Be part of the movement to guarantee healthy arts funding and arts education in America. Join the Arts Action Fund
Currently, the FY 2012 budget for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is $146.021 million. Mike Boehm of the LA Times reports that under President Obama’s proposed FY 2013 budget, “The arts and humanities endowments each would get a 5.5% boost, to $154.255 million – nearly restoring cuts announced in December .”
Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, believes his company will surpass the entire FY 2012 budget for the NEA. Kickstarter projects are expected to receive $150 million in financial backing this fiscal year. The three year old company is an online giving platform that illustrates a great example of the power of micro-giving. Additionally, Kickstarter’s democratic form of patronage offers the chance to fund projects that generally would not be eligible for funding through the NEA.
Any individual/group creating a project under music, film, art, technology, design, food, or publishing can submit a proposal to the Kickstarter team. If the proposal meets Kickstarter guidelines – more flexible than the NEA’s – the individual/group is given an allotted time period to raise a predetermined amount of funds for their project. Then that individual/group posts their project explaining why they need financial support. Backers (anyone who pledges a dollar amount) are offered incentives based on how much they choose to finance the project. Only if the goal is reached in pledged dollars by the deadline does the individual/group receive financial compensatation. According to Strickler, 54% of all launched projects fail to reach their goal amount before their deadline.
To keep everything in perspective Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, asserts, “Kickstarter’s $150 million to the arts in 2012 is ¼ of 1 percent of what is needed annually to fund the nonprofit arts sector’s $60 billion in expenditures . . . that is, 1/400th. Or, to put it another way . . . it will take 400 Kickstarter campaigns—at $150 million each—to fund the nonprofit arts sector for a single year.”
What do you think about micro-giving to Kickstarter projects?