June 24th, 2014
Chorus America's Conference is four days long, but those four days are packed with enough content, new ideas, and great moments to last until it's time to do it all over again. Here is a collection of some of the speaker quotes and #choruscon tweets that our staff have been talking about for the past few weeks. Have a favorite moment that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
"How many times do you hear from boards, 'We need newer, younger audiences?' I will tell you right now the concentration on newer, younger audiences will put you out of business. I’ll tell you why. At Arena Stage theater in Washington where I worked, 2 percent of their households brought in 97 percent of their revenue. Another example: I fly Airtran often back and forth from Milwaukee to DC. On the last flight they bumped me up to business class. Why? They didn’t want me to fly any other airline. In the same way, you’ve got to take care of your loyal customers. You’ve got to take care of your frequent flyers."
-Chad Bauman, managing director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater
"The culture of fundraising is the idea that in an organization all involved parties understand the need for fundraising and participate actively in it. It is not just my job to do fundraising. It is everyone’s job to do fundraising. It is my intern’s job when she goes to an event to talk about the organization. It is the executive director’s job when she is a speaker at a conference. It is everyone’s job to come back to me and say, “I met someone today who might be interested in joining.” Now they may not be the one who writes the grant, writes the letter, does the follow up, or does prospects research, but fundraising is their job."
-Heidi Gider, director of advancement, National Women's Health Network
"As a funder, I am interested in the social fabric being stronger and more resilient. So when you are speaking to me, speak of the benefits to society and to people. I want to know you understand that public agenda…we are not interested in counting butts in seats. We are interested in what happens when the butts leave the seats and whether there is any measurable change to the life of the society."
-Daniel Windham, director of arts, The Wallace Foundation
"The arts are a powerful driver of attachment to community. The arts drive social cohesion. The arts drive civic engagement. The arts are a powerful driver of community resiliency, the ability to survive and come back from trauma. The arts are one of the few community assets that exist everywhere. Since it exists everywhere, it is asset that our civic leaders would be silly to ignore."
-Jaime Bennett, executive director, ArtPlace America
"The natural tendency is for board members to dive into the 'administrivia' of your day-to-day operations. That’s what they’re rewarded for in their day jobs—managing, running, doing versus governing. Here is the litmus test: Is your board focusing its time on the things that matter most to the viability and success of your organization? That is the test. If you look at the agendas and minutes of your board meetings, are they spending time on what matters most?"
-Nancy Axelrod, governance consultant