At the van Gogh this week we had an interesting discussion with Geer Oskam, who does a lot of the Van Gogh fundraising. Lessons learned:
– involving donors on an emotional level makes them donors for life.
– a fundraiser needs people- and smalltalk skills; needs to be a good writer of proposals; does not hesitate to go from small talk to The Big Question – i.e. “will you fund our exhibition?”
– Akzo-Nobel sponsors a fresh coat of paint for the walls for any Van Gogh exhibition; Takii Seed sponsored the sunflowers used for the sunflower maze at the entrance of the museum in 2015. So – go for sponsoring in kind.
– check donors to see if they are kosher.
– the Van Gogh hasn’t done crowdfunding yet – it may not fit in with their reputation. Their sponsores are of the institutional kind, also major corporations.
– they have a relatively modest group of small donors (who contribute 75 euro per year) – and have plans to extend this group. Interesting fact: the small donors are area-specific i.e. they live close to the museum. So – don’t neglect the neighbours.
We also did another round of 10-minute introductions -this time I did mine, too. I introduced the idea of using big crayons to write on streets and squares, and old T-shirts to crochet galaxies ;)
I loved the creativity that went into the making of the presentations! For example, there was a small dragon as a main player and a museum-worthy soda can. There were tartlets and spices, a car mechanic and a secret lover of Exel sheets. Interesting stuff!
Our stories weren’t the only ones at the Van Gogh – during break time I noticed the good people there read ‘Story’ (a Dutch tabloid) – they must be much like real people.