"Loyalty takes time." That was the key point that Jill Robinson, President & CEO of TRG Arts, put forth in a discussion of young donors at the 2015 Opera America Conference in Washington, DC. The panel's premise was that, with opera audiences growing older, companies must focus their attention on new generations of support. While development departments may have mastered the appeal to traditionalists and baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials are looking for something else. Attendees at this standing-room only session learned what the data says about these patrons, what matters to next gen donors, and how opera companies can engage them.
The panel was moderated by Erin Sammis, Director of Major Gifts at Opera Philadelphia. Jill was joined on the panel by Yuming Chiu, associate brand manager, Johnson & Johnson; Mary Galeti, executive director and vice-chair, Tecovas Foundation; and Kim Parker, director of social trends research, Pew Research Center.