Tuesday, 21 March 2017

CANADA NOW 2017: FUNDRAISING IN MUSEUMS

(FUN)DRAISING

BY: MAYA DONKERS

It seems too soon to be saying goodbye to the (Fun)draising column for the summer. It is even stranger to say goodbye to Musings entirely with only two weeks of school left!

I couldn't choose what topic I wanted to tackle and leave as my legacy *wink-cough* so I decided to share four very important and very different conversations that need to be explored and considered by museum professionals working in the Canadian cultural sector. 

These abstracts came from a panel presentation at the 2017 iSchool Student Conference. This panel session was full of rich ideas, questions, and encouraged all of us to think about the future of museums in both pragmatic and creative ways. 

Michelle gets it - also, we miss you. Source.

Donor Motivations: Do Museums Consider Donor Motivations When Soliciting On-Line Donations? Presented by Kelly MacKenzie 


Fundraising is an important part of a non-profit organization, it aids in keeping their doors open and services running. However, people require a reason to donate to your organization, whether it is their time, money, or possessions. The historiography of this topic tends to focus on large donors as, financially, they play a large role in an organization's fundraising, whether it is through financial aid, their influence, or artefact donations. Small-scale donors, the focus of this examination, are also important. Although small donors do not make up the largest financial contributions to an institution, they can indicate the reach of an organization, its community support, and how well its mission and mandate are resonating with people, both in the community and beyond. This examination focuses on small on-line donors and the donor motivations found on the donation and support sections of nine Canadian museum’s websites, using the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax as case studies.

You know the drill. Source.

Government Grants in Canada: the Commemoration of the War of 1812 - Presented by Kate Seally 


In 2012, Canada celebrated the centennial of the War of 1812. The Conservative Government, in power at the time, decided to heavily fund and promote this centennial for political reasons. I will argue that the distribution of government grants to museums give the Government of Canada a certain ability to control the content of museums. As one editorial published in the late 1990s put it, “he who pays the piper calls the tune.”

They certainly found a hook. Source.

Crowdfunding for Canada's Cultural Heritage - Presented by Dana Murray 


Providing an overview of the evolution of crowdfunding as a fundraising practice, this paper examines how it can be used to promote community building, increase knowledge of a project and build project capacity. Through the bonds forged by the Internet, organizations are now able to approach the global community, reaching out for assistance to protect not merely the cultural heritage of one country or one group of people, but rather the world's cultural heritage as a whole. With particular emphases placed on the use of compelling narratives to attract contributions from the global community, this paper shall establish means by which to emphasize inclusivity, overcome geographical boundaries, and promote symbolic action. It is through an examination of such practices that teacher techniques and characteristics that are transferable to a Canadian context are identified, thus establishing a preliminary guide for similar future initiatives in our country. 

Crowdfunding 101. Source.

A Case for Success: The Intersection of Arts and Health Funding in Canadian Cultural Institutions - Presented by Maya Donkers


The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing rather than the absence of disease. This definition acknowledges health outcomes as holistic, which in the case of this paper, encompasses individual and community-health enhancing efforts in the arts. This acceptance of health as more than an absent of illness has spurred investigations into the fundamentals of creating programs to sustain health through the arts. This paper challenges the conversations around arts funding in Canada. Specifically, it focuses on the growing interest in dance as a public health intervention through a case study of the Sharing Dance Program at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS). This paper argues that arts programming should be cross-sectoral to maximize the opportunities for revenue generation. By highlighting a case for restricted giving from granting agencies in Canada, this paper will demonstrate how innovative arts sector programming, that encourages individual and community-based health and wellness, will attract support that would not otherwise be available.

Look at all these smiling faces sharing dance. Source.

The panel session ended with important questions about the identity of organizations during fundraising campaigns; whether crowdfunding is a viable option; how crowdfunding campaigns engage their supporters and build relationships; and whether online fundraising campaigns use images or narrative as a primary means to engage/attract participants.

This discussion is far from over. As Emma's Museum Monday post triggered some immediate concerns for American museums that we need to acknowledge living across the border, it is also our duty to keep arts and culture a critical part of the Canadian landscape. 

It is true that museums would not exist without a collection of some kind.  Collections, public programs, education, conservation needs - all make museums what they are. As Emerging Museum Professionals, I urge you to keep in mind that all those things would NOT be possible without funding.

Let's do our best to make sure funding is not as critical an issue in 
Canada and we may soon see in the U.S. 

Please leave comments or questions for the presenters below, I will pass them along. For full papers, stay tuned for the iJournal publication!

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