Between 6 pm May 7 and 6 pm May 8, MFA received $22,009 in donations and prize money through The Great Give, a 24-hour fund-a-thon put on by the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (CFAAC).
MFA asked everyone to GIVE $10 – and 477 people gave us a total of $10,532. Belair Produce, our GIVE $10 sponsor, pledged $1 for every donor, so we will receive another $477. And MFA won $11,000 in prize money from CFAAC – $1000 in two random drawings for $500 each (called Golden Tickets) and $10,000 for being the small nonprofit with the most donors.
To all our donors – thank you for making this possible.
$22,000 is a lot of money – especially for a small nonprofit. It’s more than 10% of MFA’s annual budget. So let’s look at what $22,000 means to MFA and to artists and art lovers.
First an foremost, $22,000 means financial security for the organization. The past six years have not been kind to nonprofits, especially small arts organizations. In 2009, 41 percent of arts organizations reported that they were operating at a deficit according to a study by Americans for the Arts – and MFA was one of those.
MFA survived the Recession because years ago members and supporters wisely banked money. We had a reserve. Without that reserve, MFA would have had to fold, to close Circle Gallery, and to disappear into the mist of time.
Instead, we had a reserve, weathered the Recession, celebrated our 50th anniversary, are in the black – and exhibited work by more than 500 artists last year. We are committed to rebuilding our reserves so MFA will be there for future generations of artists the next time the economy takes a turn for the worse.
So how else could we get $22,000? We could hold a second Collector’s Choice. We could raise the cost of membership by $50. We could raise exhibition fees by $12 on every submission. All of these ideas would raise $22,000.
But we’d rather ask each of you for $10 and win prizes!
So to those of you who supported art and artists by GIVING $10 to MFA, thank you. It means MFA can continue the promise of connecting current and future artists with the community through future exhibitions.
To those who did not give, think about it next year. We’ll be asking again.