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 Post subject: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2001 6:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Last evening we went to a performance by Itzhak Perlman which of course was marvelous. Apparently a great many of the performances at the theater are underwritten by a local business - a car dealership to be specific.<P>This generosity is noted on the programs. It is also on the theater marquee (a large lit one visible to all traffic), signs are up in the theater lobby (discreet - but there). However, I was surprised that just before Maestro Perlman came on stage a voice came over a microphone announced about turning off cell phones, etc., and ALSO mentioned the contributions of this business.<P>This is the first time I have heard such an announcement from the stage. <P>What do you think of this?<P>I don't believe this is a matter of "strings" (no pun intended) being attached to the donation. But what do you think of such an announcement from the stage?<P>...................................<BR>(if anyone thinks this belongs with another thread please feel free to move it)<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2001 6:18 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
It's one to think about. In terms of parallel situations, The Financial Times dance reviews now tend to mention at the end if there is a major sponsor, but i guess that is analogous to a programme mention. One of Rambert's sponsors had a lot of ad material in Sadler's Wells for a corporate sponsorship evening and I was happy with that.<P>On balance, I'm keen that corporate sponsors support dance companies and for that they will usually want something in return, be it publicity, corporate entertainment opportunities, profile or whatever. The key factor for me is how much that influences the performance, either through programming, audience make-up or whatever. <P>Thus if 'Fred's Used Car Lot' gets a mention over the tannoy, I can cope with that more easily than the inclusion of a naff piece based on cars or even Tharp's 'Deuce Coupe' for the 'wrong' reason. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 05, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2001 7:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
The degree of donor credit is usually agreed upon when the donation is solicited/received. When I was producing dance, my proposals always described what we were prepared to offer in return.

Remember, it's all about problem solving -- yours and theirs. Your problem (as the producer) is thatyou need money or in-kind services. their problem (as the donor) is that they need. . .well. . .it depends on who they are.

If the donor is a foundation or a government funding agency, their problem is that they have to find the most effective way to distribute their funds (remember that for every dollar they have available, they have $10 -- or more -- in requests). They need to know (or at least think) that the money they give you will not be wasted, and in the case of government agencies, they may also need to know that certain geographical constituencies are being served). These funders usually include specific acknowledgement requirements as part of their grant guidelines.

Corporations need the good will they get by having their names associated with high-profile arts events (see the previous thread on Phillip Morris, et.al.). Their acknowledgement requirements are more flexible, but the more you're prepared to give, the morely you are to get.

Example:

When Houston Dance Coalition was producing an annual adjudicated concert, one of the hard and fast rules was that the adjudicators had to be from outside the Houston metropolitan area. After 4 or 5 years, we had pretty much exhausted the pool of qualified adjudicators within Texas (and had used several more than once), yet flying them in from across the country was cost-prohibitive. Enter SW Airlines.

Now, in-kind donations of airfare are sometimes hard to come by -- everyone wants free airfare. We persuaded SW Airlines by offering them:

a full page ad in the program

an 8-1/2 x 11 lobby placard
credit in our large print ads ("Dance Houston jetes with Southwest Airlines[/i]" -- or something like that -- in tiny print at the bottom)

thanks from the stage at both the adjudication and the gala performance (not a big deal -- I emceed the adjudication, which was an all-day affair; I needed something to say between dances. At the performance, we had an announcer from our local NPR station -- as part of our media sponsorship deal -- and he included the acknowledgement in his remarks. It was low-key and in good taste.).

A comment in passing: SW Airlines does something that I think is very cool. All of their donations are in the name of specific long-time employees. in our case, it was in the name of a baggage handler at Houston's Hobby Airport.

<small>[ 08-11-2002, 18:14: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2001 9:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I remember when PBS-TV first started the benefits were stated as - better programming with no commercial interruptions. <P>However, I think that over the years things have changed to some degree about corporate sponsorships. At first there was just a simple announcement of "Company A has sponsored the following program". Now, I think we can probably agree that such announcements are in some cases full fledged commercials - put together by an ad agency. I am not saying this is "bad" - just stating the fact of it.<P>Perhaps that is on the horizon for announcements of sponsorships from the stage? How great a distance is it from "Corporation A has sponsored this event" to "Corporation A has sponsored this event and is in the midst of a big half price sale"?<P>I wonder how this looks upon their income tax forms - when does it cross over from "charitable giving" to "expenses of doing business". Though it might make no difference on the bottom line of the income tax form - it does make a difference in the mindset of the donor.<P>Are the pro bono days over? Do sponsors now all expect some sort of notice in return for that sponsorship? <P>There was a time when it was the mere fact/act of sponsoring worthy projects that was in itself the reward.<P>What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2001 12:45 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Although I'm a strong advocate of public funding for the Arts, I have no problem with corporate sponsors getting the kind of endorsements that Salzberg describes or the PBS programmes that you have discussed Basheva. <P>In the UK these have always been publicised to some extent in programmes etc, but maybe the visibility for the larger donors has increased. I'm comfortable with it and if it encourages new sponsors I'm all for it.


