Summertime in a theatre’s Development Department is always interesting. You’d think that things would slow down since December is traditionally known as the time of year that people make donations. But at many theatres, including TimeLine, our fiscal year and season changes over on July 1. Leading up to this date it’s a mad scramble to reach your goals for the year before the clock strikes midnight on June 30. And for about two minutes you (hopefully) revel in the utter bliss of having reached your goals for the year.
Then reality comes crashing down around you as you remember that July 1 means you’re back at zero, facing a whole new season with new goals to meet. I imagine this must be what it feels like every day working for the Post Office – you get all the mail delivered one day only to have another huge pile arrive the next day to get out the door. Perhaps the next time I’m standing in the inevitably long line at the Post Office with one of my big mailings I’ll remember this and not be quite as annoyed as I usually am. Perhaps.
So we’re back at zero here at TimeLine. This year to kick off our 14th season we’ve been offered a wonderful opportunity by two TimeLine subscriber households. They offered us this challenge: If TimeLine receives 150 donations of any size from 2010-11 subscribers during July 2010, they have pledged to donate $5,000 to TimeLine.
Subscriber support of a theatre’s Annual Fund, the backbone of the organization, is so important:
- It strengthens our proposals when we approach foundations by allowing us to show that our core constituency – our subscribers – values us so much as an organization in the community that they are willing to go above and beyond the cost of seeing a show to support us.
- It is crucial to the long-term health of TimeLine. Almost every day the news tells us that government and corporate support of not-for-profits – especially the arts – is decreasing, and in some cases disappearing entirely, making individual support even more vital.
- It makes what we do possible. We aren’t kidding when we say that we rely on the generosity our donors to bring you Act 2 of a show. Ticket sales really do only cover 50% of our costs.
- Most importantly, it showcases subscribers’ belief in TimeLine’s mission and the work we produce.
As always, thank you for your support!