If you are a fan of the arts in Dayton, chances are you know Culture Works. The non-profit agency raises funds and awareness for arts organizations around the region. Last week they announced something fantastic. Culture Works will partner with CareSource, a large nonprofit healthcare organization which has been a strong supporter of the city’s urban revival, to initiate a revolutionary approach to funding cultural programs in and around Dayton.
Last week, Culture Works announced a $50,000 grant from CareSource to bring Power2Give, a nationally acclaimed crowd funding platform for arts and culture, to Dayton. The program should officially launch in early March 2014. I talked with Culture Works’ Development Director, Chloe Donaldson, to find out more about why this is such a fantastic opportunity for the city.
Power2Give is going to open it up so that any nonprofit can post a project and help it get funded as long as it is cultural in nature,” said Chloe. “It will really open up the door for a lot more programs to get funded beyond the more traditional arts groups we work with now.”
Power2Give is open to cultural causes of any size. It can even support programs put on by organizations which are not cultural in nature but which have cultural events the want to organize. In other cities which have adopted the program causes have ranged from full-scale cultural festivals to helping a local ballerina pay for her toe-shoes. The former story shows the potential for this platform to drive life into the region on a large scale, but the latter one impresses me the most. A huge portion of fundraising is storytelling, and Power2Give allows cultural programs to share their stories in a way that is infinitely more intimate than a postcard or phone call soliciting money. Donors to Power2Give programs see the faces of those they will be aiding, and pledge their money to directly support events and projects that they feel are worthy. In that way, they write themselves into the story as well.
The average donation through Power2Give is $50.00. While that might not seem like enough to accomplish much, the program’s history of success proves that those funds can add up quickly. Power2Give reports that 81% of participants have not previously donated to an arts fund before, and over half have not previously donated to the specific arts organization they are supporting. With such a small threshold to make a big difference, the platform can empower many people who have been long time fans of arts and culture in Dayton to become full-on patrons of the programs that matter most to them. The initiative’s inception, a partnership between Culture Works and CareSource, further proves the capacity this program will have for bridging gaps and bringing Dayton closer together.
“We are incredibly happy not only be able to launch Power2Give, but to be able to launch it in the way we wanted to — to really make it the big deal that it should be,” said Chloe. “We are so thankful to CareSource.”
Chloe hopes that CareSource will inspire other large organizations to get involved with projects as well. The Power2Give program empowers companies to offer matching gifts on projects, weaving another collaborative element into the platform.
Anyone interested in receiving more information about the Power2Give, or nonprofits and cultural organizations interested in attending the program’s informational kickoff breakfast (Jan. 23, 8:30-10am at CareSource headquarters), should contact Chloe directly at email@example.com