by Rima Dael, CDSS Executive Director
First, let’s set the context in which you are fundraising. Eighty percent of all philanthropic dollars comes from individuals, 5% from corporations and 15% from foundations. But the Arts only receive 4% of all the philanthropic dollars donated. More information on giving statistics is available through Charity Navigator.
Here is a great tool from the Chronicle of Philanthropy to give you an overview of how individuals give in the US based on location: http://philanthropy.com/section/How-America-Gives/621/.
For most groups and specific projects I recommend crowd source fundraising* and small project grants as a good way to build a solid donor base for a project. Individual donors are the best way to build sustainability for your group.
Here is a resource on how to cultivate donors: http://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/blog/2012/09/06/tips-and-tools-cultivating-donors/.
Here is a link with some grants and funding leads: http://foundationcenter.org/focus/arts/.
Here is a link and resource for crowd source fundraising: http://www.azarts.gov/news-resources/news/trends-in-fundraising-crowdfunding-101/.
Once that is started and underway, going the more traditional route to build an annual fundraising plan which would include major donors, I suggest this article about individual donors: http://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/blog/2013/02/07/tips-and-tools-individual-appeals/.
I heartedly recommend signing up for a free account through Fractured Atlas, which is a partner to CDSS, for their free fundraising webinar courses; here is a link to those courses: http://courses.fracturedatlas.org/courses.
* Crowd source funding and fundraising is networking with people via the internet and word of mouth, to pool money together to support a project or organization. In other words, it’s when you invite your supporters to reach out to their contacts and spread the message, raising money on your behalf.