To reacquaint yourself with part 1, click here.
Today on facebook I got the kick in the pants that I needed. It incidentally was neither a kick, nor directed at me but I digress. A friend had changed his status to read “Buy my downhill bike, help me get an MRI!” And I thought, gosh, wouldn’t that be the perfect application of…say…FundRazr?
It wasn’t long after my coffee with Zoe that I harkened back to another beverage date, this time with the Marketing Director for VCBW who I met earlier this spring. Chris, the blogger behind True Cask and a regular social media ninja was (around the time we met) working on a project for Yaletown-based FundRazr. As he told me about this social media fundraising tool I couldn’t help but think of what a perfect connection this could forge between artists and the day-to-day cash they need.
FundRazr is a social media fundraising application care of PayPal that works via the social network platform Facebook. All a user needs to do is create a PaylPal account if they don’t already have one, then download the app, design their campaign, share it with their friends and networks and — the easiest part — collect money.
Poverty in the arts isn’t new; some of the greatest artists in history were also destitute and survived on the support of patrons and commissions. What’s new are the ways of overcoming these financial limitations. Busy with the official launch of his new product, ConnectionPoint’s CEO Daryl Hatton took some time to explain his thoughts behind the product and a few of the ways it can support the arts.
What it boils down to, explains Hatton, is that it will allow artists to “keep on doing great work” without worrying about cashflow. Leashed to PayPal’s fundraising feature, FundRazr uses Facebook to host and disseminate information about each fundraisers campaign. Why Facebook? “Fundraising is inherently a social conversation,” says Hatton, and relying on your network of family, friends, colleagues and supporters harkens back to an older-school style of patronage. Banish those thoughts of girl scouts going door-to-door. Instead think Michelangelo with a Macbook.
Artists: raise your hand if you’ve got access to a computer. Keep ’em up if you’ve got facebook or a blog or a website of some sort. Uh huh. Yeah, and keep ’em high if you’ve got a PayPal account (or have 10 minutes to set one up). Great, that looks like a lot of you.
A few weeks ago, Alex McLeod explained that his greatest asset is his downtime. He said that he uses that time to market himself, to get his name out in the world. As an artist, your downtime can be your greatest asset too.
I don’t often solicit comments, but in this case I’m going to! Artists, I implore you to – at the very least – give this idea a once-over. Are there particular reasons why you would or wouldn’t use FundRazr and PayPal to fund your art? Leave a note in the comments section (don’t forget that you can post anonymously if you’re not comfortable naming names!) and let me know what you think.