Today’s guest blog post is written by Jordan Simmons, Senior Account Executive, PatronManager.
After the 2016 election, many organizations I spoke with were very concerned about the consequences for the arts. Not only did the atmosphere seem to presage massive cuts to government arts funding, but it also looked like individual donors’ priorities were shifting in a big way towards social justice causes. For example, following the election in November, Planned Parenthood received more than 300,000 gifts; and in January after the Inauguration, the American Civil Liberties Union brought in 24 million dollars online in one weekend (six times its usual yearly online intake).
As the new President came into office and announced his administration’s proposed budget, the worry seemed to be borne out. The initial budget cut the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting entirely, as well as putting other smaller regional arts programs on the chopping block. Arts organizations have always had to do their fair share of fundraising, but in an atmosphere where total abandonment of arts support by the nation seemed possible, (and in a time where so many other causes needed urgent assistance), there appeared to be a very real risk that arts funding from all sources could dry up. The fear was that donors would need to choose between social justice causes and the arts, and that the arts would ultimately lose out, being deemed frivolous or secondary to human rights causes.Read the Article