Category Archives: Annual Fund

Why We need donations

Why We Need Donations: Annual Fund Campaign

by Sandi Arnold, Director of Development

Having discovered a passion for working with non-profit organizations in the last five years, I am glad to be one of the newest staff members of the Renaissance Team.  Though I had experience performing in a county-wide symphonic band during my high school years, I am not a performing artist.  My work for the Renaissance revolves around building relationships with existing and new business sponsors, foundations, and community supporters.  At this time each year, we hold our Annual Fund Campaign to raise funding from our community supporters.

Why does the Renaissance need to raise money when people buy tickets to our performances?  It may be hard to believe, but ticket prices only cover about 30% of our costs to keep the Renaissance’s doors open. We’re grateful to have so many generous foundations, businesses and individuals who contribute to the organization every year who help bridge that financial gap. Without this financial support, the Renaissance would have to significantly increase our ticket prices.

The Renaissance is the cornerstone of our regional arts and cultural community.  Several dedicated volunteers and staff work behind the scenes to ensure the Renaissance remains a vibrant cultural center in the heart of Downtown Mansfield.   We are here to serve the community by providing quality live performances, and to help generate many fond and lasting memories for our patrons in this historic venue. This is a goal we cannot accomplish alone. We need your help.  

This year, the Renaissance has two matching funds for the Annual Fund Campaign. The Renaissance is grateful to be partnering with the Richard and Arline Landers Foundation, which will match up to $25,000 of community contributions.  In addition, Sharon Granter, in memory of her late husband Don,  will provide matching funds of $20,000 for the campaign. What that means is the Renaissance has between now and December 31, 2017 to raise an additional $45,000 or more so we can receive both of the matching grants. So, for every dollar someone gives, the Renaissance will receive an additional $2 — the value of your donation will be tripled with these matching grants!

Making a donation is easy, and there are 4 ways!  You can visit our website www.mansfieldtickets.com/give and make a secure contribution through PayPal. Or, you can visit or call the Box Office at (419)522-2726, Tuesday through Friday from 12-5 PM and we will assist you.  You can also mail your donation to the Renaissance, Post Office Box 789, Mansfield, Ohio 44901.

Thanks for supporting the 2017 Annual Fund Campaign for the Renaissance Performing Arts Association!

Year In Review

Highlights of 2016, Looking into 2017… and a BIG announcement!

by Mike Miller, President & CEO

This has been one of the most exciting and expansive years in my history with the Renaissance, and it’s all thanks to our incredible staff, board, volunteers, donors, and patrons! We have truly got the best team of people working together to bring outstanding arts and culture to Mansfield, and I am proud to be a part of it.

This year, the Renaissance has reduced its total debt down to $150,000, down from $1.2 million when I took the helm in 2010. We’ve done this through streamlining our operations and programming, fundraising for debt reduction, and improving our business practices. We want the Renaissance to exist in Mansfield forever, and adopting a sustainable business model and operating within our means was critical, and we couldn’t have done it without our incredible team.

Another highlight for the Renaissance was Michael Thomas’ original production of Hot Mess: The Musical. Never before have we sold out a production before it even opened, but that was the case with this hysterical new musical that showcases Michael’s adept skill for musical comedy. Even more exciting, renowned Broadway producer Cameron Mackintosh has taken interest in the production and we will be taking our cast to workshop it in New York City in April 2017, following our spring revival of the production on our stage in Mansfield. We couldn’t be more excited for our artists at the Renaissance!

Our Mansfield Symphony conductor search has been a remarkable process, with over 100 outstanding applicants from all over the world for the position of music director! This speaks to the quality and reputation of our orchestra to have such a wealth of individuals vying for the position. Having the opportunity to showcase three of those conductors on our stage this season has already been a treat for our community.

And now for the big announcement…!!!

For me, one of the most exciting things of 2016 is only first being publicly announced right now, and that is our acquisition of a 15,000 square foot building at 166 Park Avenue West. Despite our large building, we have so many educational programs, performance groups, ensembles, and productions rehearsing in our space that we are constantly running out of usable rehearsal and performance spaces in our building. When we approached our board about a building that was for sale by the Richland County Land Bank for $89.00, but required $150,000 in work just to make it usable, rather than back away our board ran in and raised and supplied the funds in 10 days, fully funded through cash and in-kind donations. In particular, massive thanks go to Bill Hope of Alumni Roofing for providing a new roof for the building, and Ary Van Harlingen of Shaw Ott Medical and his team for remediating the extensive mold in the building and gutting it, as well as one anonymous funder.

Over the coming months we’ll talk a lot more about this space with you. We’ll be conducting a feasibility study, thanks to support from the Richland County Foundation, in order to determine what the community needs from this space. We know we’d like to see more rehearsal space, a more intimate performance space, and education classrooms. Keep your eyes open for a lot more conversation about this space soon. If you’d like to hear just a little more, you can listen to the Renaissance Podcast episode the Chairman of our Board, Rand Smith, and I released this week.

The Renaissance is committed to being the cultural hub for our community. We are energized by the partnerships we’ve formed with our region’s non-profits and we are delighted by the support we continually receive to keep our program vibrant and expanding. Thank you for making this the greatest job on earth.

