Inside ABT’s Membership Department

2 Nov

by Melissa Rosko, Membership Intern Blog

Working as a Membership Intern at American Ballet Theatre, I had a wonderful experience learning how a lucrative development team is run. As a recent graduate from the University of Texas in Austin, this internship was a wonderful way to expand my career goals of working in nonprofit development.

Bringing in about 22 percent of the company’s annual contributed earnings, the Membership department was constantly bustling with various large projects like the 3,000 piece mail out that had to be prepared for the annual fall appeal for donors to renew or upgrade their membership. This project included drafting and editing letters for each level of membership, addressing them all, and of course, getting them post office ready. This was a very intense task, but is also extremely important for the fiscal wellbeing of the company. It was also wonderful to see how everyone pulled together as a team to get a great deal of mailings done in much less time than usual, thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Another very crucial aspect of Membership is the planning and execution of various member events. Starting from day one of the internship, there was constant logistical planning to be done for the annual Fall Season Gala at the New York City Center. I got to assist with keeping track of patron ticket orders, making phone calls to donors for their RSVP’s, and acting as a representative for studio rehearsal visits. My favorite evening to work was the annual Golden Circle event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This was a smaller, more intimate event with a Q&A by Corps de Ballet member Sterling Baca and ABT Ballet Master, Clinton Luckett. After working so hard on mailings and event logistics, it was most gratifying to be able to spend time with the people who are so devoted to the company.

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