Friday, June 10, 2011

Sponsors Who Give Away Money

Sponsors used to be old-fashioned. A well-to-do dignitary took a struggling, starving, talented artist under his wing and groomed him, trained him, and endorsed his rising career. Writers, musicians and artists of ages past lived off such charity.

Today it's about venture capitalists and businesses, but nobody with deep pockets really support artists anymore. However, there are a handful of companies who are interested in aiding artists, et al financially, and it behooves you to know them, too.

The Awesome Foundation - @awesomefound
Started in Boston, this organization has trustees in multiple cities, and is constantly seeking other sities where trustees can start new chapters. The trustees are individuals who personally contribute $100 per month to the cause. At least ten trustees are required to open a new chapter.  Each chapter meets monthly. They determine which project to fund, and a $1,000 fellowship is distributed accordingly. Some chapters also routinely contact applicants for interviews before awarding the fellowships.

Currently in Berlin, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Edmonton, Food, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Montreal, New York City, Ottawa, Providence, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, Washington DC, Zurich

Kickstarter - @kickstarter
Innovative individuals with projects in mind post their project, the money they need, and why their project makes a difference. Sometimes they offer funders some type of perk as a thank-you. But regular folk like you and me review the project and decide whether to contribute to the cause. If enough bids are collected to reach the projection, then funds are distributed. No strings attached.

This site has taken off like gangbusters. The ideas are so cool. I could spend hours reading them on the website. I could go broke trying to help so many phenomenal dreams. From the website:

Kickstarter is focused on creative projects. We're a great way for artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers, and others to bring their projects, events, and dreams to life.

Fractured Atlas - @fracturedatlas
Fractured Atlas is a non-profit organization that serves artists and arts organizations by offering technical support. They help provide access to funding, healthcare, education, and more. They help artists find jobs, venues, even get visas. They have classes to help you evolve. They direct you to insurance, but best of all, in my opinion, is they serve as a fiscal agent to bridge you to a world of grants. Fractured Atlas has a membership fee of $9.95/month or $95/year, but that fiscal sponsorship opportunity is worth it.

Sustainable Arts Foundation
The Sustainable Arts Foundation is a non-profit foundation supporting artists and writers with families. They provide financial awards to parents pursuing creative work. One of the qualifications is that you have a child under the age of 18 as a dependent. Deadlines are in May and September for $6,000 grants. Their application is amazingly simple. This is a brand new organization, and I hope it sticks around a long time and catches on as much as Kickstarter.

Sign up for their newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Even if you don't have a grandiose project in mind right now, become familiar with these tools. You may one day need them.


Lynn M said...

This sounds amazing -- thank you so much for helping with this information!

Diva Jefferson said...

Another great post, Hope!

The only one I recognize is Kickstarter. Last year, I set up an account on the website to see if anyone could donate to my research. I realized I had to send the link to people I knew in order to gain supporters. People had to find you themselves on the site if you didn't know them. Of course, at the time Facebook was a major medium for me, but I only received one donation. Since I didn't reach my money goal, they closed my account and the supporter still couldn't help me. Let's just say, great concept, but you need to know your cause will attract thousands of people to donate.

IMO, grants are the way to go.

-Diva J.

Hope Clark said...

Kickstarter is like anything else - you have to seek followers. You have to build platform. It's hard, I know. You start slow, or you start with less money for your project.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the info. Love the button. My husband thinks I already have the t-shirt...:)

BECKY said...

What great information, Hope! You never fail to amaze me! :)