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Three Reports

It’s Not About You… It’s About Them: A Research Report on What Motivates Bay Area Donors to Give to the Arts and Artists

This document includes a summary report on the Fund For Artists Matching Commissions grant program, including a high level summary of the research on donor motivations, as well as the Field Reports document and other appendices. The intended audience for this report includes funders, arts agencies, and others who seek to help artists and small arts groups raise funds for programs.

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Field Reports from the Fund For Artists Matching Commissions Program: Unlocking the Potential of Individual Donors

This report describes how some of the individual artists and arts groups participating in the Fund For Artists Matching Commissions program successfully raised funds to meet their match requirement. The intended audience for this report includes individual artists and small diverse arts organizations.

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Fund For Artists Donor Study – WolfBrown Consolidated Research Report

This 127-page research report includes detailed results from a survey of over 3,000 donors to Bay Area arts programs, as well as results from a series of individual depth interviews with a cross-section of arts donors.

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Background on the Study

The Fund For Artists is a collaborative initiative of The San Francisco Foundation and East Bay Community Foundation working regionally to build individual donor capacity and bring new resources to artists.

Since 2004, with support from Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), the Ford, William and Flora Hewlett, James Irvine, Surdna, and Wattis Foundations and individual arts donors, the initiative has achieved unqualified success – raising over $2 million and supporting 300+ artists throughout the Bay Area.

The Fund For Artists Matching Commissions program (FFAMC) supports the creation of new artwork by Bay Area artists and expands the pool of individual donors engaged with artists and their work. Between 2004 and early 2010, this program funded 117 new works projects involving more than 180 artists. It stimulated over $705,000 in contributions by more than 2,900 individual donors, many of them new to giving to artists’ projects. In addition to the Matching Commissions program, the Fund For Artists initiative includes entrepreneurial and fund development training workshops for artists, collaborative marketing, donor celebration events, and research on the recession’s impact on Bay Area artists.

In 2009, the sponsoring foundations commissioned Helicon Collaborative and WolfBrown to study the values and motivations of donors to FFAMC projects, and capture useful lessons about the program and the fundraising strategies used by its recipients.

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