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Thread: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    Hi folks.

    Have any of you made proposals to businesses to fund a photographic project? If so, what was your "pitch" and how did you fare?

    I've been lucky enough to receive several grants from government-based arts agencies but I have never applied to private business for funding. I have a specific project in mind and a few "candidates" I'd like to approach and I want to use the most convincing approach possible to get them to fork out cash to me....and that will be a lot harder than getting my other grants, I'm betting.

    Suggestions? Stories to share?

  2. #2

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    Jul 2006
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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    I think it's a great idea. I have done this once or twice successfully, and always been glad it came off. A lot of companies take pride in what they do, or in the context in which they operate; if you can appeal to that, and if they have the discretionary funding, you are home free. Because they are not often approached by artists, they are actually sometimes more open to such seemingly unorthodox proposals.

    The proposal, like any request for funds, must highlight two things: how this is germane to the company you are approaching, and how great they will look for having done so.

    Be precise about what you will do, and what they will concretely get from you for sponsoring your efforts. It also helps to highlight that you are rearing and all set to go, and that the only thing missing is their funding; that make it easier for them to see that the funding is the last, but essential piece of a puzzle that is ready to be assembled. Companies respect initiative. Offer examples and explanations of past collaborations, and, if you can, cite important ones by other artists to show what your ambitions are by analogy for this project.

    As (the old) Mayor Daley of Chicago once said, "As we move to higher and higher platitudes...." I apologize that this is all general, but in the end be as clear and bottom line and unpretentious as possible, and there is a good chance that the company will see value in what you do.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  3. #3

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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    Well - I don't know about the US - but all canadian corporations MUST spend a minimum of one percent of their annual revenue on the arts... with US corps I'd assume you'd be expected to give them something in return before they'll consider it - since they cannot possibly write it off unless A) you're a very well-known artist and your work has been accumulating massive value or B) you are a non-profit organization.

    But I'm sure there are LOTS of angles out there one could use.

  4. #4

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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    Why don't you just sell your work or get a job?

  5. #5
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    Why don't you just sell your work or get a job?
    but this is a rare chance for big business to use their powers for good rather than evil...
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  6. #6
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JW Dewdney View Post
    Well - I don't know about the US - but all canadian corporations MUST spend a minimum of one percent of their annual revenue on the arts....
    really?

    That would mean Suncor alone should be putting $158,000,000 into the arts this year -which I haven't exactly seen...
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  7. #7
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    Now, some municipalities - such as Vancouver I think - require developers to spend something like 1% of construction costs on public art. Which I think is an excellent idea and should be adopted country wide (nay, across the whole continent).

    After all, if someone is going to visually pollute the city with another massive butt ugly condo complex, they should at least be forced to do something to make it more aesthetically appealing...
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  8. #8
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim atherton View Post
    Now, some municipalities - such as Vancouver I think - require developers to spend something like 1% of construction costs on public art. Which I think is an excellent idea and should be adopted country wide (nay, across the whole continent).

    After all, if someone is going to visually pollute the city with another massive butt ugly condo complex, they should at least be forced to do something to make it more aesthetically appealing...
    You mean like adding a parking lot? Nice, smooth, black, with all those regularly spaced lines making those nice repeating patterns. A study in austere simplicity, yes? Now if you could just keep all those ugly cars off it...

    Bruce Watson

  9. #9
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    You mean like adding a parking lot? Nice, smooth, black, with all those regularly spaced lines making those nice repeating patterns. A study in austere simplicity, yes? Now if you could just keep all those ugly cars off it...
    Nah - if they put in a parking lot they should be required to make it look like this





    or better still, this



    from The Architecture of Parking
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Re: Project funding requests to businesses - how to ?

    I agree with Bruce, parking lots can be nice, when the cars are left off them. Same with harbors without those cheesy fiberglass yachts and powerboats littering the place.

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