Why is this Pelican Path art piece named “Dr. ‘Art Matters’?”
Hint: It will affect your fundraising success.
Look closely at the tag.
I’m proud to say that I had a lot to do with that. See, I’ve been a photographer since six, a writer since 12 and a poet since birth, and it was during my time as an associate vice president for university advancement that I developed the concept, message and strategy known as “Art Matters.” (At the same time, my office served as the university “sponsor” of the Visual Arts Scholastic Event). A leader for the city of Seabrook’s Pelican Path Project honored that message with the naming of the public art piece that you see above. Of all the indicators of the power of connecting messages to meaning to action, this naming is one of which I am particularly proud. For my presentation, “matters” served as a verb and a noun, and I carried the message in community presentations, university gatherings, strategic planning, major gift proposals and annual fund messages … and more! So, what is your organization’s message like that?
I am writing to you today to improve your success in garnering support of all types with effective, strategic copywriting that connects through social media, web sites, blog pieces, solicitation letters, major gift proposals and more.
Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, And human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect…
–E.M. Forster, Howards End
Art-based organizations miss many great opportunities when they carry their messages in words and images, often focusing too much on the art and not enough on how it matters. This limits support. Too often support then comes only from artists, the art inclined, art appreciators or organizations specifically connected to art. The trouble is, that approach misses 90% of your potential supporters (Okay, I made up that number. You’re not missing the boat by focusing on that group, but you’re sure settling for a jon boat when you could have a luxury yacht.) because art matters to everyone. I’d love to show you how it works for your organization and how to increase contributions and support of all types. (I have a special offer for you at the end of this letter.)
My life has been committed to expressiveness and teaching others to do the same. Amidst that, I spent 27 years on leadership roles at four universities serving in the university advancement arena. I also had the honor of teaching three one-week photography sessions at University of West Bohemia in Plzen, Czech Republic as part of a university’s art consortium.
As one faculty member said, “I did not fully understand the processes of conceptualizing ideas, developing plans, creating a vision that would be fundable and working with the internal and external constituencies to benefit the arts. He taught me as he worked with me and others to raise funds. Perhaps one reason we collaborated so well is because Dion is an artist, too.
“I believe that the success of the International Art Consortium that I manage is due to a large extent because of Dion’s help over the past few years. Not only did he help secure the funds, but he also served as an art-aware ambassador to national and international artists for the benefit of the consortium and the university.
Many faculty members benefited from his mentoring and coaching ways. His vision led to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the arts. His guidance continues to serve me as I develop ideas for art programs and outreach that serve multiple aspects of the university’s mission and plans.”
I’ve published photography books, I still teach photography and writing … and so on. I’ve been a board member with various art organizations. All this to say that my unique combination of skills and perspectives can help you attract more funds and support to your art-based organization.
One of my sons has the challenge of dyslexia. His reading improved significantly when he took piano lessons as a child. Years later, he and I read different translations of Dante’s Inferno during the summer break and compared notes of our understanding. Art matters.
Using poetry, storytelling, photography and myriad art forms has been an ongoing resource for women in a local shelter, helping them communicate their story, heal and empower their futures. Art matters.
The dentist’s reception area includes fun photographs that distract children from the sounds of dental equipment and help them relax. Art matters.
The technology company seeks ways to make their product more understandable and usable. They opt for artwork and images to better guide users. Art matters.
Art matters to everyone. Connect in order to garner support: financial, moral and political.
“I’ve been a photographer since six, writer since 12 and a poet since birth.” ~Dion McInnis
Connect. Persuade. Engage. Inspire. Contact me for strategic copywriting solutions to your engagement and fundraising needs. Dion@DionMcInnis.com, 832-877-8821.
Artistic expression has been more than an interest to me. It is a way of life and a calling. And I want to help your organization succeed in garnering as much support as possible, in as many ways as possible. I can show you how in this special offer. I will review a document of your choosing (letter, web page, blog posting, case statement…your choice) and go over it with you to share ways that it can connect effectively to have a stronger, expanded appeal. Limit the document to 800 words. I will contact you for a Skype session (phone will be okay if you don’t use Skype, but you’ll miss the whiteboard exercise!) to discuss my review and answer questions for 20 minutes. I want your business, and I can help you succeed. That is why I make this offer (and the fact that you are art based and art matters!). Your document and our conversation will, of course, be confidential. Contact me today at 832-877-8821 or Dion@DionMcInnis.com.