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ABT Fundraising

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mom2

Am just reading this thread now. I can't say that I've ever experienced this kind of solociting!

 

However, I will tell you about my experience this spring with the National BAllet of Canada (company). I had ordered my season's tickets for next year - that's right, we have to pay in full months before the shows - and then the call came about donating to the company. This was too be expected, but unfortunate timing as it was just as I was paying SI tuition and the cost of my season's ticket had increased substantially with the move into the new theatre. The person I spoke to WAS really nice (and I told her so), but I said that I would have a different feeling towards donating if the AD had hired my friend's child (no name given).

 

Of course the poor person didn't know what to say to that. :rolleyes:

 

I wonder if this kind of information actually ever gets back to anyone in the company? I didn't name any names on the phone, but if I thought it would make a difference I might! Would the voice of us little donors actually make a difference if there were many voices?

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dbleon

Sadly, I doubt they care :rolleyes:

would be nice if we did have a voice that was of some importance though...

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Hans

Not to impugn your friend's child's dancing, mom2, but it seems to me that sort of thing could lead to compromised integrity, artistic and otherwise.

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mom2

you are right Hans, it should be the decision of the AD in terms of a contract.

 

However, as a potential donor I think I have a right to speak, I certainly have before. One year, for example, I cut down on the number of performances I went to as I didn't like the programs being offered. A number of people must have complained as the offerings were changed somewhat.

 

So in that scenario I think the public did make a difference. I would really not expect that the public's opinion would change the ADs hiring practices, but it's nice to imagine!

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Mellisa

I don't think there is anything wrong with stating something like, I would be more financially supportive if you would hire some more local dancers in your company. We like to see high level dancing and also give support to our local dancers as well.

 

I think that is one reason that some companies will put in local children in their ballets. It brings it home a little more. I love to watch local children in our ballets, even if they are only small parts.

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Meggy

I know this veers back to the original topic of this thread, but... I recieved a call a few nights ago from a woman at ABT who referenced me by name and made much use of my attendance of an ABT summer program this year in an attempt to get my parents to donate. My father quite politely told them that unless I was being hired to replace Alessandra Ferri, his money would go to dance costs closer to home. :wub:

 

Of course, as someone who does bulk mailings and helps to fundraise for my own (much smaller!) school and company, I understand what goes on, and have sympathy for those on the other end of the phone line. But still...

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Alysse

This happened to me too, only they asked to speak to my parents. They were not home and I told the lady to call back, but she never did. I'm guessing it was fundraising? And at first, I got all excited :wub:

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Meggy

Most likely it was fundraising, Alysse. And hey, you're not the only one -- I got excited too! Bit of a letdown, really... :wub: No, it was all right. I didn't mind. My dad did, though. The woman kept him on the phone for forty-five minutes. :thumbsup:

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Alysse

Yeah same with me haha. Luckily, the lady didn't call back to bug my dad, or she would hae gotten hung up on! My dad has no tolerance for telemarketers! :wub:

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Treefrog

Yes, ABT is definitely in telesoliciting mode. I got a call because I had purchased tickets to their Chicago performance. I agree, they have very persistent callers! I had to cut her short by saying that my donations go to local dance companies like Joffrey and Hubbard Street.

 

Mom2, I hope your quip was just that, a quip, and not a serious statement. Can you honestly say that the person the AD hired in place of your daughter's friend is any less suited to the company? Here's a little cautionary tale: a local minor-league baseball team did a promotion in which they turned over management to the fans. Positions, batting order, etc were determined by popular vote. Everything got whacky very quickly: catchers were playing shortstop, fielders were pitching. The players were beyond furious, and the team dropped to last place in the division.

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JRB

I remember reading this topic earlier and imho it makes it worse to receive these calls as our children enter audition season for SIs. Since my DD has never auditioned for any ABT program, we don't get these calls and I think I'm more grateful now that she has never tried to get into ABT SI.

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EllenDana

We have never received a call from ABT asking for funding, perhaps because we are on the Do Not Call Directory. However, for the few solicitors who make it through anyway, I have a very firm policy against donating over the phone. Too often non-profits hire a telemarketing firm to do the solicitations and take an enormous amount of the funds as their "cut". I have read about firms that take as much as 70% of the donations in their "operating costs". Although you may think you are donating $50 to the ballet company, unless you are talking to a volunteer working directly for the company, they may never see over half of your donation. If a telemarketer manages to convince me to listen to their pitch, I request that they send me financial statements that specify what percentage of the donations goes toward generating more donations. Only then will I decide if they are financially responsible enough to get my donation. Considering the fact that my dd has received need-based scholarships for most of her training over the last few years, if I am going to donate, I want to make sure the majority is going where it should be...to the dancers!

 

Another thought that really bothered me about the situations desribed with the telemarketers...if they had your young dancers' names and addresses and personal info and they were NOT directly connected with ABT, and were indeed some sort of subcontractor, I'd be hoppin' mad that my dd's personal info (name, phone #, etc.) had been shared. :blushing: I think this sort of thing could really backfire for ballet companies. I'm not a privacy nut, but I am very careful with personal identifying info, especially that of my dd!!

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citibob

I find this all moderately disturbing. It goes against sense of community I associate with ballet. But when we start off with children going all over the country with minimal of loyalty or shared identity on either side to their SI programs --- one cannot expect the families to be loyal in their cross-country giving.

 

I guess one analog might be --- you apply to five colleges, get accepted to four and go to one. Two years later, while you're still studying at the college you went to, three of the colleges who accepted you call you back asking for money. Tacky...

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