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A $1million Boost for the Arts

The Arts Foundation’s crowdfunding platform, Boosted, has granted more than $1million to New Zealand arts projects in two years. Following the completion of the Isaac Theatre Royal’s Boosted campaign, a further $300,000 has since been raised. General Manager, Simone Hunter says, “In April alone, we will have granted the same amount to arts projects as we did in our first year. We are really proud of Boosted and the amazing efforts of the 170 artists and arts organisations who have run successful campaigns that make up this significant milestone.”

The Boosted model is unique, and it works. Nearly 70% of all projects listed on Boosted are successful in reaching their fundraising target. This is around 20% more than the average for target-driven crowdfunding sites globally. Simone says, “Boosted is more than just a crowdfunding website. What sets us apart is our dedication to growing capability for artists and cultural organisations in a broader sense. We hope that every artist or group that we work alongside, will leave with sharpened skills that will help them gather their network and promote their work long after the completion of their Boosted project.”

The Boosted team is made up of experts in philanthropy, the arts and commerce – many are practicing artists or arts marketers with considerable experience and an entrepreneurial spirit. Simone says, “Artists log in to Boosted and send us their idea, and are often surprised by what they walk away with – it is more than money, and that’s why it works. We are your biggest fans and cheerleaders and we want you to walk away with a great sense of purpose, achievement and validation from a successful campaign.”

The organisation is underpinned by strong leadership. The Boosted Board, Chaired by Tony Balfour, (ex Nike and Independent Director The Warehouse, Silver Fern Farms) includes Founding Trustee and Chair Derek Handley whose entrepreneurial values have influenced what Boosted has become today.

Well-known arts patron, Dame Jenny Gibbs enjoys donating on Boosted, “Boosted is making a considerable impact on the arts in New Zealand. It enables anyone to be an arts philanthropist, with donations large or small, in an engaging and meaningful way. Without the $1million raised, many arts projects would not have happened in the last few years, and that deserves to be celebrated.”

Arts Foundation Executive Director, Simon Bowden, came up with the idea for Boosted following an exploratory trip to the US in 2010, “In the US I was able to learn about crowdfunding and donor advised funds – Boosted is the perfect union of these principles. Donations are purely philanthropic, and the reward is in being part of something special. Add to that the expertise in philanthropy that has been cultivated at the Arts Foundation, and the potential for Boosted to continue to facilitate significant growth in the arts is significant.”

Updated on 23rd July 2015