What Assets Do You Have That You Can Leverage? Finding ways to mitigate the loss of donor revenue during the absence of in-person events due to the pandemic is leading to a wide range of creative solutions. One of the most effective and brilliantly simple may have come from the BC SPCA. While people continued to adopt animals from their kennels, what struck someone was that people like to sponsor things to recognize a person they love and there was opportunity right in front of the society. The actual kennels. Why not allow people to “adopt” a kennel and, presto, open the door to a brand new fundraiser. Adopt-A-Kennel 2021 will raise money for the society without needing to gather people together, nor does it do much to nudge their costs up. What’s more, it garnered the BC SPCA much-needed media attention. “When you adopt a kennel for a year, that allows us to provide the most urgent and needed care for the animals that are with us,” Sean Hogan, the Kelowna branch manager, told Black Press. “One of the things that make this campaign critical is just the very fact that COVID has completely obliterated all in-person fundraising,” Hogan told Global News. Cat kennels are going for $400 for a year, while dog kennels are $1,000. Enthusiasts can also sponsor a cat or dog activity space for $750. Is this an idea that your charity can use in some way? Worth considering.

They Went Walking…But Not Together. What better way to continue to hold an annual walking fundraiser called Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) than go to virtually virtual? The yearly event can’t be held as a group walk (you can guess why) so St. Vincent Place in Sault Ste. Marie decided to take it online, kind of. St. Vincent’s is a shelter for men, a soup kitchen and a food bank. Walkers usually start at the shelter and make their way as an entourage along a downtown route. Initially, the shelter’s marketing and fundraising coordinator Sara McCleary wanted to offer participants two options: do the walk alone; or go in a small group in compliance with the government’s pandemic restrictions. But when a new stay-at-home order became necessary, a decision was made to ask walkers to walk alone or where they can. The choose-your-own walk idea means that all the signup and record-keeping are virtual but that individual donors are taking individual paths. The CNOY event drew more than 230 participants last year who collected more than $75,000. St. Vincent Place’s kitchen provided roughly 10,000 meals in 2020 and more than 3,000 people, including 500 children, were helped by the food bank.

The Deep Deep Deep Pocket Brigade. Let’s take a visit to Paris. So let’s say you’re an institution that normally generates funding from visitors. And lets’ say that something happens that means no visitors are allowed. Kind of a problem? Well, while places such as museums continue seeking solutions to allow them to welcome visitors again (even in small numbers and even if it means running at a loss like the MET in New York), there has to be something to replace that cash flow. This is where the auction market shows up. Auctions have become a safety net for some institutions and, already, results in 2021 are showing a high level of demand in auction rooms.

For example, January…was Old Masters month. With a 10 percent fall in turnover in 2020, the Old Masters (artists born before 1760) segment appears to have better withstood the impacts of the pandemic than other segments. This is probably due to the fact that a substantial proportion of the year’s sales the Old Masters segment represents a remarkably solid market. “Old Master collectors are looking for the ‘right piece’ rather than the thrill of the moment,” observes Thierry Ehrmann, President and Founder of Artmarket.com and its Artprice Department. “The Old Masters market is by nature less sensitive to the temporary absence of fairs, large openings and gala dinners. Moreover, it’s a market that actually appreciates extensive research and is happy to wade through detailed reports by experts… all of which can be done online.”

The battle to acquire the portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel, attributed to Botticelli, ultimately brought together just two collectors. But these two determined bidders raised the price of the work to Sotheby’s very audacious estimate in the midst of a global pandemic. Announced in September 2020, its sale deliberately left three months for all concerned to conduct the necessary research.

Now let’s jump the channel to London, held back by its Covid variant and Brexit among other problems. The British capital usually hosts the year’s second round of major sales. In February 2020, three paintings fetched over $20 million each at London sales, (The Splash (1966) by David Hockney; A la Rencontre du Plaisir (1962) by René Magritte; Portrait of Marjorie Ferry (1932) by Tamara De Lempicka). But the health crisis has led to the postponement of London’s first major sales of the year to March 2021. Moreover, the effective withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union risks weakening London’s dominant position in this part of the world. Paris obviously hopes to benefit from this reorganization. The French capital is also continuing to attract more and more top talent from the Art Market. Since the beginning of the year, two of Italy’s most powerful galleries, Continua and Massimo de Carlo, have opened in the Marais District, while Sotheby’s is preparing to sell Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s prestigious collection in Paris.

The next few weeks promise to be exciting on the art market, both at auctions and in art galleries… some reassuring news ahead of the reopening of museums everywhere. Problem solved. Now, who’s in the hat for the next $20 million buy?

Are You Really Out There? Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Future of User Interfaces Shaping New Consumer Experiences, finds that user interface (UI) technologies have moved beyond the concept of simply representing machines to their users to enabling sophisticated and personalized interaction. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated their use in healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail, and banking to simplify interactivity and improve engagement. The global augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) market is expected to reach $661.40 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 86.3 percent from 2019 to 2025, driven by contactless commerce. Beyond 2030, AR and VR will merge, allowing users access to the total reality-virtuality continuum. Meanwhile, the global biometrics market revenue is forecast to reach $54.97 billion in 2025, with next-generation identification, palm vein and behavioural biometrics experiencing significant demand. We’re putting this out there folks: There must me some brilliant and highly successful way for a big charity to turn this technology into big fundraising. Anyone doing this? Looking at it? Is there something we can all chip in to make this a reali..er, sorry, an augmented reality?

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