Crowdfunding – A unique blend of marketing and fundraising

Crowdfunding – A unique blend of marketing and fundraising


AMA member Merrin Kalinowski considers how the success of Art Happens campaigns is dependent upon close collaboration between marketing and development teams. This article is featured in the Spring 2018 issue of  JAM - the AMA's quarterly publication.

Art Happens is the UK’s first crowdfunding platform designed especially for museums and galleries, run by Art Fund, it is free to use so all money raised goes directly to the project. Art Fund is an independent membership-based British charity, which raises funds to aid the acquisition of artworks for the nation. Art Fund helps museums and galleries to buy and show great works of art for everyone to enjoy.

Rewards-based crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for an exciting and publically appealing project, but it also has many more benefits — something that has been fed back to us by the museums we have worked with when they have run crowdfunding campaigns on our platform, Art Happens. These benefits have included reaching new audiences, growing social media followers, building or strengthening relationships with partners, and cultivating new donors.

The Fan Museum in Greenwich ran a campaign in summer 2017. Jacob Moss, the museum’s Curator, said:

“Through the campaign we were able to develop new relationships with individuals, communities and organisations. Through social media alone we saw a noticeable increase in followers clearly engaged by the type of content we were producing. Roughly 55% of our funders were not Friends of The Fan Museum. The crowdfunding campaign resulted in a real buzz around the project and dovetailed perfectly into the project’s publicity campaign, which launched immediately after the close of the campaign.”

Crowdfunding is an excellent way to raise the profile of your organisation and as a pre-marketing tool for an exciting upcoming project that you also need funding for. As such, it requires a unique mix of fundraising and marketing in order to be successful.

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Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2018