Turning crowds into patrons

Democratizing fundraising in the arts and culture

Authored by: Marta Massi , Piergiacomo Mion Dalle Carbonare , Alex Turrini

The Routledge Companion to Arts Management

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138492226
eBook ISBN: 9781351030861
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter describes the gradual evolution of fundraising from an elitist and individual activity (i.e., mecenatism and patronage) to a participative and more democratic process in which anyone can contribute (i.e., crowdfunding). By illustrating cases of successful – individual, corporate and public – fundraising practices, this chapter will offer arguments for overcoming the resistance that new forms of fundraising often find in arts and culture organizations. We will demonstrate how online crowdfunding allows customers to actively participate in all the phases of the fundraising project and become active co-creators of the project itself. By focusing on funding campaigns that have measurable outcomes and clearly identifiable goals, online crowdfunding will be shown to be a fundraising option that engages donors and attracts younger generations.

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