I am beginning to think that if you want to be successful at raising money, you have to be somewhat obsessive. These days, I feel like a broken record – a slightly awkward one. One that is constantly asking people to hit the “like” button or to donate money or to email links to friends.
It is more than that. Whenever I think of a new project – of a piece to develop or a festival or read a play I would really like to produce, I wonder first if it is financially possible. And I am often very unsure. Even though we do “really low budget theatre,” the costs add up. It makes it hard to think about the art itself, hard to find the excitement and energy that drives it forward. I had my personal “this-doesn’t-make-sense-art-is too-hard-I-should-give-up-it-doesn’t-matter” moment last week. It is a moment that tends to drop it periodically.
I think we all wish it weren’t like that.
But here is something else I am starting to realize: I really do believe in this art enough that I am willing to keep learning how to raise funds for it, keep being this broken record. And more than that, the extraordinary generosity of my friends, family, collaborators, and their communities makes me wonder if this art doesn’t mean a lot other people too.
Tactus is pretty much made up of people in their twenties, who’s friends are in their twenties or artists or often both – not the most money-having types. And yet I watch donations roll in from the most surprising places. Simply put, you guys are amazing.
Art is amazing.
People coming together over art is amazing.
If art is about reaching a someone or few, then this process is proving artistic. After a tough few days last week – a week where I spend a lot of time wondering if I should be doing art, if we really needed another show or yet “another theatre company in Philly,” I found myself stumbling into peers and friends who wanted to talk about art – this project and others. We talked about questions we are asking, about logistics we face, about communities we were proud to be part of. And then I came home and logged onto our fundraising page and discovered that we were up to over the one-third mark.
I have thought about how theatre depends on a partnership between audience and performance, but this is a new connection that I had not made before. You guys restore my faith in the work we are all doing. I had not realized how much I would need that, and how amazing and motivating it would be.
Remember that broken record? Here it is again – because I owe it to everyone who has donated to keep pushing so that their donations help us reach a fully-funded project.
Ways you can help – the count down begins:
First, please, if you have not already, consider donating to the campaign. We are down to under a month.
Second, please spread the word. If you do not have money to donate right now, this is a great way to help us that does not cost money. I was reading around this week and heard that this is the most effective way to raise money because people are much more likely to donate if they hear about a project from a friend. Here is how:
- “Like” us on FB.
- “Like” “+1” or “Tweet” on the fundraising page itself.
- “Like” or “+1” the posts on this blog.
- Email the links to the fundraising page, this blog, and the FB page to friends and family.
If you have already donated, spreading the word will help make sure your donation goes the farthest by being part of a project that is funded well enough that we can focus on creating the best art we can.
Final words – my promise to you:
So yes, I will continue to be a broken record. I will continue to become obsessive about funding. I want to make sure that those of you who donated see your donations going the farthest possible.
But more than that: I promise to make every kind word, every dollar, every supportive email, “like” on FB, or text shout-out count by pushing forward, even through the though weeks. I will work to make the art better and better. I will keep searching for community and participating in it. I will keep finding ways to keep costs low so that we can bring work to as many people as we can as often as is possible. I will keep finding new ways that theatre and audience connect. I owe you that much and more.