Volunteer Notes February 2008

The newsletter for Orchestra Volunteers


The Newsletter for
Symphony Orchestra Volunteers

February 2008

 

HOW TO ORCHESTRATE FUND RAISING
HOW TO GET GREAT FUND-RAISING IDEAS FAST: GOLD BOOK ONLINE

EMAIL DISCUSSION GROUP—FOR MORE FUND-RAISING ADVICE

TAKING ACTION TOGETHER

AMERICASPEAKS—Thoughts from a Volunteer Leader

CROSS-COUNTRY EVENTS
HAVE YOU THANKED YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS?
REGIONAL WORKSHOP, FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2008, IN HERSHEY, PA

LET US HEAR FROM YOU

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VOLUNTEER NOTES is published bi-monthly by the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras, the nonprofit service and educational organization dedicated to the development of American symphony orchestras and to the cultural vitality of the
communities they serve.
 
CONTACT VOLUNTEER COUNCIL
NEED A MENTOR? Volunteer Sustainers Can Help

LET’S TALK! Volunteer Discussion Groups

GOLD BOOK ONLINE -- The resource for volunteer projects
HOW TO ORCHESTRATE FUND RAISING
Lois Margolin

Lois Margolin

Have you been thinking it may be time to evaluate your fund-raising activity? Has a “tried-and-true” event run out of steam? Is your membership tired of the same project? If so, it is time to evaluate your fund-raising project:
  1. Has it run its course?
  2. Can it be revitalized in new and creative ways?
  3. Do the time and expense involved warrant the results?
  4. Is there a new project that would better serve your goals?
Regardless of the project, the procedures for selecting and preparing for a fundraiser are the same. Click here for a Fund-raising Skill Builder that outlines procedures that will establish a strong business-like approach to selection. If you follow the basic steps, your organization should be able to find the perfect fundraiser.   
  1. Decide why you are holding a fundraiser.
  2. Make an honest evaluation of your RESOURCES (volunteers, community support, donors, etc.).
  3. Appoint a Task Force to investigate various types of fund-raising projects (use the Criteria available through the Fund-raising Skill Builder).
  4. You are now ready for two important processes:
    1. Education—your membership must know why fund raising is important. 
    2. Strategic planning—your project can be tailor-made for your organization

If you would like to receive more information to help launch your own successful fundraiser, or if you would like to request a mentor, contact the Volunteer Council through KC Skolnik, Board & Volunteer Services Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Lois Margolin
Past President
Volunteer Council

HOW TO GET GREAT FUND-RAISING IDEAS FAST: GOLD BOOK ONLINE
Once you have an idea of what fundraiser would be best for your group, you can gather great ideas on the Gold Book Online. You are just a few clicks away from a gold mine of information about 135 recent volunteer fundraisers from orchestras across the United States and Canada. The Gold Book Online features projects with net profits ranging from $560 to $785,000 from orchestra volunteer groups of all sizes.  Want to give it a try? Click on GoldBookOnline.org. Then select “Search” at the top of the next page. Next check all “Fund raising” projects and you will find a synopsis of all 135 projects. Next try clicking on a title, such as “Summer Soiree,” and you will get a full page report on how the Spokane Symphony Associates raised $4,860 dollars at a wine-tasting event. If you have additional questions about the project there is contact information for the project chair of each Gold Book Online entry. You can narrow your search by searching for net revenue in a specific range or you can search specific categories, like “Balls,” or “Auctions.”  Which project made $785,000? Check out the Houston Symphony League’s “Old World Symphony Ball,” a spectacular success. Whether you know what you are looking for or not, the Gold Book Online is a great place to explore successful ideas. Remember, once you design the perfect fundraiser… you should submit it to the Gold Book Online!   

Jane Van Dyk
Volunteer Council Member

EMAIL DISCUSSION GROUP—FOR MORE FUND-RAISING ADVICE

Sandra Weingarten

Sandra Weingarten

The Volunteer online discussion group is also a resource for new fund-raising ideas and advice from other volunteers. To participate, simply click here. Submitting questions is easy and will provide valuable information. Ask this large network of volunteers about their experiences and recreate a fundraiser or combine several ideas to create a whole new event. The volunteer email discussion group is a great opportunity to start conversations about anything that is important to you. If you have any questions about this free service for volunteers, please contact KC Skolnik at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

Sandra Weingarten
Volunteer Council Member

TAKING ACTION TOGETHER
Join us when the League collaborates with other national arts service organizations to present NPAC.
Join us when the League collaborates with other national arts service organizations to present NPAC.
Take Action Together at the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, where the performing arts community will come together to discuss common goals. The Volunteer Council is busy planning sessions to address volunteer issues and to present the best volunteer projects of the previous year. At these sessions you will be able to meet with the volunteers who carried out each award winning project. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss details and brainstorm with our 2008 Gold Book Online Award of Excellence winners.  Casual and structured networking opportunities allow attendees to share fundraising ideas as well as other volunteer issues. Come to the National Performing Arts Convention to gather information and new ideas that can be applied to your own projects. Plan now to attend the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention (NPAC), June 11-14, in Denver. For more information on NPAC please visit performingartsconvention.org.   

