Concert Duty: How we get to know YOU!
Working in the development department isn’t just about making phone calls and stuffing envelopes. As anyone in the field knows, it’s about building relationships with your contributors, meeting with them in person. In addition to getting together over coffee or lunch, we, at the Symphony, have another venue in which to meet with our constituents: Our concerts at Jones Hall; or as we like to call it, Concert Duty.
For every concert, we have at least two development personnel working and each of us works 2-3 concerts per month. This gives everyone in the department, regardless of position or responsibilities, the opportunity to meet the people that help keep the Symphony going. And, maybe more importantly, it gives our donors the chance to see us as more than just a voice on the phone or a signature on a mailing.
One of the areas where we get to meet our patrons is in the greenroom and patron lounge. On the orchestra level, the greenroom and patron lounge are open to our donors (of a certain contribution level) before concerts and during intermission. And though we may not have as much time as we like with our donors, it really is a great opportunity for us to meet and to catch up since we last saw them. Another place where we get to talk to folks is at valet. Not so much before the concert, but afterward as they are waiting for cars, we can get in a pretty good conversation. (Hint: the concert you just saw is good conversation starter). And we promise we won’t leave until the last car has driven away. And, finally, another great place to meet our patrons is right there at their seats. If only for a minute or so, a seat visit has a very positive impact on our donors. Also, it leaves a great impression on the people seating around them. They are left wondering “Who are these people getting a special visit from this good-looking Symphony employee?”
So in addition to our regular behind-the-desk responsibilities, you can find us in Jones on evenings and weekends (we’ll save the off-site events that we work for a later blog). And though it adds extra hours and, sometimes, makes for a long week, once we are there and meet our supporters and hear the great music, it reminds us why we do what we do. So look for us the next time you’re at a concert. We’ll talk.