Raising Money for FOMOphobia


As soon as I worked out the budget for FOMOphobia, I knew I was in trouble. My first budget came in at three thousand something dollars. Yikes! Right now, I’m a poor grad student.

To counter my budgetary sticker shock, I kept in mind that I’m pretty good at getting stuff donated for art and non-profit work. But as I started calling around to manufacturers, I quickly saw that I overestimated my prowess as a development/donation manager. The economy is tight and manufacturers are not giving stuff away. A handful of ten dollar switches is one thing, a multi-hundred dollar LED alpha display is quite another. With some of the calls or emails I got back, I could almost hear the suppressed laughter. While others, more kindly worded, still got their message across clearly: We can’t afford to do that right now.

So as I simultaneously looked for cheeper options for materials, I looked at alternative funding sources.

I’ve used PayPal and WePay effectively to collect donations for non-profit and radical projects, but never for art. I remembered that many artists/developers were using KickStarter, and IndieGoGo to fund their projects. Their chief advantage over PayPal and WeWay are a series of promotional and management tools. With KickStarter, you need to meet your fundraising goal to collect any of the funds.  I went with IndieGoGo which has the option of collecting the balance of the donated campaign funds even if you do not meet your goal. I thought I might give that a go.

I set up the campaign, including perks, options for donors who meet a certain contribution thresholds.

Select a Perk

for your contribution

  • $10  FOMOphobia Postcard
    Before the Open Studios exhibition (or after, time permitting), I plan to print postcards of FOMOphobia. When I do, I will mail you a handwritten postcard just for you.
  • $50  Five FOMOphobia Postcards
    Before the Open Studios exhibition (or after, time permitting), I plan to print postcards of FOMOphobia. When I do, you will receive 5 cards to mail to friends (or keep as valuable collectables).
  • $100  Secret Benefactor
    I will secretly include your printed name inside of the piece. So as FOMOphobia is exhibited elsewhere, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your secret benevolence is traveling with it. Naturally, I will also send you 5 postcards to mail your friends as well.
  • $500  Not-So-Secret Benefactor
    With this contribution, all the materials produced to accompany FOMOphobia, now and into the future of the sculpture, will read “Made possible by a generous contribution by YOURNAMEHERE.” I will also send you as many FOMOphobia postcards as you think you can use.

I made my campaign live and shared it on all of my social media, an irony that was not lost on me.  I posted it on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.  I mentioned it in this blog here, and hit up all my friends and art-loving acquaintances.

It got a slow but steady start, then immediately picked up within a day as the raised funds shot up to $400. Whoa! Go, art!


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