Seattle ACT Theater creates a monthly membership program

Like a gym membership.

Public Radio Pledge Drives

Some studies indicate a significant overlap between our audiences and NPR listeners. Ten elements of public radio pledge drives:

Storytelling and Emotional Branding

Much of marketing and branding is storytelling. I found this article to be very helpful.

Social networking and the arts

Doug McLennan's blog post today was right on the mark about getting as many people into seats as possible, so that they can be future donors.

Eliciting Memory and Increasing Support

What’s your earliest memory of the arts?

Chances are, your recollection made you smile. That’s a testimony to the power of the personal question–and the way it can help you engage donors in community arts.

The right question provides a window for understanding, and tapping into, the values that underlie any donor’s decision to fund arts. Experience and research tell us that helping people connect their personal values to relevant programs is the way to build ongoing commitment. For example, a donor who values youth development and equity in education may well want to support arts in school, or provide ways for students to engage with arts in a variety of venues outside the school day.

Role of artists in promoting concerts

This article in the Boston Globe suggests the important role of authors in promoting their books. I wonder how we might be able to get more performing artists involved in promoting their concerts.

Carpooling and Gas Promotions

These days seem the perfect time for arts groups to help arrange car pooling for participants. Our databases can easily determine if someone from the same postal code has tickets to a performance on a particularly night.

We might send an email to patrons asking them if they'd like to be introduced to someone who also wants to car pool. This would also be effective for spouses who end up driving two cars into town to see a performance and then most drive home alone.

Please let me know if you're thinking about doing this. I'd be pleased to arrange a conference call for those wanting to venture into this space.

Marketing to 'Amateur' Musicians/Artists

A recent Los Angeles Times story described the phenomenon of adults beginning to take piano lessons and scheduling social piano playing at “piano parties” in people’s homes. See Perri Knize’s book "Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey.",0,1759200.story

It also mentioned an online website that supports social piano playing
For those of us who present piano recital series, it might be a good place to put information about future events, as well as to offer discounts for groups of six to ten people. For example, the Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan posted information on the November 13, 2007 performance by George Winston. However instead of putting up a generic listing, it’d be great to have fans post-up concerts to which they’ve already purchased tickets.

Acronyms vs. Words

This week, I'm working with the Alliance of California Traditional Arts to raise money online as a precursor to a more robust face to face and online campaign this fall. If you're interested in our project, go to to see what we're doing. At the time of this writing, we've already raised ten per cent of our goal. If you'd like to donate a small amount, we'll keep you in the loop regarding our progress as well as lessons learned at the end.

The Alliance in recent years has been using the acronym ACTA. I've read several places recently (apologies that I can't cite the source) that acronyms communicate very little, particularly to those unfamiliar with the group. So IBM might be able to communicate who they are (vs. International Business Machines), but it's more difficult for small organizations, particularly non-profits. I recommended that ACTA use 'the alliance' or 'traditional arts alliance' in their written materials vs. ACTA.

Innovation in Chamber Music

As an organization, Chamber Music New Zealand is over 50 years old. However, in the last two years, they’ve been remarkably innovative. Recognizing New Zealanders time famine, they programmed ‘An Hour of Quality Time’ concerts at 6 pm during the Auckland Festival in March 2007.

They’re ‘at it again” with concerts this week by the New Zealand Trio in Auckland. A 45 minute coffee concert at 10 am and Cushion Concerts for Children at 2 pm on April 20 on Sunday the NZ Trio will be playing Helix, a newly commissioned work by New Zealander John Psathas (who wrote the music for the Athens Olympics). Radio New Zealand will be recording a subsequent Wellington concert for future broadcast.