State of the Heart: An Update on Our Winter Fundraising Campaign

“How did that fundraising campaign go?”

It’s a question I’ve been asked more than once in these early days of a new year. The question is encouraging, because it shows people are aware we have had a fundraising campaign, and because they care how we are doing. But the answer is complicated.

I want to say ‘Amazing! We hit our goal in record time!’, but that would be a lie. In fact, we didn’t hit our goal at all. So far, we’ve missed it by more than half.

This isn’t a bad news update. I’m very happy with where the Bleeding Heart stands today, and our prospects for a long, healthy future as a space for art, faith, hope and love on the Ave. 

To understand why I’m happy, you have to understand the numbers I was looking at just over a month ago, as 2016 was coming to a close.

In the middle of November, 2016, Bleeding Heart had about one month of funding left in the bank. Funding that was secure when we began as a project of Urban Bridge Church in 2014 had dried up. New funders had yet to be found. There was no promise we would survive into the new year. Things became that lean. But honestly, I didn’t worry.

Here, the “faith” part of our enterprise kicks into high gear. I believe Bleeding Heart is God’s idea, not mine. I know, that can sound arrogant or even a bit kooky. I hesitate to put words in God’s mouth or thought’s in God’s head. I’m just not sure how else to express what I know to be true. Bleeding Heart Art Space is an idea filtered through me and many others, sure, but also an idea bigger than all of us. If this is God’s idea, I trust God to keep it alive and pumping as long as it needs to. I can let go and relax. Most of the time. 

My faith is incredibly weak in so many areas, but when it came time to assess the Bleeding Heart’s situation on paper, I had no doubts we would be OK. I just had no idea how. 

Here we are in February 2017, and we are indeed OK.

We raised around $8000 in December and early January.

Our target was $20,000 - a high number that would have meant little to no fundraising required for several more months. We missed that target, but still raised an impressive amount in a short time. This confirms that the Bleeding Heart vision resonates. Our manifesto remains a vital rallying cry .

The best news of all is that we more than doubled our amount of monthly repeat donations, with a total now over $500 in monthly giving.

We can count on monthly gifts to pay the rent, pay our artists and handle other costs involved in bringing this Arts Space/Sacred Space/Community Space to life every day. Monthly donors make me smile.

More good news? We have raised the profile of Bleeding Heart considerably. Our campaign video was shared plenty and viewed over 2000 times. We increased our pool of monthly donors and sharpened our message for approaching new donors. We are better equipped than ever to form new partnerships with people, churches and companies who may want to join us in this cause.

I’ve also recognized that you–our supporters–are a very special community. I want to hang out with you more. I want to grow this community. I want to give it a name. Heather Ritz, our Workshops Coordinator, has a good suggestion. How about the Bleeding Hearts Club? You in?

We held our first fundraiser/info-session/open house (Bleeding Hearts Clubhouse?) on January 20th and the room was full of people committed to the Bleeding Heart’s success. It was a tangible reminder that beauty and justice matter a great deal. That artists are worth our time and money. 

We’re working on a more concise name for these events, but we’ll be hosting another one in March. And then another, and then another.  With each event we will make more connections, hopefully increase our base of monthly donors, and remind one another what a beautiful dream we are realizing here at the Bleeding Heart Art Space. 

You can become a monthly donor online, and join the Bleeding Hearts Club, right here, right now.

How is our fundraising coming along? Quite well, thanks to all of us.

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