Beth Kanter’s recent post about the power and recent success of DonorsChoose caught my eye. This recent success story of a blogger garnering a very impressive response in the form of big contributions to DonorsChoose doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s an awesome idea.
When I first heard about DonorsChoose, a site where educators can post specific requests for charitable donations for their classes and projects, while donors can choose which projects to give (often small, manageable) contributions to, it struck me as absolute genius, and as as a potential model for other fields of philanthropy.
Why not fund individual artists in the same way? Artists always need microgrants to fund various projects, forays, explorations, and experimentations, and giving them a place to post these needs where sympathetic donors could find them.
The potential for this is huge, I think. This type of microgranting directly from one individual to another can be very powerful, and can give the donor a vested interest in the future and success of the project, while the recipient has an interest in maintaining the and nurturing the relationship with the donor. I can see a relationship being sustained over time, where the donor — who was possibly attracted to the artist through an attraction to their art — becomes a collector, a supporter, an arts patron in the traditional sense of the word.
I will be interested to see how this model grows and expands – and how bloggers drive this evolution.