Arts institutions who assume they need bloated development departments that plan more events than the mainstage may want to check out arts-management blogger Andrew Taylor and the report he's found on "special events." Money quote from the report:
On average, the charities we studied spent $1.33 to raise $1 in special events contributions, compared to an average overall fundraising rate of $.13 to raise $1. Only 15% of the charities that held special events were more efficient when using special events to fundraise than they were in their regular fundraising activities on the whole.Adds Taylor:
To make matters worse, the reported costs used in the study (from IRS tax documents) don't include the person-hours, board time, volunteer effort, and staff distraction that such events require -- suggesting the true cost of each dollar raised is much, much higher.
Of course that won't stop jaw-droppers like this.
(As for those raffle prizes, are they sure they want to prompt the question: what does American Idol and New York Theatre Workshop have in common?)