In early 2013, the Nashville Symphony underwent a major restructuring in response to significant challenges posed by the Great Recession of 2008 and a devastating flood in 2010 that caused over $40 million in damages to its concert hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Out of that restructuring, the Development team was charged with nearly doubling the Annual Fund result of $3.5M from the previous season.
In late spring of 2013, the Nashville Symphony engaged RSC to help craft an aggressive strategy to dramatically grow fundraising over the next several years. The first step was to analyze the Nashville Symphony’s current donor database for numbers, capacity, and propensity to give, then craft a year-end solicitation strategy to close out the 2012/13 season. A new case for support detailing the successes of the restructuring process was drafted and utilized during the 2013/14 fundraising effort, and telefunding strategy and goals were made more aggressive. (Telefunding was shifted to a new vendor during the 2014/15 season, and then to a third for 15/16). RSC took responsibility for Nashville Symphony’s direct mail during the 2014/15 season, generating all DM letters in conjunction with Nashville Symphony staff.
RSC consulted with the fundraising staff through the end of FY15, then switched to a retainer basis for the 2015/16 season. RSC outlined FY16 fundraising tactics and created a multi-year revenue plan forecast for the annual fund.