Orchestra Fundraising in Times of Crisis
By Bob Swaney and James Leffler
With the arrival of the pandemic, the world changed dramatically for orchestras. Theaters and concert halls were closed, concerts and events were cancelled, and orchestras were forced to cut short their seasons. With single-ticket revenue instantly drying up, and subscription money for next season slowing, the only reliable stream of revenue has become fundraising.
In April, fundraising experts Bob Swaney, founder and CEO of Robert Swaney Consulting and the League’s interim vice president for development, and James Leffler, vice president of development for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, presented Orchestra Fundraising in This Time of Crisis, a free, two-part League of American Orchestras webinar that examined the critical steps for effective fundraising now. This article builds on the contents of the webinar.