Entertainment Community Fund Fundraising Toolkit
Writers are committed to taking care of each other and our wider community during this strike and beyond, and we have an excellent partner in the Entertainment Community Fund. A national human services organization with a unique understanding of the challenges involved in a life in the arts, the Fund provides financial assistance in addition to their health and wellness, career and life, and housing services.
Writers and other generous supporters have already raised $3 million dollars to provide grants to film and television workers in need but demand is 2x greater nationally, and 3x greater in Los Angeles, than what the Fund experiences in normal times, and they expect it to increase. We can’t stop now.
Our goal is to raise another $2 million by the end of the summer to ensure the Fund can offer our community financial support through the fall. And in order to meet that goal, we’ll need to reach outside the writer community. Writers and our allies need to get creative.
So many have already taken the initiative to set up grassroots fundraisers of their own—from designing and selling union swag to memorabilia auctions—and we’ve created this tool kit to encourage you to join them.
The Fund uses JustGiving, an online fundraising platform, to make collecting and tracking donations as simple as possible. You can use the platform to create a personalized fundraising campaign that tracks progress to a goal you set.
An important note: please don’t ask for donations to a “strike fund.” The Entertainment Community Fund is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing. The Fund helps people year-round, in professions throughout the film and TV industry. All the money raised for the Fund would continue to support our community if the strike were to end tomorrow.
- Tips and Suggestions for setting up and sharing your page.
- Setting a goal
- Each of us has different circumstances. Our WGA community has been well saturated with fundraising asks these last few weeks. What will be effective now is reaching outside our writer friends to those folks in other parts of our lives who’ve asked how they can help. Set your goal at whatever makes sense for you.
- Asking for donations
- Sharing on social media is great but the most effective way to fundraise is to reach out directly to friends, family, and colleagues with a personal ask.
- Keep it short and sweet, with a clear ask and a link to your donation page. Then you can expand on your personal experience and why this matters to you.
- Here is a sample email. Best to personalize but feel free to use as much of it as you’d like.
- If you can take the time to email each individual personally, that’s always best. But if you need to send a mass email, remember to bcc your contacts.
- The more you follow up, the more money you’ll raise. Lots of times folks see an email, mean to donate, then forget about it as it slips down their inbox. It’s worth following up at least once with everyone on your list, a few days to a week after your first email.
- Setting a goal
Whether it’s a big project, use your talents and resources to come up with something unique. Organize a performance, reading, or Zoom workshop; design and sell your own swag; collect pledges for an athletic challenge—maybe steps walked on the picket line. Or something no one’s thought of yet. Writers have shown again and again that we can find unique ways to turn struggle into something fun and joyful.
Event Fundraisers: If you want to host an event with the cost of entry being a donation, consider setting up a personalized page and accepting email receipts at the door instead of tickets. If you’d like to sell tickets some other way and donate the proceeds to the Fund, please contact Douglas Ramirez, Director of Special Events for the Entertainment Community Fund, to sign a Third Party Event agreement.
Swag Fundraisers: If you want to set up an online store, please make sure you’re working with a union vendor. We recommend Worx Printing. Then please contact Douglas Ramirez, Director of Special Events, to sign their Third Party Fundraiser agreement.
When posting on social media, please use the hashtag #SupportTheFund or #SupportALifeInTheArts (“Supporting a life in the arts” is the official Fund tagline, so try to work that into things!)