For many years, even as it built a globally-recognized artistic identity, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) struggled to remain financially solvent. Facing large deficits, high staff turnover, an eroding base of philanthropic support, and an impending labor stoppage, industry experts predicted the DSO would not survive past 2010.
In May 2010, the DSO engaged RSC to help expand the Orchestra’s donor base, reclaim lost donors, and grow the Annual Fund after years of steady decline.
The DSO’s challenges were well-known, and most people within the industry had given up hope that the organization could be revitalized. However, even during RSC’s early visits to Detroit, it was quickly evident that something special existed between the Orchestra, the patron base, and the city-at-large.
There was (and is) a deep respect for the organization, and a clear understanding that something irreplaceable might be lost, or at least greatly diminished. The DSO had all of the conditions to rebound and grow, and RSC understood that one of the first, necessary steps was to re-engage and grow the annual donor base of support.