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studioj

ABT Fundraising

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studioj

Last night I received a call from ABT, or a telemarketing group on their behalf... The caller started out by referencing my daughter, by name, and her recent SI audition and acceptance (she is not attending), and then went on to ask me to make a donation to fund the company and their programs. I was taken aback that they are using SI information for this purpose. Has anyone else experienced this? We do not live within driving range of any of ABTs performance venues or tour sites, although we attended a performance two years ago in NY. Frankly, I feel like the SI audition fee was enough of a donation and was more than a little put off by this approach!

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Momof3darlings

Virginia School of the Arts does the same thing as well as Randy-Mac College where the kids stay when they go for summer. My daughter attended VSA the summer after her 8th grade year. She graduates high school in a few weeks. We just stopped getting calls and donation info from both this past January.

 

I think its just an easy way to build up the mailing list. But, given the state of ballet companies in this country right now, they must be focusing their needs to the address list at hand.

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cheetah

Studioj - we received the same call two nights ago - very late in the evening. DS auditioned this year, was accepted, but has never attended. We were a bit surprised, too. We haven't heard from any other programs in this way - not even programs attached to companies. Honestly, we weren't pleased with this solicitation method, either. I understand the state of the arts - and we contribute in our city - but evenings are tough enough without phone solicitations and the use of personal information that was provided, so we thought, solely for the benefit of an audition process.

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2dancers

We also received this call last night. DD auditioned & was accepted last two years but did not attend either years. I do understand the need to fundraise, however, I thought it was kind of out of line and needless to say, we didn't donate.

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balletbooster

I've had several calls show up on my caller ID over the last three nights from NYC. I wondered about them, as I know no one there. Now, I suspect it is this same solicitation! However, my daughter has not auditioned for their SI in the last two years, so they sure are going back a ways with that mailing list! :wacko:

 

I must applaud ABT, once again, for their creative approach to raising funds! :angry:

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Sucre

My 13 yr. old DD also received a phone solicitation Mon. night. They asked to speak to her by name. It came up on the caller ID as "Amer Ballett The". Yes, that is how ballet was spelled. My husband took the call and told them to call back in two weeks. They are lucky that they spoke to him because he is nicer than me. :angry: I called ABT yesterday to make sure that it was indeed them who called and told them that I felt it was innappropriate for them to solicit a 13 yr. old for a donation. They wholeheartedly agreed and said that they would take her name off of their solicitation list.

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gogators

Ballet Pacifica tried this method about 2 years ago by hiring an outside telemarketing firm and call people on BP's solicitation list. When they called me (at night), I could tell that the person on the phone was reading from a script and probably had no idea what Ballet Pacifica was, other than they did ballet.

 

Personally, I don't know how effective this fundraising method was for BP. But, I felt it was an impersonal approach.

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Mellisa

"Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures"

 

Disney's Aladdin

 

Sometimes cold-calling is the only thing left to try.

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studioj

I do understand their need to raise funds. I could also understand them using DD's name if she HAD attended an ABT SI. Then she would be an alumni of sorts and those kind of fundraising endeavors are quite common.

 

I was upset that the caller (a complete stranger) tried to endear herself to me by using my daughter's name and information and seemed to imply that a gift would benefit my daughter in the future. Obviously they have a data base with SI audition attendees. Will that data base be expanded to include whether a dancer's parents have made a donation?? I doubt it, but the implication was there.

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DON HO

Mystery solved! Couldn't figure out why ABT called and did not leave a message with DD who answered the phone while I was out. In the past, when ABT school of ballet called with regard to SI matters, messages were left on our machine complete with contact name, phone number and e-mail address. This time nothing. DD and I joked that they were probably soliciting funds -- little did we know that's exactly what they are doing. :o

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Guest tutuonmymind

It might not be the same thing, but when I was in college, I worked for the school calling alumni for donations. I clearly remember that they had detailed statistics on donations. It was so detailed that they knew who regularly made a donation, who had never made a donation, who made their first donation, and who gave up to two to three years ago, but had not given in the current year.

 

We were assigned to each group based on our effectiveness in getting people to give. Of course since we were students, we were instructed to play on their "fond memories" of the college and how much we would benefit and have the same types of experiences that they had when they were students (if they would only give us some money, but we never quite said that).

 

This is the way that fund raisers are able to target the different groups. Unfourtunately, it is not based on who you are as a person, but rather on your previous actions or potential actions that are only associated with your name or the name they have on file.

 

Now, some years after having graduated, I have to remind myself when I get a call that the person on the line is only doing what I did when I was in school -- (earning some money). They are not out to get me, they are just doing a job for an institution that must raise funds in order to continue the services.

 

I agree that these groups should ensure that they don't solicit people that are underage.

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mydarlindancer

studioj,

 

yes, we had that call two evenings ago, and it did shock me. I was taken aback, as you were, by the techniques of familiarlity that was used in mentioning my daughter's name.

 

I listened to the "spiel" as politely as I could, and then I asked quite a few questions. After my questions, when I expressed a very slight interest about how they would use my hoped-for contributions to enable city children to be able to attend ballet events, I was asked, "are we talking about a SIZABLE contribution, ma'am?" No sum had been mentioned, as I merely had been trying to point out and question what incentive did they envison for me to pull my small discretionary extra (right) cash from our local endeavor and send it to another city's venue. Could be that my line of questioning had gotten their hopes up. I had been mistaken for a 'person of means.'

 

I was, indeed, affronted that the acceptance list from ABT had been MISused in this manner.

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Momof3darlings

Just remembering that a couple of the companies we visited during audition season mentioned that sometimes dancers could be employed during the off hours in the school teaching, helping in the office or in the telemarketing department. I assumed selling to season ticket holders, maybe I was wrong, again!

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Mrs. Stahlbaum

I received a telemarketing call a year or two ago from another ballet company/summer intensive program. I don't like telemarketing either, but, hey, we can't complain that nobody's hiring, and that wages are low, yada yada, and then complain about ballet companies doing everything they can to get more money so that maybe they can hire dancers and pay them better or even just keep their company from going bankrupt. There isn't a big segment of the population that is interested in ballet :P , so who else are they going to call?

 

Someday, in my fantasy world, my children will be gainfully employed and out of the house, and it will turn out that my meager savings were enough for retirement after all :thumbsup: , and then I will be glad to contribute to the ballet schools that helped my daughter and that have brought such beauty to the world. Until then, I will have to politely turn down their solicitations, but I can't blame them for trying.

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mydarlindancer

Good point made, Mrs. Stahlbaum.

 

However, in my mind it's not that I wouldn't want to support the arts...I do.

It was this particular method that I didn't care for. Oh for the perfect world, where the arts were fully funded by all sorts of resources!

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