#TBT: A Guide to Web-Based Fundraising and Philanthropy

Web 2.0 has changed many aspects of the modern world, and fundraising and philanthropy is no exception. From the tidal wave of tech tycoons committing to the Giving Pledge to the rise of crowdfunding (and a bevy of potential platforms for a crowdfunder to choose from), soliciting essential funds has more avenues than ever--and more potential challenges along with them. This week's throwback rounds up numerous articles that provide time-tested wisdom on how to navigate in the new world of web-based fundraising and philanthropy.

Have any digital fundraising subjects you'd like to see more AMT Lab articles on? Let us know in the comments!

The Changing Face of Philanthropy

The Giving Pledge: A Start to Engage Tech Philanthropy by Jennifer Moreci

This article introduces The Giving Pledge, a commitment of the world’s wealthiest individuals to dedicate a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Because of the strong technology focus of the philanthropists giving this pledge, this article argues the need for arts organizations to make strong data-driven arguments to make their case for capitalizing on this opportunity.

Up For Debate: What is the Best Way to Fund the Arts in America? by Sean Bowie

This article circulates around a series of opinion pieces published by the New York Times debating different viewpoints on where funding for the arts should come from. Enlightening both for those new to fundraising and those simply wanting a different viewpoint, this article encompasses the many avenues that arts fundraising and philanthropy can take.

How Socially Responsible Spending is Replacing Traditional Philanthropy by Jennifer Moreci

This article explores one of the newer forms of philanthropy: the micro-donation. Through socially responsible buying of products that pledge a certain percentage of proceeds to charity, even the most financially strained citizens can participate in the fundraising process.

Exploring Crowdfunding Platforms

Philanthropy 2.0: DonorsChoose.org by Emily Cornwell

This article all the way from 2007 contains some heavy foreshadowing. Explaining the website DonorsChoose.org (still a thriving digital hub of philanthropy for classrooms), Emily ponders whether arts managers could form an online philanthropic network for the arts. One of the best things about TBT is knowing just what an array of options were set to present themselves over the next eight years.

Patreon: Crowdfunding for Creatives by Jackie Shimshoni

While many are familiar with Kickstarter or Indiegogo (and if you’re not, check out this 2010 AMT Lab article introducing the platforms), they may perhaps be less familiar with the creative crowdfunding platform Patreon. Used by the likes of Amanda Palmer, Patreon is meant to offer assistance for long-term creative endeavors, rather than the single large project Kickstarter or Indiegogo feature. This product review gives more insight into how the platform works.

Crowd-Funding Through Google by Daniel Fonner

While Patreon can be useful for artists, it is more difficult for arts organizations to compete on traditional crowdfunding platforms. Google’s One Today is a crowdfunding platform specifically for nonprofit organizations, and organizations are able to encourage $1 donations from users. While it has yet to gain traction in the arts world, this article argues the potential benefit for arts and culture organizations.

Not all the crowdfunding sites featured on AMT Lab ended up having long-term success.  USA Projects: A New Crowdfunding Platform for the Arts (2010) and Philanthroper: A New Daily Deal Site For Non-Profit Donations (2011) both feature platforms that are now, sadly, defunct. It is still interesting to take the walk down memory lane to read what they used to look like, though!

Fundraising Best Practices

Four Quick Tips For Launching a Crowdfunding Project by Theo George

With so many crowdfunding platforms to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. This 2010 article gives four quick tips to crowdfunding that are still just as useful in 2015.

Use Technology to Help Your Board Prioritize Private Philanthropy by Erin Wagner

This article addresses the hurdle that many organizations face of getting their board members to fully engage in the fundraising process. This article gives suggestions of tools for organizations with a variety of price points and encourages certain questions and value assessments to create greater benefit for the organization as a whole.

Peer to Peer Fundraising in the Digital Age by Crystal Wallis

This 2011 article articulates the challenge of initiating peer-to-peer fundraising in the world of Web 2.0: that is, the fact that many relationships take place in a digital space rather than an in-person one. Phone calls and letter writing, the tools of the past, are now just a tiny piece of what is available for connecting with potential donors. This article shares several potential online platforms for peer-to-peer fundraising, along with tips on how to present oneself in the digital space to inspire and compel others to give to your organization--all of which are still relevant 4 years later.

Grants Management Systems: Primer for Best Practices (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and the corresponding white paper)

This series and research report provide thorough data on philanthropy for those managing and distributing grants. This collection of papers offers not only a useful resource for grantors, but key insight for those applying for grants to understand the thought process of the organizations issuing grants.