Atlanta Symphony Orchestra—Add-On Campaign
Ask aggressively and make donations simple to give
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra modified their renewal forms for season subscriptions to aggressively ask for an extra donation on top of the cost of subscriptions. This came from the simple but fundamental goal of raising money for the ASO. The campaign started in the 2003-04 season, and has since become the second largest contributor to the ASO membership campaign (annual contributors less than $1,750) behind the ASO telefunding program.
How it works:
The ASO makes a short but strong case for the importance of donations on all subscription renewal forms by indicating that ticket sales cover less than half of the operating expenses of the ASO. The orchestra highlights the benefits of becoming an "ASO Member," using the word membership while avoiding terms such as "suggested" which implies that additional giving is optional.
The ASO asks members to renew their subscription plus half of the total subscription price. If a member is purchasing a season subscription at $120, the subscription campaign will ask for $180. All donors who have not yet renewed when the campaign is started for each fiscal year are asked for a full renewal, while donors who have renewed at a lower level are asked to resume their previous higher donation. In both cases, the members are asked for a donation amount one level higher than their previous donation, even if the donation amount is higher than the subscription price of tickets. Board members, $10,000+ donors, and fully renewed donors are asked for a flat $250 add-on donation. The donation amount is totaled with the subscription price so the member sees the final price; math is already done for the donor.
When this add-on campaign started during the 2003-04 season, the existing $60,000-$70,000 campaign grew to $150,000 as a result of the program. Giving for the following season approached $200,000. Success is attributed to the fact that this is a simple and convenient opportunity to give.
This aggressive add-on campaign has not deterred subscription orders, since those who invest in the organization are more likely to purchase tickets, and vice versa. Nor has the add-on campaign detracted from any other fund-raising campaign held throughout the year.
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