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Fund for the Arts Turns to Crowdsourcing for Certain Projects

As part of its new strategy to update the allocation process, the Fund for the Arts has launched a new website.Power2Give was developed in North Carolina. It's modeled after sites like Kickstarter, but with a narrower focus. It lets nonprofits post proposals for arts and culture-related projects. Visitors to the site can then donate toward those projects.The Fund for the Arts is working with the Metro United Way and LexArts to hone the pitches and to produce short videos for each project. For that, a small fee will be charged.“The only percentage that stays with the fund is a normal 12 percent cost of general fundraising, web hosting, marketing and training," says Fund for the Arts Acting President Barbara Sexton Smith. "So the fund is not set up to actually profit from the operation. We simply are covering our cost of covering the operation for these groups.”Some matching funds will be available for projects as well. With help from the Kentucky Arts Council, the fund hopes to have $100,000 available to match visitor donations. The site was created by the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte, North Carolina.As government sources for arts funding drying up, Smith says sites like Power2Give will play a larger role in funding art.The fund was recently criticized for not evenly distributing money between various arts groups. Smith says changes to the annual budgeting process are forthcoming.“Power2Give is ready to launch and go so we are live in the marketplace with a change already. And we are also going to be coming around with a change next spring and opening up our allocations to a variety of other groups in addition to our current cultural partners," she says.The fund began changing its strategic plan after the controversial departure of former CEO Allan Cowen earlier this year.