Online tool changing the way Indy arts organizations raise money

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It’s harder than ever for arts programs to get the funding they need, but for many in Indianapolis a new tool is making things much easier.

The tool, called “Power 2 Give,” is a website that allows arts organizations to post any project and set a fundraising goal. Anyone who visits the site can donate to whatever project they want, in whatever amount they want. There are also many projects that will match funds through Chase.

Projects range from small to big. So far, more than 70 projects have been posted to the site with many quickly reaching their fundraising goals. In total, the tool has raised $45,000 since it launched in December.

“I feel like it levels the playing field for us as a smaller organization. (We get) to go out there and really be seen,” said Andrew Lee, Executive Director of Art with a Heart.

Lee’s organization provides after school arts education to underprivileged kids in schools like Meridith Nicholson Elementary on the west side. Art with a Heart has already raised money through Power 2 Give for two student scholarships.

“What the (Indy) Arts Council has done is provided a tool that all arts organizations can use in Indianapolis, regardless of their size,” Lee said.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis launched the tool in December, after seeing it work in other cities. The tool is currently used in 14 cities nationwide, but in Indianapolis, it’s really caught on.

“We have outscored them all, in terms of the amount raised, the amount of donors that have come into the site and the amount of projects that are active on the site,” Arts Council CEO Dave Lawrence said.

The project closest to its fundraising goal right now is at Indy Reads Books, a nonprofit bookstore that funds adult literacy programs. The store wants to paint a mural on its building to draw in more customers.

“We’re about 90 percent of the way there. We’ve still got a few days left (to fundraise). We’re hoping to hit the goal soon,” store manager Alex Mattingly said.

To check out the projects and make a donation, go to

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