3 Things You Support By Giving to the Annual Fund Campaign

By Jessica Dulle & Colleen Cook

1. Education

Teddy Bear Concert - Photo by Jeff Sprang Photography

Teddy Bear Concert – Photo by Jeff Sprang Photography

The Renaissance proudly boasts that our Education Department serves 15,000 students each year! We have 13 distinct programs, numerous collaborations with area schools and agencies, and serve individuals of all ages and abilities!

2. Live Performances

Beauty and the Beast 2016 - Photo by Jeff Sprang Photography

Beauty and the Beast 2016 – Photo by Jeff Sprang Photography

Whether it’s our locally-produced professional Broadway-style productions, touring bands,  artists, or comedians, or offering a venue to local emerging artists and acts, the Renaissance exists to make outstanding live performances available and accessible for everyone in our region! (Did you know that no one is turned away for an inability to pay for a ticket, thanks to our Angel Ticket Program?)

3.The Mansfield Symphony

The Mansfield Symphony Orchestra - Photo by Jeff Sprang Photography

The Mansfield Symphony Orchestra – Photo by Jeff Sprang Photography

A cultural establishment in Mansfield for over 85 years, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra is one of the premiere mid-size symphonies in the country. This season, the MSO is able to offer 6 concerts to the public, plus four educational concerts and numerous community outreach performances. As Ben Folds recently said, “Symphonies symbolize the epitome of civilization, i.e., people working together. If you go to a town without an orchestra or a bad orchestra, it’s a crappy town.”

You can give to the Renaissance Annual Fund Campaign $100,000 Matching Grant Challenge and have your gift matched 2:1 by the Landers Foundation and the Hire Foundation anytime between now and December 31, 2016! To give, click here.

Giving Tuesday logo

#GivingTuesday – What is it? How do I participate?

You’ve probably heard of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or even Cyber Monday, but there is another important commerce day celebrated each year and that’s Giving Tuesday. For social media followers, it’s #GivingTuesday.

So, what is exactly is Giving Tuesday? Per their organizational website, “#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration”. In the non-profit industry, it officially kicks off the charitable season during the holidays.

Basically, Giving Tuesday is the one day every year where nonprofits rally together to encourage you to donate to worthy causes whether global or local.

The movement has been popular since its inception only a handful of years ago and is celebrated the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.).

You might be thinking, I like the idea of investing in some of my favorite charities, but how do I get involved? The good news is the process is easy. You can visit your charity of choice website and personally donate online or you can utilize a crowd raising platform such as Razoo.com.

Most donations made via Giving Tuesday are online, but organizations will happily enjoy snail mail or in-person gifts.

If you’re living in Richland County (Ohio), getting involved in #RichlandGives is the way to go! Thanks to the wonderful staff at the Richland County Foundation, they have coordinated the logistics with all the participating non-profits in our area that are taking part in Giving Tuesday.

To participate, visit https://richlandgives.razoo.com/us/story/Renaissance-Performing-Arts-Association on Tuesday, November 28th between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Things to remember during Giving Tuesday:

  • You can give to multiple organizations at once
  • The process is safe and easy
  • Sometimes incentive gifts are provided to non-profits who participate so this is a great day to donate
  • You can become a hero for the day to your favorite charity(s)

If you have more questions about Giving Tuesday, I encourage you to contact your favorite local charity(s).

To the diverse group of heroes out there, whether they be individuals, communities, or organizations, thank you for joining forces with us to celebrate and encourage giving. In a simple click on your computer or touch of your finger on your phone, you can make a lasting impact in the lives of so many.

SchoolBusesOBB_Web_PhotoByJeffSprang

Why Your Ticket Purchase Isn’t Enough

by Jessica Dulle, Director of Development

Ever ask yourself, “Why do many theatres ask for donations when I already purchased tickets?” The truthful answer is several theatres are nonprofits and unfortunately your ticket purchase doesn’t cover the costs to keep the theatre open.

Running a theatre is an expensive business. If your favorite theatre is historic, it costs even more to keep the doors open.

“What are some of the costs,” you might ask yourself. Like any other business, theatres must think about administrative, maintenance, technology, and marketing costs. Getting you to our productions requires lots of dedicated professionals working long hours for months. No worries, we don’t mind. You leaving the theatre memorized by seeing one of our performances make it all worthwhile.

Many theatres also dedicate some funding to giving back to your community. This investment regularly goes into educational programming. Research proves that children who are exposed to the arts regularly earn higher grades, have bigger career aspirations, and are more civically minded. Adults and senior citizens also benefit from being engaged in the arts.

Armed with this knowledge, theatres invest dollars into educating members of our community and many times won’t turn them away if money is an issue.

Another unknown factor is several theatres don’t know how many audience members will show-up until almost show time. Unlike other businesses that produce items based customer demand, theatres will put on the same performance no matter how many people show up. This means theatres sometimes lose money producing some of your favorite shows.

Nationwide, theatres estimate having 60% audience capacity to their performances.

This is all wonderful information, but you may wonder, “how do theatres keep their doors open if my ticket purchase isn’t enough?” The answer is lots of diverse revenue streams. Funding can come from individuals, corporate sponsorships, endowment gifts, foundation grants, state funding, as much more.

These wonderful contributors also keep your ticket prices affordable so you’re not spending $150 to purchase one ticket.

While running a theatre is a complex business, supporting one doesn’t have to be. Consider making an investment in your community the next time your box office ask “would you like to add a donation to the theatre with your ticket purchase?”