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Article Published: 30 Apr 2024

Board Members and the Fundraising Process

A strong board relies on every member pitching in when it comes to fundraising. With as much as 80% of budgets coming from contributed revenue, it can’t fall to just the staff or the development committee. So how can you take part in different steps of the fundraising process?

  1. Identification Research: Review lists of recent ticket buyers and let staff know who you know personally and professionally.
  2. Cultivation: Invite prospective donors to performances or events. As you engage them in conversation, listen to learn about their interests.
  3. Solicitation:If you’re not comfortable asking, that’s okay. Help staff with making asks by accompanying them on a visit or sending a note of support to the prospect before or after the meeting.
  4. Acknowledgment: Send personal notes or make phone calls of thanks to recent donors. And express your gratitude when you see them at performances.
  5. Stewardship: At performances, visit the seats of recent donors to say hello. After performances, send recent reviews or articles about the company with notes of appreciation.

Adapted from Marc A. Scorca's Essentials of Opera Governance webinar on March 14, 2024.

This article was published in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of Across the Board, a publication of OPERA America for opera company trustees.