units have registered as charities.  That's far too much work, though there are more options if you go that route, but also more administration, since it involves generating tax receipts for donors.  I think in the States it is somewhat easier to just register as a non-profit (rather than a full-blown charity) and then donors can treat part of their donations as a charity.

Anyway, this page has a useful run-down of whether Kickstarter or Indiegogo makes more sense with specific slant towards Canadian non-profits.  In general, I would lean towards Indiegogo, since it doesn't have to be all-or-nothing, but I didn't realize that you pay 9% administration fee if you don't meet the goal vs. 4% if you do.  (My wife has a friend who somehow made her Kickstarter campaign, but we suspect it was a family friend who swooped in at the last minute.  Most campaigns aren't so lucky.)  Another useful option open to charities is CanadaHelps, though it is restricted to charities.

It's an interesting game theory dilemma I am facing.  I plan on giving to Scaramella for their upcoming concert.  They have options to donate to support their upcoming concert this weekend, and they have an Indiegogo campaign and a CanadaHelps button.  If I give to CanadaHelps, then less is taken off the top.  However, they look like they might actually make their Indiegogo target, and thus my contribution would help them get that additional 5% of the entire goal.  But if they don't make the target, even with my help, then I will have "wasted" 6% of my contribution.  I think all things considered, in this case, I should contribute to the Indiegogo campaign, though in the future I would encourage them and other charities to just stick with CanadaHelps.

Feel free to weigh in with your own experiences, and remember to support the arts when you are able.  (I may indeed be soliciting donations to make some of my productions come to pass, but it is a bit premature now to speculate when that might happen and how much filthy lucre I will need to raise.)

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