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Arts council launches local crowdfunding service

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The Arts Council of Indianapolis on Wednesday unveiled a a new program to help central Indiana not-for-profit arts, cultural and humanities organizations raise funds for individual projects. 

Power2give, an online fundraising tool similar to “crowdfunding” websites such as Kickstarter and DonorsChoose.org, is being launched in Indianapolis with more than 60 not-for-profits taking part. Those groups will each be trying to raise a maximum of $10,000 within 90 days for 63 specific projects.

Indianapolis will be the 11th city to offer the Power2give service. The platform was developed and launched by the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte in 2011 and has raised more than $1 million nationwide for the arts.

Chase Bank and the Lilly Endowment Inc. are helping to support the program.

Money donated to Indianapolis groups on the website will go to the local arts council, which will then send 88 cents on every dollar directly to the selected projects.

Of the remaining 12 cents, 3 cents covers credit card fees. 3.75 cents pays for website maintenance and updates, and 5.25 cents is an administrative fee for the arts council, which will use its grant-services staff to manage the program, said Dave Lawrence, the council’s president and CEO.

Rather than donating to organizations’ general funds, contributions through Power2give.org are directed at specific needs.

For example, Lawrence said, the American Pianists Association wants to send a performer to a local high school, and Conner Prairie Interactive Historical Park wants to build fences for a cow pasture.

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is matching grants dollar-for-dollar on 13 of the projects unveiled Wednesday.

Donors can select Indianapolis from a drop-down menu on the national website’s home page to find local groups or go directly to www.indyarts.org/power2give.

Lawrence said the crowdfunding website should help not-for-profits tap a new source of donors.

The Charlotte arts counci said 46 percent of Power2give’s donors were first-timers in the website’s first year.

The key market is people 30 and younger. More than 70 percent of that demographic does its giving online, Lawrence said.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson issued an advisory in July warning that many crowdfunding websites operate illegally and the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to set up rules for them.

Lawson spokeswoman Valerie Kroeger said that the problems usually are found at businesses that are trying to exchange ownership shares.

Power2give, however, deals strictly with the not-for-profit community. Any organization with 501(c)3 status is allowed to collect donations through crowdfunding websites, Kroeger said.

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  1. The deductible is entirely paid by the POWER account. No one ever has to contribute more than $25/month into the POWER account and it is often less. The only cost not paid out of the POWER account is the ER copay ($8-25) for non-emergent use of the ER. And under HIP 2.0, if a member calls the toll-free, 24 hour nurse line, and the nurse tells them to go to the ER, the copay is waived. It's also waived if the member is admitted to the hospital. Honestly, although it is certainly not "free" - I think Indiana has created a decent plan for the currently uninsured. Also consider that if a member obtains preventive care, she can lower her monthly contribution for the next year. Non-profits may pay up to 75% of the contribution on behalf of the member, and the member's employer may pay up to 50% of the contribution.

  2. I wonder if the governor could multi-task and talk to CMS about helping Indiana get our state based exchange going so Hoosiers don't lose subsidy if the court decision holds. One option I've seen is for states to contract with healthcare.gov. Or maybe Indiana isn't really interested in healthcare insurance coverage for Hoosiers.

  3. So, how much did either of YOU contribute? HGH Thank you Mr. Ozdemir for your investments in this city and your contribution to the arts.

  4. So heres brilliant planning for you...build a $30 M sports complex with tax dollars, yet send all the hotel tax revenue to Carmel and Fishers. Westfield will unlikely never see a payback but the hotel "centers" of Carmel and Fishers will get rich. Lousy strategy Andy Cook!

  5. AlanB, this is how it works...A corporate welfare queen makes a tiny contribution to the arts and gets tons of positive media from outlets like the IBJ. In turn, they are more easily to get their 10s of millions of dollars of corporate welfare (ironically from the same people who are against welfare for humans).

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