WealthEngine Releases Best Practices in Arts & Culture Fundraising Report

Outlines Seven Best Practices and Features Museums, Theaters and Performing Arts Centers that are Leveraging Best Practices to Outperform

Oct 26, 2010, 10:00 ET from WealthEngine

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- WealthEngine, the leading provider of sophisticated prospect research tools and analytics, announced today the release of a new research report, entitled Best Practices in Arts & Culture Fundraising. WealthEngine's Best Practices report is intended to facilitate knowledge sharing, stimulate dialogue and help arts & cultural organizations achieve a higher level of fundraising effectiveness.

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"As Americans tightened their discretionary spending belts over the last two years, fundraising across arts & cultural organizations certainly felt the squeeze," said Cheryl Gustitus, senior vice president of marketing and communications at WealthEngine.  "However, those organizations that remained committed to best practices -- and added a dimension of creativity or innovation -- tended to perform better and are favorably positioned to get fundraising traction as the economy improves."

According to the report, which is based on a survey of 142 organizations and focus group discussions with a combination of 30 more museums, theaters, performing arts centers and other arts & cultural organizations, almost 70% of respondents said they were able to convert between 1% and 19% of their ticket buyers to regular members and 76% said they achieved similar conversion rates from ticket buyer to donor.

The report outlines seven fundraising best practices, from the capture of ticketing information to the use of wealth screening, from effective data management to measuring fundraising return on investment. Additionally, a number of higher performing organizations are also leveraging best practices related to holding special events to increase their prospect pools.

However, a recurring theme in WealthEngine's research points to a troublesome absence of prospect research standards across the arts & culture segment.  Unlike hospitals' grateful patient programs and universities' alumni and parent screening processes, many arts organizations seem to overlook the value of systematic prospect research, relying instead upon less consistent means to fundraising like tapping board members or others closely associated with their mission.  In fact, two-thirds of the survey respondents indicated that less than 25% of staff time is spent on prospect research.

"High performing fundraising organizations make an investment in prospect research and measure the return on that investment not just by the number of prospects added to the development pipeline but also by prospects that turn into actual donors and their dollars," said WealthEngine chief executive officer, Tony Glowacki.  

Over 19 years, WealthEngine has built a strong reputation as the leading provider of prospect research tools and screening services that have helped clients collectively raise billions in funds. More than 2000 organizations rely on WealthEngine to identify and cultivate their best donors and prospects.

To download a copy of the WealthEngine Report, please visit: http://info.wealthengine.com/arts-culture-best-practices-pr.html

On October 28 at 1:00pm eastern, co-authors Elizabeth Schiffmann and Kathleen Richards will be joined by Colorado Symphony Foundation's Tracy Tajbl to discuss the report findings.  To register for this free webinar, please visit: http://info.wealthengine.com/converting-audiences-to-donors-pr.html

About WealthEngine

WealthEngine is a leading provider of sophisticated wealth identification and prospect research and analytics to financial services firms, hospitals, institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations.  More than 2000 clients use WealthEngine's products for comprehensive prospect research on individuals, companies and foundations. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, WealthEngine offers products in both the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.wealthengine.com.

SOURCE WealthEngine