Monday, January 25, 2010

ASC's annual campaign kicks off next week

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 5:03 PM

And, according to The Charlotte Business Journal, it's got a high-tech twist.

A campaign based on change, grassroots momentum and high-tech data analysis put Barack Obama in the White House. Now Scott Provancher is tapping similar techniques in hopes of change — and dollars — the Charlotte arts community can believe in.

Provancher is already president — of the Arts & Science Council. Instead of the White House, he’s eyeing a resurrection in donations after the umbrella arts organization endured a 37% plunge in its 2009 campaign. That drive, led by then-ASC chief Lee Keesler, forced the nonprofit organization to cut eight jobs, equal to one-third of its staff, and slash its budget by 33%. Keesler stepped down after a five-year run last summer, replaced by Provancher.

Since he took the job, Provancher, 33, has been working on a strategic overhaul for fund-raising, spurred by the recession and corporate chaos in the fall of 2008 that made Keesler’s final year so challenging.

This week, as he outlined his vision for ASC fund drives at his uptown office, Provancher offered a clear assessment of what needs to change and how he plans to do it. “I’m a data geek,” he says. “I like to know the answers before we ask the questions.”

His questions are many. Who gives and why do they give? What would cause those donors to give more? What kinds of incentives would entice them to participate more in the arts?

Next week, the ASC launches its annual campaign, hoping to improve on last year’s $7.2 million in donations. Presbyterian Hospital chief medical officer Dr. Tom Zweng and Wells Fargo & Co. wealth-management executive Madelyn Caple will lead the effort. On Tuesday, they will announce the fund-raising goal for the drive, which ends March 15.

Read the rest of this article, by Erik Spanberg, here.

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