It was while visiting with a prior donor to one of my nonprofit projects that I came up with the idea behind Artfuel. That is, a few seasoned professionals and philanthropists with a genuine interest in our topic might combine forces and run ongoing major gift campaigns in support of preservation and conservation in Italy.
Our intent would be to remain lean, focused, and to work intensely and quickly toward achieving our shared goals.
My experience after many years in nonprofit fundraising is donors want to make gifts “overseas,” but they lack confidence in how their funds are transferred and managed on the ground. The physical distance is far, and information shared in the news can be confusing and cause unnecessary concern. Artfuel’s unique design allows donors to contribute securely via one of the largest and most respected community foundations in the nation, the Communities Foundation of Texas, to a designated fund just for our specific purposes. Those donations will then be transferred by the Foundation directly and solely to the Art Ministry, Tuscany Branch. There would be no other intermediaries.
Artfuel partners Natalia Sarkissian and Mauro Bartalini would then work with the Art Ministry on the ground in Italy to monitor the work undertaken, to translate and convey project updates to Artfuel investors, and to host private donor tours onsite as needed and requested. The Artfuel team would provide updates via this blog and more formal, periodic written reports. And, we will certainly avail ourselves of the latest technologies to share information via video conferencing.
Once complete with our projects in Tuscany, we might move on to new critical funding projects in Italy and elsewhere!
The other piece of our Artfuel puzzle is that funding is required for the Arfuel team of three experienced professionals to set aside their time, and to go to work in a concerted fashion. Those operating funds cannot be awarded to and managed by the same donor designated fund noted above at The Communities Foundation of Texas. The two basic functions of Artfuel must be kept separate: 1) housing charitable gifts for conservation in Italy, and 2) funding Artfuel’s daily administrative work.
What we seek are an investor(s) willing to bring Artfuel to life by funding and/or housing our operating budget. And that budget is available by contacting me at anytime using the secure form found on this website, or the one on my professional website (link below).
Thank you for your interest in Artfuel. We see a promising future for fundraising ahead for Italy’s priceless cultural heritage, and we hope you will join us on our journey.
Carolyn M. Appleton | Updated December 2020
I would like to thank Natalia Sarkissian, my colleague from graduate school in the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, for partnering on this project and for the many beautiful photographs found on the Artfuel website. It was Natalia who came up with our project’s name as well, Artfuel.