The Escalator Effect: Making and Keeping Donors
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TRG Blog: Analysis from TRG Arts

The Escalator Effect: Making and Keeping Donors [slideshow]

Amelia Northrup-Simpson | March 19, 2012 7:28 PM
Eight out of ten new customers for the arts never come back after the first visit. How’s an organization supposed to raise donors against those odds? Jill Robinson, President of TRG Arts, applies two decades of arts patron behavior research to illustrate how donors grow with good cultivation and customer service by every member of an organization’s team. Get an expert overview on your organization’s best donor prospects, what you have to do to win them, and how you can keep them moving up (not down) the patronage escalator. Presented here are ideas you can implement whether you are a member of the development, marketing or ticket office team.
Presented at the Spring 2012 ArtsReach Conference.


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Case Study: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

Annual operating budget up 32% in 5 seasons

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma 
 Photo: Joseph Mills

After a poor year for earned revenue in 2012, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma (LTO) had rebounded and was experiencing a growth spurt. In 2013, Director of Marketing Danyel Siler had turned her attention to single tickets.

Her hard work had paid off, but season tickets were still a challenge. “Season tickets were steadily declining,” she said. “The season ticket campaign had been done the same way for years, maybe even decades. And we blamed the fall on the trend that subs were declining everywhere. Our executive director, artistic director, and I all knew something needed to change, but we didn’t know what.”

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Jill Robinson
Adam Scurto
Amelia Northrup-
J.L.Nave Vincent VanVleet Keri Mesropov

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