Before 2020, innovation was a business choice for nonprofits – a decision to maintain the status quo or to find new opportunity. But today, the price for not changing the way we think, operate, move forward, and grow is survival. Arts & culture organizations have been particularly confronted with this new truth, forcing us to ask, 'When the world reopens, will museums still be there?'
Our nation’s museums are some of the most prominent cultural institutions in the world. The shuttering of many in-person events, such as fundraising galas or even allowing patrons to visit the exhibits, has forced museum leaders to seriously question the survival of these institutions due to plunges in revenue. In a recent National Geographic article, Christine Spolar cites:
“(Last) spring, the International Council of Museums surveyed museums in 106 countries about the effects of the pandemic, finding that more than 80 percent of them expected to reduce programming and 10 percent might permanently close.”
So, what are museum leaders doing in order to close the gap? Spolar writes that “the crisis has spurred museum directors to spearhead broad and creative efforts to survive.” Museums have taken to hosting virtual galas or online events to keep the public engaged. However, we know that these fundraisers only bring in a fraction of what they used to when they were in-person events.
Theaters, orchestras, and museums have very loyal followers who pride themselves on contributing to the missions of these institutions. However, no matter how large or small, these development teams can only handle so many relationships. So, while we hope that more people are stepping up to support our museums, how can frontline fundraisers be expected to establish and maintain these relationships with enough contributors?
Arts & cultural nonprofit organizations are using Gravyty’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools to open personal and meaningful conversations with supporters and current donors. With AI, they are inspiring supporters to become donors and growing giving from their existing donor base. Instead of spending hours sorting through data, Gravyty tells fundraisers who to reach out to, when to reach them, and why they should be contacted. Gravyty even goes as far as providing fundraisers with a first draft email to send with one click, with each email being customized to the recipient.
Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) in Washington, D.C. lost critical sources of revenue when it was forced to close its doors to the public. Leadership developed “The Phoenix Fund” to help STC rise once again with a spirit of renewal and celebration. Now, faced with a smaller development department, her multimillion-dollar question is, “How will Shakespeare Theatre reopen and thrive once again?”
With leadership thinking outside of the box, Laura Willumsen, Senior Director of Development, identified AI and machine learning enablement as a means to boost fundraising revenue as it became a necessity for survival.
If your organization faces these or similar challenges, it’s an uphill battle through these difficult times. Learn how fundraiser enablement, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), can be your path forward.