A recent article in Datebook, The San Francisco Chronicle's guide to arts & entertainment, referred to artists as "second responders" - architects of a post-pandemic world. The pandemic has forced us to examine what we consider important in life. For some, that could be their health or their family. But for some, the arts are where they find their solace. But a year into the pandemic, arts & cultural organizations are still unable to put on a live show or a play or invite the public in to see a collection of rare paintings.
This past year has hurt our arts institutions disproportionately. While other nonprofits were able to shift operations to a more digital medium, a large group of donors have shifted their giving away from arts venues and museums towards causes directly related to COVID, or even organizations that were able to maintain service to its community due to the physical nature of arts & cultural organizations. This shift has left our ‘second responders’ needing to find new ways to stay afloat.
“We’re not running into a burning building pulling someone out, but we’re right there right as they come out...rebuilding a life and rebuilding a community...that’s what the arts do.”
Communities depend on our second responders to fuel the arts and drive culture. However, the lack of ticket sales to events, shows, and gallery openings have hurt these organizations. So amidst the chaos, how can they find the path forward?
Laura Willumsen, of Shakespeare Theatre Company, was faced with “a year with no theater, no events, none of the standard supports that help maintain contact.” Because of this, her team needed creative ways to reach donors at a time where fundraising has never been more important. She identified Gravyty’s AI as the way to personally relate with a much larger group of donors that otherwise would not be receiving a personal touch. This ability to scale outreach and engage more of the fundraising pyramid has set a path forward to inspiring giving so STC can survive these unprecedented times.
A town or city isn’t just a group of buildings, it is the people and their culture that make up its identity. Julie Baker, executive director of Californians for the Arts, describes second responders in saying, “We’re not running into a burning building pulling someone out, but we’re right there right as they come out...rebuilding a life and rebuilding a community...that’s what the arts do.” Without the arts, our communities would have no light at the end of the tunnel. As the pandemic continues, funding for cultural institutions are dependent on supporters that share those values.
Learn more about how AI is allowing organizations like Shakespeare Theater Company to personally engage more donors. Talk to a Gravyty specialist today and see first hand what AI transforms what is possible in philanthropy.