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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2001 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
I know a lot more about public radio than I do about PBS, so I'll speak from that point of view.<P>Tax writeoffs: The money paid for underwriting is not considered a donation and so is not tax-deductable (for that matter, the money you send for your membership isn't entirely deductable; you should be paying tax on the fair maket value of whatever premiums ("thank you gifts") you receive.<P>"Commercials" vs. "underwrites": There are still fewer underwrites than there are commercials on commercial radio. Unless things have changed in the last couple of years, there are certain limitations on underwrites. They may not be prerecorded. They may not include a call to action (you can't say, "Call now!"; you may mention the phone number, but can't tell the listener to call it.). They may not mention prices.<P>These limitations do not apply to services offered by the station itself, which is why, during membership campaigns, the staff can say, "Call 743-5843 and join at the $120 level."<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<P>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <BR>This Day in Arts History: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm</A><P><BR>

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http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Hmm... my post in the Fractured Culture thread in Issues might go better here:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Trina has a point in that having a name you can use is valuable to a point. People are impressed when they see impressive names on the donors list. Where I think it's really effective is where the program notes lists someone as having made a work possible.<P>HOWEVER, potential donors tend to be scared off when they see one donor's name predominate all over the place, as in chaired by, founded by, directed by, photo by, etc.<P>I remember suggesting to a now defunct arts organization that they reduce the mention of names so that each person affiliated with the company gets no more than two mentions. They came up with inventive ways of doing it. For example, a board member donor who also took photos and designed the program notes was listed as a donor and a board member but was listed under a pseudonym for the photos and didn't take credit for the programs.<P>And then, there are those who bring down an organization by their negative reputation. Those donors are best kept in the background...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited March 16, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:41 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I am actually struggling with this on a personal level. As some of you might know I am very involved with the library system in San Diego - I have been a volunteer for many years.<P>Our branch library is scheduled to be rebuilt. The need in quite desperate - the roof might as well not be there when it rains, etc. The land has been purchased by the city and we are waiting for building funds to come through (ha ha). However, if the construction ever gets started (hopefully within my lifetime), the city will NOT pay to furnish the library with furniture. Other libraries will donate books. <P>So the citizens will have to furnish the library (chairs, tables, etc.) I have pledged to furnish everything in the children's section. They are intending to have a plaque on the wall with all the donors names. For some reason having my name there turns me off - it embarrasses me, I don't know why. I just want to sit there someday and watch the children sitting at "my" chairs and tables, reading books. <P>Many years ago I planted 22 pepper trees around a lake and I get such terrific joy out of going there and seeing families enjoying the shade, having picnics under "my" trees. No plaque is needed. (Yes, there are plaques under some of the trees donated by other people.)<P>Why having my name on a plaque embarrasses me, I just don't know. People at the library are asking me why - and I have no answer.


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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2001 7:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I find both approaches - wanting to have your name on a plaque and not wanting to have your name on a plaque - perfectly acceptable and understandable. I would not wish to chastise in the first case or question in the second.<P>Different strokes for different folks.


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 Post subject: Re: What Credit to Give the Donor..........
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2001 8:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
This has been going on in New Orleans for years. As you may or may not know, we do not have a ballet company (there are schools that do an annual performance and bring in guest artists, and there is a company, in the loosest sense of the word, that does lecture dems for schools and such). <P>The New Orleans Ballet Association presents about a half dozen visiting troupes per year. On each occasion, the performance, typically scheduled for 7:30 or 8, starts late because that's the way things are in in this city. But then, beyond that, the marketing director of the Association comes out on stage and brings several people with him to thank for the performance, and this goes on for another 10 to 15 minutes. <P>I was shocked when this first occurred, then eventually just got used to this rather bush league mentality, but still felt, most of all, for the dancers -- all warmed up with no place to dance.<P>The dancers also, as part of the deal, have to participate in a number of other promotions, such as "Informances" that take place after the performance. Dancers, unshowered and sweaty, have to come out and answer questions from the audience.


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