Sandra Leister
Volunteer Council Conference Chairman

AMERICASPEAKS—Thoughts from a Volunteer Leader

Volunteers discuss the arts issues that matter.
Volunteers discuss the arts issues that matter.

You will not want to miss the opportunity to participate in these round table discussions at NPAC in June. There was an inspiring amount of enthusiasm and exchanging of ideas at the Town Hall Meeting and focus group, in Washington, D.C. It was a privilege to represent volunteers in this trial run which included representatives from orchestras, theater, ballet, choral groups, and contemporary dance. You will all have the opportunity to participate in this activity at NPAC this summer where three round-table “caucus” sessions bring together participants from all disciplines to discuss the value of the arts in their communities.  

Each table will have 10 people from the same region plus a facilitator and will include artists, administrators, educators, trustees, composers, writers, conductors, directors, and VOLUNTEERS. It is important for volunteers to realize that we are also speaking for audiences and patrons of the arts, making our role vital. The Town Hall Meeting wrap-up will be the culminating event for the Convention, giving supporters of all arts disciplines the opportunity to agree on a pledge for future action. 

Volunteers, this is a great opportunity to let your voices be heard. Your participation will be crucial as we all set goals together and plan strategies. The ultimate aim is to find ways to work collectively in support of all performing arts. For more information click: performingartsconvention.org/programming.cfm 
Hope to see you there! 

Carla Hays Jones
Past President
Women’s Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra

CROSS-COUNTRY EVENTS
Darius Brubeck and friends visit the Stax Music Academy.
Darius Brubeck and friends visit the Stax Music Academy.

“An Evening with Darius Brubeck,” held on January 17, was sponsored by the Memphis Symphony League (Tennessee). A dinner at the University Club in Memphis preceded the concert. Saxophonist Mike Rossi joined pianist Brubeck for this concert. A dinner party on January 15 for sponsors (paying $2500 per person) was held at an elegant private home with Mr. Brubeck as the guest of honor.

The Salina Symphony Guild (Kansas) will be hosting a ‘Celebrity Conductor’ at their February concert. Several leading figures in Salina were approached to raise funds for the Youth Symphony. The one raising the most money will conduct one piece at this concert. The Symphony Music Director/Conductor has selected a march, one that will be easy for the untrained conductor. 

The Friends of the St. Joseph Symphony (Missouri) report that the second annual event, “Onstage: Steinway and Friends,” will take place February 22 at the historic Missouri Theatre in downtown St. Joseph. The recital, on February 23, will feature the Symphony’s concertmistress along with a Kansas City pianist, celebrating the generous donation of a new Steinway concert grand piano. At the dress rehearsal, the guests sit in the musician’s chairs on the stage surrounding the piano.  A catered reception will follow in the mezzanine.   

Lynne Nisoff
Volunteer Council
HAVE YOU THANKED YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS?
Phoenix Symphony musician Karen Bea testifies before the House Interior Appropriations Committee.

Phoenix Symphony musician Karen Bea testifies before the House Interior Appropriations Committee.

Do you think advocating for the arts doesn't pay off? Happily, you can think again! NEA funding will grow by $20.3 million in FY2008, the largest single increase in more than 30 years. Although this was a lean budget year, Congress listened to advocates from orchestras, volunteers, and the entire arts community, spurring this major restoration of funds and bringing total support for that agency to $144.7 million! Click here to learn more about funding activity this past year. This increase reflects years of advocacy since the agency's budget was severely cut in 1995. 

You've written your letters and visited with your elected officials. Now it's time to let them know how much you appreciate their support for orchestras and the communities they serve. It’s just as important to recognize public leaders for their support as to ask for it in the first place. How about a warm letter to your elected officials thanking them for their support of the arts? Click here for more information 

LaDonna Meinders
Advocacy Chairman
Volunteer Council

REGIONAL WORKSHOP, FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2008, IN HERSHEY, PA
Caryl Kassoy

Caryl Kassoy

Join the Harrisburg Symphony Society and the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras for a day of training, presentations and interactive discussion for orchestra volunteers. This workshop is open to volunteers, staff, board members, and anyone else interested in sharing ideas. There will be two presentations in this one-day workshop. Karen Wix, from York, and Bev Elliott, from Pittsburgh, will engage everyone in lively discussion and exchange of ideas. Participants will gather at the Hershey Country Club for coffee at 9:15 am, with presentations from 10 to 3. Don't miss this opportunity to network with other volunteers facing similar challenges in the areas of membership and fund raising.

Registration deadline is February 27. Please contact KC Skolnik at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

SAVE THE DATE: April 9, 2008, Regional Workshop, Syracuse, NY
 

Caryl Kassoy
Regional Workshop Chairman
Volunteer Council

LET US HEAR FROM YOU

Janet Barb
Janet Barb

The goal of Volunteer Notes is to provide relevant and useful information to volunteer organizations across the United States and Canada. To better serve you, we would like to know what topics would be most helpful. Please tell us if you would like to read more skill-building topics, cross-country news, successful projects, or other subjects. Your input is important. As the Council editor of Volunteer Notes, I hope to hear your suggestions soon; please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Janet Barb
Volunteer Notes Chairman
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