A Drop in the Digital Bucket: Richmond Folk Festival Fans Can Text to Donate in 2019

Venture Richmond Partners with Captech Consulting to Introduce Cashless Giving Option

October 8, 2019 - If you’ve ever been to the Richmond Folk Festival, chances are you’ve encountered the notoriously energetic Bucket Brigade volunteers calling on everyone within earshot to put a “drop in the bucket” to keep the festival free.

This year, with the introduction of a new “text-to-donate” feature, everyone is getting a bucket. 


“We cannot begin to express our gratitude to CapTech for investing their time and resources to make cashless giving possible this year,” Venture Richmond Festival Director Stephen Lecky said. “Considering how frequently people use their credit cards to pay for festival food and merchandise, it became clear that the Bucket Brigade also needed to evolve.”

Every drop counts

Whether it is a digital deposit or cold, hard cash, the generous support of corporate sponsors, volunteers and individual donations help offset the $1.5 million budget it requires to produce the Richmond Folk Festival each year. 

Tim Fite

Tim Fite

Tim Fite, a Management Consultant at Richmond-based consulting firm, CapTech, has volunteered at the Richmond Folk Festival since it began in 2005. Fite made the suggestion to make text-to-donate available after last year’s festival, which despite record-breaking crowds, saw a significant dip in Bucket Brigade donations. 

“The Richmond Folk Festival is one of the most successful festivals of its kind, anywhere in the country,” Fite said. “People love the festival and want to donate, but they literally don’t have the cash to drop in the bucket.” 

Fite reached out to his CapTech colleagues to come up with a solution to this modern problem. “When I made inquiries among my colleagues, I had an instant team of people who wanted to help make this happen.” 

How it works


Fans can put a digital drop in the bucket by simply texting the word FOLK to 24365. A text with a secure link will immediately be sent to your mobile device that will allow you to donate to the Richmond Folk Festival through PayPal, Venmo, debit or credit card. 

“It isn’t necessarily about getting people to donate more,” Fite said. “It’s about helping more people donate.”

It’s that easy. And it can be done at any time and from anywhere. But those who prefer the old school tradition of putting cash in the big, orange bucket, the enthusiastic team of Brigaders will be waiting to greet you this weekend at the 15th annual Richmond Folk Festival. 

Donate online now!


About the Richmond Folk Festival 

The Richmond Folk Festival is one of Virginia's largest events, drawing visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond's historic riverfront. The Festival is a FREE three-day event that got its start as the National Council for the Traditional Arts’ National Folk Festival, held in Richmond from 2005-2007. In the tradition of “The National," the Richmond Folk Festival features excellent performing groups representing a diverse array of cultural traditions on seven stages. The festival includes continuous music and dance performances, a Virginia Folklife Area featuring ongoing demonstrations, an interactive Family Area produced by the Children's Museum of Richmond, a folk art marketplace, regional and ethnic foods, festival merchandise and more. Additional information is available at www.richmondfolkfestival.org.

About Venture Richmond 

Venture Richmond is a non-profit organization formed to engage business and community leaders in partnering with the City to enhance the vitality of the community, particularly Downtown, through economic development, marketing, promotion, advocacy and events. Venture Richmond provides enhanced property management services for both the Downtown and Riverfront including; the Clean & Safe program, beautification and landscaping projects and management and maintenance of Brown's Island, the Canal Walk and Belle Isle parking lot. Venture Richmond Events produces Friday Cheers, the 2nd Street Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival, and partners with the Richmond Sportsbackers to produce Dominion Energy Riverrock. Venture Richmond also operates Riverfront Canal Cruises. Both Venture Richmond Events, LLC, and Riverfront Canal Cruises, LLC, are subsidiaries of Venture Richmond, Inc. For more information visit www.venturerichmond.com.

About the National Council for the Traditional Arts

A leading non-profit in the field, the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) is dedicated to the presentation and documentation of folk and traditional arts in the U.S. Stressing excellence and authenticity, the NCTA presents the nation’s finest traditional artists in major festivals, tours, concerts, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, media productions, school programs, cross-cultural exchanges, and other activities. It works in partnership with American communities to establish new, sustainable traditional arts events that deliver lasting social, cultural, and economic benefits. Over 7,000 hours of the NCTA’s archival audio recordings dating from the 1930s are permanently housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The NCTA champions the interests of folk and traditional artists and organizations in the arena of public policy. For more about the NCTA, visit http://ncta-usa.org/.

About CapTech Consulting

For over 20 years, CapTech partnered with some of the world's most successful companies pioneering custom solutions that bridge the gap between business and technology. We are a national IT management consulting firm that collaborates with clients to design, develop, and manage technical and digital solutions that delight customers, drive and meet strategic objectives. We have a passion for driving innovation and growth for our clients. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CapTech has locations in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus (Ohio), Denver, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.