04-18-2003, 07:09 AM
Ok, I've seen the best fundraising method.... My daughter is a member of the choir at Westlake high school. This is no ordinary choir. 1 out of every 6 students in the school is in the choir. The choir has over 250 kids, more than all boys and girls spring sports combined! The choir performs at least 5 competitions per year, just recently in Las Vegas where 2 of the 4 groups took the gold award. They sing, do show tunes with complicated choreography. In fact, they spend at least two weekends per year in a retreat in the mountains to learn the choreography. Next year's venues will be Florida and Hawaii. Anyway, the theater in which they perform on campus is sad. It's an extension of the cafeteria that seats only 300 people and has no off stage prep areas. Mr. Rose, who has taught the choir for the last 18 years and made it into a big production, has had this dream to build a new 800 seat theater on campus. This campus isn't real big, tucked into the hills of Westlake Village. The only spot to build the theater would be to carve out a spot in the hillside above the student parking lot. The theater he has in mind is a beautiful thing with an underground parking lot. The choir booster club formed a non-profit corporation 3 years a go in the hopes that one of the large local companies such as Amgen would donate money. We got enough seed money, about $50,000 to do some preliminary design work to determine what the full cost of this theater would be. We found out that it would cost about $21 million to build the theater. Whew! At about the same time Amgen, who had been donating a lot of money to the school, stopped donating a lot of money. Rumor has it that the Amgen bigwigs' kids now go to the local private Christian school and suddenly the private Christian school is getting big donations from Amgen. The dream of the theater had been put on the back burner. But Mr. Rose never gave up. He talked about the theater whenever he could. Well it appears that perseverance paid off. A recent audience member was so impressed with the first choir production that he saw that he kept coming back. A recent call from this audience member's secretary explained that he would like to fund ALL of the costs of a new theater. As you can guess, Mr. Rose was elated with this decision. So, I guess, in the end if you can get one BIG donor, it's much better than trying to get thousands of little donors. chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.