One of the CGO Faculty describes fundraising as the act of offering chocolate cake to someone. It is a treat for them, something they want. She reminds us never to offer the begging bowl, but rather a slice of cake.
There are Trusts and Foundations out there who do pledge money to support personal creative and small business development. As a producer or a writer you are in the business of creating ‘assets’ and intellectual property. You often seek to work with disadvantaged communities, or tackle core issues to raise attention to the plight of one person or the world. The create programmes of education, as well as joyful opportunities for collective laughter or tears. And you create projects which give employment and may, eventually, be profitable exports. Some of these things about ‘Show Business’ appeal to charitable trusts. We will give ideas on how to research and approach these.
In the UK both Arts Council England and Creative Scotland have supported applicants to pay their fees on the DipCP. They don’t fund formal accredited educational establishments, but they can support an individual in their continuous learning and creative development. Another International producer has secured support from their government funding system for emerging artists and entrepreneurial development.
As producers and writers you know about storytelling. This is about a narrative which is inspirational and carefully targetted to a fund which is looking for projects and individuals to support.
I often talk of developing your ‘Christmas Card List‘ – a list of all the people you know who might be financially stable enough to give you £50 or $100 or 75Euro as a donation in support of your creativity and career. It’s a lunch bill for many people who don’t work in the arts. Who do you know from college or Uni who went off and did a normal salaried job? Who does your sister or mother or uncle know who would give you a gift ? And who do you know in the industry who has been a little successful, and would like to give the next generation a leg up ? Build this list. Create a web presence for your career path. Find a simple way for people to pledge support. [One person on the course attracted over 200 donations, and got on regional TV news – they told a good story and inspired people to help].
Don’t forget to wonder what could you offer or create which generates revenue towards the fees. An Auction of Promises. A Cabaret, an event partly in aid of you and partly for charity. You are aiming to take the Diploma because you have skills already – some of those may be transferable and valuable. Doing someone’s online marketing, sorting someone’s budget, creating bespoke poems for a wedding, composing a song. All have value which can go towards the course. We are very happy to talk ideas through with you.
And finally, for those who can show financial hardship we have a Bursary Scheme which can be applied to for up to 50% of the course fees. It will take time to build this fund up, but it could be helpful as a source for match funding as you apply to Trusts or for Grants. More information is available on request.