Working with Donors

15 Jun
Each day for the first 2 months was definitely an adjustment.  I dealt with speaking to Major donors on the phone and these major donors usually have very specific requests such as seats they would like to sit in, and these requests would vary for each performance.  Often donors would call to have their memberships renewed and immediately following our phone call, I was required to begin the process of their membership renewal gifts, generate acknowledgement letters and update membership records accordingly.  In each case, the goal was to make each donor feel special so they would continue their donations.   American Ballet Theatre targets specifics donor groups and wants to ensure effective work flow within the department. Being able to pay very keen attention to detail while entering donor information was one of the most important factors of my position with this internship.  I was responsible for maintaining the integrity of the donor database as well as analyzing and editing data, while also ensuring accuracy.  Anytime I happen to overlook something relating to a donor it was definitely brought to my attention and addressed expeditiously.  This was imperative because, the smallest mistake could create a lot of confusion and unnecessary issues, not to mention the loss of a donor contribution.

As a membership intern, I was also a part of coordinating studio visits for donors, a time when donors were able to come and observe dancers in rehearsal and speak with dancers personally following their practice session.  Donors love to come and watch rehearsal, as this is for the very privileged few.  I was asked to help set up the chairs in the studio before rehearsal began as well as show donors to the restrooms and other various locations in the studio.

There are 5 different studios available for visits and it was my responsibility to ensure donors were in the right place at the appropriate times.  I assisted a lot with all logistics of studio visits, member events, and some receptions.  After donors watched rehearsal, I would then escort them back to the lounge to get their personal items showing as much courtesy and appreciation as possible, while also thanking them as I would proceed to escort them to the exit doors.  I was able to create some quite interesting relationships with the donors and realized the value on the initial phone conversation with each donor.  They are always sure to show their appreciation when visiting the studio, and it’s nice to know that someone feels as if their needs have been met and that I was able assist in an enjoyable experience which also made me feel great inside.

It was my pleasure to be able to thank them for previous donations and their continued support.  The reward in knowing that many dreams will be kept alive has been an overwhelmingly amazing and eye opening experience, giving to others is what makes this world a better place and with the American Ballet Theatre, giving is at the heart of the organization which is why I truly enjoyed this experience.

Destiny Hill

Development Intern

Spring 2016

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