Situation

 

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.

 

results

 

Over a three-year period, RSC strategies broadened DSO’s donor base by 58% and earned a 56% increase in contributions, while moving hundreds of additional donors beyond broad-based giving and into the introductory levels of a new “Governing Members Society.”

RSC also developed a personalized patron engagement program, equipped frontline staff with effective upsell and gift-asking skills to help patron retention, and worked with executive leadership to create tactical plans, strategies, and internal messaging to attract high-caliber employees and transform the institution.

 
 

What the client said

 “Bob and his team helped Detroit run in the opposite direction of the shrinking donor base death of subscriptions rhetoric. The proof is in the math,” said Paul Hogle, DSO Executive Vice President. “After 30 years of service to the American Orchestra, I find myself more attracted to best-practice fundamentals than ever before.” 

 

Let's start the conversation.

 
 
Real Time Analytics