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What Motivates Donors?

Over the past year, Rebecca and I have been hard at work on a major study of Bay Area donors.  The results were released last week, and we’ve created a special page on our website where you can download the results.  There are three reports:

1.  A high level summary report, 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, which should be of interest to funders, arts agencies, and others who seek to help artists and small arts groups raise funds for programs.

2.  A series of case studies, Field Reports from the Fund For Artists Matching Commissions Program:  Unlocking the Potential of Individual Donors, which describe how some of the individual artists and arts groups successfully raised funds.

3. A detailed WolfBrown report on what motivates Bay Area donors to give to a range of arts programs and projects, including results of a survey of over 3,000 donors, for research geeks who want to read the whole bloody thing.

The research was co-commissioned by The San Francisco Foundation and East Bay Community Foundation, as part of an effort to better understand the success of their Fund For Artists Matching Commissions program, through which Bay Area artists raised more than $1.3 million since 2004.  I am particularly grateful to our partners in the research, John Killacky and Diane Sanchez, as well as Marcy Cady and Holly Sidford of Helicon Collaborative, for all of their support and good thinking.


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