As a unique mix of fundraising and marketing, crowdfunding is a good tool to have in your fundraising kit bag. A crowdfunding campaign can seem like a lot of effort for a relatively small amount, but for the right project at the right time, it can be a great way to achieve more than just raising money.
Digital technology makes it easier to bring people together and harness financial support, and you can be part of making something great happen with just £5, which is very appealing.
Crowdfunding can raise the profile of your museum and its fundraising needs, help you reach new audiences and turn visitors into supporters with long-term giving potential.
Museums that have run a campaign on Art Happens have reported a growth in social media followers and engagement, and created a supporter base from their donors.
But there are risks. Access to technology can be a barrier, so you will need to consider how marketing and opportunities to donate on site can help to overcome this challenge. Engaging a community of funders requires real effort, and maintaining momentum is hard. It’s also possible that the campaign could fail; most platforms require you to reach your target to release the funds.
However, if you have an exciting project that you think people will get behind, the hard work is worth it for the wealth of opportunities crowdfunding presents.
Merrin Kalinowski is the museum marketing relationship manager at the Art Fund