Square

Square is a great tool for arts organizations that sell both tickets and merchandise. The tool set is seamlessly integrated with other applications to enable accounting services, inventory management, social analytics, and shipping fulfillment. Payments can easily be processed anywhere with the Square Register app and the Square credit card reader (for smartphones and tablets). The Square reader is free, credit card processing fees are just 2.75%, and there are no monthly fees for basic Square applications. An organization can set up a free online store through Square’s website, and sales can be compared against inventory on-the-go. The most basic Square functions can be set up in under an hour! Square can be utilized by arts organizations to sell branded merchandise, or even by independent artists, like the participants of Artists & Fleas pop-up craft fair, to sell works of art.

The advantage of Square for arts organizations is that it offers more features than other comparable mobile processing systems without monthly fees. One extremely useful feature for arts organizations is the Square Feedback tool. With this tool, customers can provide feedback directly to the organization, as opposed to on social media (publicly). For arts organizations frequently under fire by their customers, this feature may help to manage criticism.

Another useful feature for arts organizations is the option for a rewards/loyalty program- digital punchcards based on spending. The arts organization can cultivate long-term relationships with customers and track their rewards activities easily by email addresses.

Lastly, Square offers opportunities not only for arts organizations’ sales, but also for donations. Donors can send cash via the Square Cash app, or make a donation as a purchase in the organization’s online store.

This image shows the simple steps required to setup Square for payments, easily completed in an hour.
Square Dashboard setup. 24 April 2015. Online image (screenshot). https://squareup.com/dashboard. Accessed 24 April 2015.
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About mgudrais

Marisa Gudrais completed a BA in Music in 2007, and an MA in Economic Policy in 2009, both at Boston University. While currently working as an economist, Marisa dances with a local Latvian folk dance group, which has inspired her to pursue studies in Arts Management. Serving on the boards of cultural non-profits in her free time, Marisa has gained new strategic and event planning skills. After leaving GMU, she plans to manage song-and-dance festivals and develop programming for performing arts organizations. Eventually, she hopes to run her own festival management company or cultural center.

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