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Montgomery County Arts Groups Turn To Crowdfunding

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Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett speaks at the launch of the power2give site for Montgomery County at the Round House Theater in Bethesda.
Matt Bush
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett speaks at the launch of the power2give site for Montgomery County at the Round House Theater in Bethesda.

Crowdfunding has become a popular way for anyone looking to raise money for a project or business.

"People are able to make gifts as small as $5, but up to $10,000 to help an organization to meet its basic needs, such as curtains, or tutus for their ballerinas, or music stands, or instruments for their afterschool programs," says Susan Jenkins, CEO of Montgomery County's Arts and Humanities Council.

Kickstarter is perhaps the best-known crowdfunding website. But Jenkins says another site may be a better option for arts-related groups in Montgomery County. The site is called power2give.org, and has two elements that distinguish it from Kickstarter.

The first is that donations to power2give.org are tax-deductible. The other is that even if the group falls short of its fundraising goal, it is still allowed to keep all the money it raises.

Round House Theater in Bethesda is one of the organizations asking for donations on power2give.org. Ryan Rilette, the producing artistic director at the theater, says they're hoping to fund scholarships for their summer youth camps.

"You can go to the site and look at all kinds of organizations, and say, 'you know, I want to give a little bit of money to something that supports education. What's supporting education?' And you can look at all the different education programs."

The website went active last week, and in its first 24 hours almost $10,000 was raised.

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