After 3 year wait, some nonprofit arts are finally raising ticket prices & donor levels

From the Chronicle of Philanthropy, January 10, 2011

Over the past three years, the economic downturn prompted museums, performing arts organizations, and other nonprofits to hold off from raising their membership dues, admission fees, and ticket prices.  But now many charities are "taking a fine-toothed comb to their program and looking to enhance revenue," says Dana Hines, president of Membership Consultants, a St. Louis company that works with arts and cultural groups.  To that end, she says, many groups in recent months have performed audits of their revenue-producing programs.  Starting this month, some of Hines's clients are raising the price of membership and other fees by 5% to 10%. "A lot of groups have held off on price increases for the last three years," she says.  "Now is the time."  Charities that raise dues and other fees often do so without calling attention to the price increase. "You just remind them what level membership they are at, and say it is time to renew," she says.


Local economic impact of Broadway tours was about $3 billion in 2008-09

Posted on the Broadway League's website, January 11, 2011

In the 2008-2009 season, there were approximately 40 Broadway touring shows traveling across the country, playing at 192 venues. Theatergoers who specifically came to an area to attend a tour spent $687.2 million on ancillary activities, such as dining and transportation, in addition to the $807.2 million spent to produce and run these tours in the places that presented them or in New York City, bringing the total direct spending due to Touring Broadway to $1.49 billion. This money then generated another $1.86 billion in secondary rounds of spending so that the full economic contribution of Touring Broadway totaled $3.35 billion. From this money 87% ($2.9 billion) supported the communities that presented Broadway tours. On average, Broadway tours contributed an economic impact of 3.5 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area's economy.


In a museum lobby, do social norms, price & scrutiny affect potential donors?

Posted by Katya Andresen on her Non-Profit Marketing blog, January 12, 2011

The fascinating book The Science of Giving covers a range of seminal studies about giving psychology.  [In one chapter,] we find out what happens when a clear donation box is placed in a museum.  Researchers conducted studies at the City Gallery Wellington in New Zealand.  Admission to this public gallery was free, but visitors could donate via a transparent box in the foyer.  Through cameras, observation and counting, the researchers determined what happened when the box was empty, when it was sparsely filled and when it was generously filled.  They played with filling it with big bills vs. coins.  And they tried no sign, a simple thank-you sign, a sign indicating gifts would be matched and a sign saying donations were being counted or monitored as part of research into donor behavior.  Then they carefully noted what happened to the donation amounts, the number of people giving, the average donation per donor, and the average donation per visitor. Here's what they found.


U.K. Education Sec'y condemns a "don't touch" warning to music teachers

From The Guardian, January 7, 2011

UK Education Secretary Michael Gove condemned children's charities for telling teachers to stop touching pupils during lessons.  Music organisations and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children have jointly posted a series of videos online called Keeping Children Safe in Music. They are aimed at music teachers and warn them that "it isn't necessary to touch a student during a demonstration [of how to play an instrument]".  Gove has written to the organisations arguing they are "playing to a culture of fear among both adults and children" and "sending out completely the wrong message". He said he wanted to "restore common sense" to the issue of teachers touching pupils and it was "proper and necessary" for adults to touch children when they demonstrated how to play an instrument, play sport, break up violence or comfort a child.  In his letter to the organisations, which include the Musicians' Union and the charity Youth Music, Gove writes that the videos "reinforce the message that any adult who touches a child is somehow guilty of inappropriate contact.... We must move away from this presumption."  Gove said banning teachers from touching pupils would "drive good people away from teaching for fear of crossing some arbitrary line".


MySpace, a major online hub for music fans, lays off nearly half its staff

From Billboard Magazine, January 11, 2011

MySpace has announced that nearly half its employees around the globe will be laid off in a broad restructuring of the foundering social network.  MySpace's redesign in October transformed the site into a media hub that takes users' "likes" from Facebook and creates a personalized one-stop portal for music, movies, games and celebrity gossip. While the new site offers a cleaner, more streamlined look, the move was widely seen as an unofficial acknowledgment that Facebook now dominates social networking.  In the music world, MySpace has lost its role as the de facto place for musicians to reach their fans and share their music. Facebook has become an increasingly popular marketing tool for artists [and] services like SoundCloud and Bandcamp have quietly become popular ways for independent artists to share and distribute their music online.


What should nonprofits do if a social network goes out of business?

From, January 7, 2011

Nonprofits are increasingly relying on social networks to keep track of and connect with supporters.  But what happens when one of these networks disappears?  Rumors recently began to surface that Yahoo would be shutting down, a widely used social bookmarking site.  Since then, has released a statement saying it isn't shutting down but instead is looking for a buyer.  But the uncertainty of this popular social network has raised questions about what would happen to its users if it were to shut down.  Allison Fine interviews Allyson Kapin, co-founder of the Rad Campaign, and Michele Martin, social-media consultant, to discuss how users can protect themselves when social media sites transition or go offline. 

FROM TC: You can listen to the 13-minute podcast here.

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