"...Because communication done well can be called art and because art is a beautiful form of communication that goes beyond any prejudice and constraint. Because It’s Art Darling, It’s Art!"

It’s Art darling, it’s Art !

by Anca Ungureanu


What’s in it for me?

Businesses and companies often ask this question when social entrepreneurs, artists, and activists approach them to get involved financially in different kind of projects, therefore I want to shed some light on what they mean by this question.

Last year, I attended a Social Media Camp organized by BIZ, one of the leading business magazines in Romania, and one topic of conversation caught my attention: there are a lot of cool online and offline projects but most of them don’t get financed because the companies don’t want to get involved.

The complaint was that there is always this stupid question raised by the companies’ representatives: what’s in it for me? The complainers were truly baffled: why don’t companies want to get involved in cool projects?

First, let me clarify that the ‘stupid’ question is not rhetorical: companies can’t throw away money, their purpose is to create value for their shareholders, to build a good reputation, to build their brand awareness, to return part of the profit for the development of the communities they are a part of. So they have to ask this question.

If you have a cool project in which you believe, just put yourself in the company’s shoes and think: why would you get involved? Just because it’s cool? Well duh, cool is not enough! You need to have more solid arguments than that.

Is the project in line with the company’s values? Can it be aligned with one of the projects they are already involved in? Does it bring value to a larger community? Can it change lives? Is it relevant to the company’s stakeholders (clients, employees, opinion leaders)?

These are, but a few of the questions that a marketing representative or even the CEO of the company condenses into the shorter version: what’s in it for me?

For example you can’t propose to an energy drink brand to sponsor a classical music concert, or to a bank to sponsor a festival of hot air balloons, just because you think your project is cool and worth the money. Even if you project is small but builds up further a bigger platform that a company has, it might have all the chances to be accepted. For example if the company has an appetite for contemporary art and you are working on an retrospective book about and artist that needs money to be published, even if it is a one shot project, it might fit perfectly to the educational approach that company has towards art.

So, if you have a cool idea that can change the world for the better and you have concrete answers to the questions above, than you stand a good chance to get the money. If you don’t, it doesn’t mean that your idea is less cool or that the world would be better off without it, it just means that you need to look for money elsewhere.

Just think about it!



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