With the assistance of RSC’s strategic ally, CRStager marketing & audience development, the Winston-Salem Symphony (WSS) had growth in subscription and single ticket sales in 2010-2011.  Along with that, the Symphony’s Annual Fund was growing steadily year after year, but it was not enough to outpace the growth of a conservative expense budget. Tied to that budget was an aggressive strategic plan that included a significant outreach and education initiative which needed an annual funding program with more heft, and one that would eventually allow for the launch of a successful endowment campaign.

In August 2012, WSS engaged RSC to conduct a Development Assessment, a comprehensive review of current fundraising systems, volunteer engagement, prospect management, and tactics, making recommendations that included ongoing coaching and consultation and the development of a three-year annual fundraising plan. The assessment led to an intensive 18-month engagement that created a record-setting annual fund program to further strengthen the fiscal health of the organization.

This Winston-Salem Symphony is an impressive organization, with a solid artistic and business model.  And while the community has a variety of arts organizations, it was immediately evident that the Orchestra was viewed as the crowning jewel.  The organization knew that it could drive its contributed revenue performance higher, but needed help in how to achieve that goal.  Enter RSC…




Over an eighteen-month period, RSC counsel broadened WSS’s donor base by more than 20%, from $800,000 to $1,000,000+ in renewable, reliable support. As part of our work with WSS, RSC launched a new $1,000+ Annual Fund Task Force for peer-to-peer solicitation, revamped and expanded the sponsorship program, revised the direct mail program and began a successful telefundraising campaign, all while engaging selected board leadership to participate in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of key donors and sponsors.


what the client said

“The RSC team was our partner in a period of extraordinary growth at WSS,” said Merritt Vale, WSS President and CEO. “Their efforts and expertise helped us to grow and be ready for a major campaign, despite a leadership change midway through their engagement. It was a terrific partnership for us and paved the way for long-term financial health.”


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