For many years, the Amarillo Symphony (AS) relied heavily on fundraising, but without building a culture of philanthropy. With a well-respected artistic product and annual operating budgets of roughly $1.7 million, the Symphony made only a fraction of the investments necessary to achieve its fundraising goals. The long-time result was a history of volatile, year-over-year fundraising performance, and unrealized potential for the future. Hurdles to the program included an overall needs-based case for support that wasn’t driven by value or impact, and a sponsorship program that struggled to meet its full revenue goals. As a result, AS was faced with a repeating 15% organizational deficit.

However, in 2015, the Symphony appointed a successful and highly-experienced Executive Director, and the situation began to change.




Through an RSC partnership, AS surpassed its Annual Fund goal and had a record-setting fundraising year, increasing contributed revenue over the previous year by 174%. RSC authored and coached the implementation of a three-year Fundraising Action Plan with structure, systems, budgets, tactics and timelines. RSC helped AS develop a high-leverage but simple case for support, restructure the sponsorship and individual giving programs, and implement a successful prospect management system. RSC coached AS through a new, frontloaded fundraising calendar to secure major gifts early in the fiscal year, and sponsorships 18 months in advance.

AS increased the frequency of solicitation to broad-base patrons via direct mail and telefunding, and leveraged donor increases through matching challenge grants and experiential stewardship activities. 


What the client said

“Bob and his team helped the Amarillo Symphony develop and institutionalize a strategic fundraising plan focused on action and results,” said Corey Cowart, AS Executive Director. “The success we achieved with RSC’s guidance produced the highest and fastest result of any fundraising program with which I have been involved and set an historic record for most funds raised in the 93-year history of our organization.”


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