Thanks for the tip! (Questions of Stewardship)

One question for artists to consider is how to be a good steward of the funds we are given. I want my supporters, no matter how small their tip, to know that I don’t forget them the moment they fork over their money, and to be reassured that I’m not spending their donations on vodka and nail polish (the vodka is for stripping the nail polish, naturally).

It seems there are two main considerations here. One is “How is the money going to be spent?”, and the other is “What do I get in return for my donation?” I honestly believe this is not a selfish a question as it sounds, but rather a natural extension of a patron’s sense of engagement.

Here are some of my ideas on the matter:

1. I could share a list of the expenses I’m able to cover with certain contribution amounts, to give an idea of how far your tips will go.

2. If patrons wish to donate above a certain amount, say $100, they can indicate what they would like their funds to support (ie, supplies, studio rent, or experimentation), and if they share contact information with me, I can provide them with updates on how their contribution has benefited me, as well as recognition on my blog/website (unless they wish to remain anonymous, which I respect).

3. When patrons donate under $100 (which I expect to be most common) their money goes towards a pool of arts production and experimentation funds. If they wish, their name would be added to a donor list, which gets recognition as a group, and patrons can sign up for special updates.

4. I'd could develop a rewards system along the lines of Kickstarter/Indiegogo platforms. Thank-yous might include: “certified patron of the arts” button, postcards, prints, original drawing, original painting, special commission, first chance to buy new work, etc, depending on the tip/donation bracket

Any thoughts on the matter? Feel free to comment below!

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