In the months leading up to the 2020 Giving Challenge, our first one, the Sarasota Chorus of the Keys was feeling that our lack of experience in such projects made it difficult to forecast what results we might expect. We hadn't requested donations from our audiences or fans, didn't know how our members would respond, and aren't very sophisticated with social media. Add in a pandemic------we decided we would do what we felt we could do, and see what might happen.
We did have an engaged President, Ken Rear, and Board members who were willing to be supportive and involved. So we divided some responsibilities, tried not to do "everything", and cultivated the interest of our members. Every Board member and 75% of our members became donors. Many family members and friends did, too. A real "attention-getter" was The Patterson Foundation matching program---easily understood and very exciting!
We do have a growing email list and decided to make a series of eblasts our focus. From a supportive, experienced partner, Project 180, we got some suggestions and technical help. And we chose some of The Patterson Foundation Prizes to aim at and apply for.
We discontinued meeting in person in March, 2020. By the day of the Giving Challenge in April, we were feeling the financial uncertainty of not being able to practice together or perform in public----especially our Annual Show. Our conundrum---do we cut expenses quickly and drastically just to keep going, or watch and wait? Fortunately, the results of the Giving Challenge eliminated the pressure of making that decision. Our donors responded, and the matching and Prizes of The Patterson Foundation tripled the total!
We were thrilled----and very relieved!
Now, after more than a year of meeting by Zoom, we are back to in person rehearsing and are scheduling performances. The Community Foundation's Giving Challenge enabled us to work toward a harmonious post-pandemic return, without having to make crippling budget cuts because of the uncertainty.
And we're looking forward to the 2022 Giving Challenge!
For more about Sarasota Chorus of the Keys, visit chorusofthekeys.org/