Fund-raisers aim for Millennials 

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SpareTime is similar to other fund-raising websites like Kickstarter in that it connects non-profits with supporters. There are key differences, though. SpareTime users will be able to create a site profile that will track where they've worked, who they've given to and what their interests are. Users can upload transcripts to the profile, so that it can serve as a resume. The site, by tracking user histories, will then be able to suggest to individuals projects they might like to get involved in.

SpareTime will also generate impact reports — what sorts of projects are getting what kind of traffic and by whom — information that should prove valuable to the non-profit community.

The user behavior tracking technology that SpareTime will use was developed by fellow ARK Challenge start-up MineWhat, which won $150,000 in investment in the ARK Challenge competition held Nov. 1 in Bentonville.

SpareTime goes into Beta testing in January. When it goes online — Shelton and Snyder hope that will be later in the spring — non-profits can post their projects on the site for $5. If the posting fills a long-time position, SpareTime will get another $5. SpareTime will also get a transaction fee of 5 percent off donations. SpareTime can also create pages for non-profits, another revenue stream.

Snyder and Shelton have found a way to make money and satisfy their desire to get community projects more quickly off the ground.

The Arkansas Arts Center was thinking outside the box when they decided to create the "Party in a Box" drive to attract a new crowd. Here's how it works: For $500 an Arts Center supporter can buy a party for 12 — details about the party come in a box — and the Arts Center takes care of the rest. The partying newcomers are welcomed with a reception, food and drinks and a tour of the galleries and the stacks with curators, for example, or a get-together with Museum School or Children's Theatre staff — whatever the box buyer wishes. The idea, Arts Center Director Todd Herman said, is to "build relationships, so when people write those checks it's not just to a brick building but people they've met, programs they now know about and spaces they've toured."

A long overdue rehab of the Arts Center's website will, like SpareTime, offer a personal member page that will keep a record of what classes you've taken, tickets you've purchased — "a personal account of your relationship with us," Herman said. "It helps us know what you are interested in" and target pitches for support accordingly. The new website will, of course, have a blog that Herman and staff will contribute to, linked to Facebook.

Another new event — an adult evening for a children's theater performance. This year, the Arts Center's "Vampires, Bunnies and Bloody Marys" drew about 100 grown-ups who made merry and then who saw a "slightly altered" version of "Bunnicula," the kids' play about a vampire rabbit. A party tied to children's theater was a membership lure for parents of youngsters who may not be familiar with the Arts Center's offerings. Feedback was great; the event will be repeated every season for one particular play.

The bi-annual Tabriz fund-raiser, a pricy, black-tie dinner and auction, will again target younger folks who can wear high heels but are not yet well-heeled with a late-night "studio party" following the big event.

Another new idea: An opening night lecture for every major exhibition, to make seeing the work a "more enriching experience."

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