Since 1970, the mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) has been to support the arts and advance the culture of the Central Ohio region by funding local artists and creating opportunities for the community to engage in creative endeavors. Though, in recent years, support of the arts has shifted on a number of fronts and it has been up to organizations like the Arts Council to find new ways for funding, ensuring that our city has a long and prosperous future in growing our cultural arts scene for our hometown.
To do so, the Arts Council recently partnered with Origo to create a new development strategy, helping to increase fundraising efforts, which in turn, will support the artists and arts organizations that make our region so vibrant.
PHASE 1: Research Strategy
To help guide the new campaign strategy, Origo conducted research and surveys amongst critical groups, including the leadership of the Arts Council, long-time donors, and local artists and arts organizations who receive grants from the Art Council’s different funds. In these exercises, we were able to better understand the organization’s fundraising challenges and opportunities for growth, as well as learn ways we can communicate how Columbus is a gateway to a thriving, diverse, and cultural city. We also learned that there are key motivators that influence organizations and individuals to invest in the Columbus arts community, including:
- A desire to help local artists grow and thrive
- A desire to make Columbus an exciting and cultural place to live
- A desire to increase economic growth in the city
- A desire to boost corporate responsibility efforts
PHASE 2: Campaign Strategy
From the insights gathered during the research phase, we developed the campaign concept, Arts Elevate, to educate prospective donors on how the Arts Council helps to elevate Columbus through advocacy, expertise, collaboration, and vision. Paired with the inspiring tagline “Taking Our City to New Heights,” this concept uses bright and vibrant images of local artists to illustrate how the Arts Council uplifts the makers of Columbus and creates a thriving community. Some of the headlines used in the campaign include:
- Arts Elevate Our City
- Arts Elevate Vision
- Arts Elevate Advocacy
- Arts Elevate Collaboration
PHASE 3: Development & Messaging Strategy (“Arts Elevate”)
Once solidifying the conceptual approach for the campaign, we applied the messaging and visuals to different touchpoints of the development strategy, helping to further deliver the story of the Arts Council and engage donors. The donor tactics included:
- Campaign Folders
- Presentation Booklet (16 pages)
- Envelopes (for direct marketing purposes)
- Inserts: Addressing the four areas of giving, including the Columbus Arts Festival, Community Arts Partnership Awards, the “Art Makes Columbus” Campaign, and the newly launched Endowment, offering opportunities for long-term giving for the organization
The purpose of the donor materials is to focus on the important ways the arts benefit and strengthen the Columbus community, as well as to provide relevant data to further demonstrate how the arts positively affect the future of this city.
As proud supporters of the arts community in Columbus, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to partake in such an impactful initiative for our city and look forward to watching the campaign evolve with the growing arts community. To learn more about the campaign, the mission of the Arts Council, and upcoming events, visit www.gcac.org.
If you’re looking to experience a taste of the Columbus arts scene, be sure to also visit the Columbus Arts Festival this weekend (June 8-10), offering interactive opportunities for people of all ages and skill sets to create, observe, explore, and learn.