Episode 111 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Fund-raising Advice

Fund-raising Advice

This is the last reason I am going over out of the three reasons to ask someone for a meeting. We talked about having tea to discuss a project and also talked about an invitation to a studio visit. The last one is to have a meeting over tea or in an office about fund- raising. That is, how to raise money for yourself. That money could be for a trip you want to take, for tuition to college, for a new body of work you want to make, really anything that sounds interesting (just not living expenses, because that is less exciting to talk about). So think about what you might want to raise money for; you probably already know. The next step for you in the scenario is to meet the person for a conversation at a museum café or their office. Your goal is to talk with them about supporting something, to help raise money for something of yours. You do not have to bring anything with you in the first meeting. In fact, I wouldn’t. If you really think this person might be able to help financially or have friends that could, it is easiest to just talk without documents.

The First Meeting

You are building trust in the first meeting. You are establishing a level of comfort between you two, so illustrations and documents aren’t needed unless you feel strongly about it for some reason. In this meeting, you are telling the person about what you are doing and why you are raising money. But first, to make it easy, you can start by asking them questions. How are they, how is work, or what do they do exactly, or some question like that. That is a technique I often use, to ask someone several questions before I begin to talk about myself. Also, the more you learn about the person you are meeting before you ask them about fund-raising, the better. Imagine if they have an annual fundraiser that is hugely successful and you didn’t know about it. That is why it is very important to always research the person you are meeting as much as possible so you don’t make an error like that! Also, when you have researched the person well, you will know what contacts they have access to and what kind of activities they are involved in. Don’t hesitate to ask them about things you know they are doing. It is a great way to show that you know who they are. That will flatter them, and as they say, you will get everywhere!

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.


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