I wanted to start off my presentation today by extending a major thank you to Jesse Berger, Artistic Director and Wendy McClellan, Development Director for Red Bull Theater in New York City. These people are the reason behind all of my successes with the organization.
Taking a look at the overview of today’s presentation we will be taking a look at 1.) The mission and history of the organization. Also taking a brief look at the variety of programming that Red Bull Theater offers. 2.) Human resources of the organization taking a look at the staff, board, and volunteers for Red Bull Theater 3.) We will then take a brief look at the Financial profile of the organization. Specifically looking at Earned Vs. Unearned Income and the current donor mix for the organization. 4.) Then we we will start taking a look at the organization’s image within its community and the case for support that Red Bull Theater has built for itself. 5.) We will also be examining some of the donor programs for the organization 6.) Then we will take a look at planning and evaluation that the organization engages in 7.) Lastly we will wrap up with some recommendations from myself for the organization and I will answer any questions that you may have.
Red Bull Theater first began in 2003 with its production Pericles. Embracing this rejuvenating spirit, Red Bull Theater aims to be in the vanguard of a new classical theater for the new century, creating a home for plays of heightened language and epic expression in intimate, imaginative productions. Since its inception, Red Bull Theater has been hailed as, “The most exciting classical theatre company in New York,” by Time Out New York.
“ Red Bull Theater is dedicated to the presentation of vital and imaginative productions of heightened language plays and to the development of new plays written in a similar vein. With a unique focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Red Bull Theater aspires to challenge the intellect and engage the imagination of today’s theatergoers through language-based, resonantly provocative stagings of great classic stories.” Causes for concern are the length of the mission. Making it t-shirt size slogan. WHO IS IT SERVING?
PRODUCTIONS: Timeless Stories, Timely Theater. Red Bull Theater produces at least one fully staged production per year to an annual audience of over 4,000. The New York Times said of Women Beware Women , “This exuberant, vividly acted production should cement the company's reputation as a troupe that lovers of classic theater should put on the must-watch list.” In the 2010 Season, Red Bull Theater is producing the first Off Broadway revival in over 50 years of The Duchess of Malfi. REVELATION READINGS: Breathing Life into the Page. An OBIE Award-Winning series, Revelation Readings presents twelve readings per year of Jacobean, modern classics, and new plays. Red Bull Theater has produced over 50 readings, offering annual opportunities to hundreds of writers, composers, directors, and actors playing to over 1000 people annually. Many notable artists have participated, including Roger Rees, Lynn Redgrave, Luis Alfaro, Daniel Breaker, Eric Bogosian, Michael Emerson, Amy Irving, F. Murray Abraham, Lee Blessing, Paula Vogel, Elizabeth Egloff, and many more. IN THE RAW : Developing the Classics of the Future. In The Raw bridges the gap between the Revelation Reading series and full productions by providing a 4-week workshop of a new play, featuring public performances. In The Raw creates an opportunity to allow artists to develop work away from critics, and invites audiences to experience every aspect of a play’s life cycle, fueling the future of the company with new work. BULL SESSIONS: Talking it into Context. Red Bull Theater is dedicated to developing a relationship with its audience that breaks down barriers. Bull Sessions are free discussions offered after readings and productions, helping to shed academic light on the works and giving audiences a chance to discuss plays with the artists. The 2010 Season marks the inauguration of Bull Sessions as stand-alone events taking place at various venues across New York City, where the conversation is focused on creating cultural context for the kind of work Red Bull Theater does.
Board. The Board is comprised of 8 members. Wendy and Jesse have both mentioned that they would like to see a more diverse board, which they are actively pursuing by cultivating potential board members. The board has a give or get donation policy for each board member of $5,000. Wendy indicated that the average gift given my board members is around $8,000. One board member has gone so far as to secure a $10,000 match grant from her organization each year. See the board become more self-governing and self-evaluative as board education procedures are put into place. When I asked Wendy about what makes Red Bull Theatre’s board so unique she replied, “This is the first company I have worked with where the board has 100% buy-in to the organization. They are not involved with the minutiae and are content with the mission as it stands. They appreciate and advocate the high quality of work that we do in such a unique market.” Staff. only a Full-Time Artistic Director, Part-Time Development Director, Part-Time Producing Associate, and a Part-Time Bookkeeper currently constitute the staff of the organization. With a staff size this small Wendy did mention that there is a bit of a struggle. It appears as if there are never-ending workloads and feelings of not achieving enough that seem to prevail in the organization. Wendy responded to this by saying, “We believe in each other, we know the job will get done. Fortunately and unfortunately the economic crisis has created a slightly joking atmosphere of, ‘Well if we are here next year…’” I was inclined to ask Wendy what a perfect Development Staff would like for her. Wendy responded that she would like to see at least one other position created within the next three years that can help with prospect research, donor relationship maintenance, maintenance of donor documents, and begin research into larger foundation support. After the creation of that position Wendy would like to ideally see the creation of a position specifically charged with Foundation/Corporation support. Volunteers. a development committee of 20 volunteers supplements the development efforts. These volunteers are specifically working on cultivation of new donors, inviting friends to productions, and working on getting people to attend the annual gala. Wendy described these volunteers as, “People who really believe in the company but don’t have an insane amount of time to dedicate to being a board member, or a becoming a staff member.
Given the age of the organization I have noticed quite a significant growth in both expenses and income for Red Bull Theatre. In 2007 the organizations income was marked at $34,000 where as in 2010 the projected income for the organization is roughly $434,000. In 2007 the organization’s expenses were marked as $25,000 where as in 2010 the projected expenses for the organization are $438,000. One of the biggest concerns that I have for the organization is that expenses are increasing at a faster rate than the income for the organization. As noted previously in the audit, the organization is and has been operating in a deficit for the past three seasons. Though the deficits are not vast, the peak deficit being $41,000 in FY2008, this is cause for concern considering the organization has no money on reserve. Both Jesse and Wendy have noted these deficits as a point of stress for the organization and a major stumbling block to get over as they head into the strategic planning process. Given the current economic climate, Red Bull Theater has had to focus on some pretty large issues. To prepare for the potential drop in funding Red Bull Theater has currently down sized its shows from the usual 16 actors down to a company of 12. Also the organization has had to essentially take its productions down to bare bones and attempt to maintain a high production quality. Wendy did note that although the audience couldn’t detect a drop in production quality, the staff could definitely feel it. Another major set back for the organization has come as a part of a one-time grant they received from the Tony Randall Theatrical Fund . The grant was valued at $100,000 and was designed to help improve the production values at Red Bull Theater. Wendy commented that because the grant was a one-time grant and the organization’s development efforts are just getting off of its feet, it was completely unsustainable. Given this predicament, in 2010 Red Bull Theater had to prepare for the economic crunch by cutting $100,000 from its production budget. A big point of concern that I have for the organization is the lack of a portion of the budget specifically line itemed for the development department. The development budget seems to live in the limbo of “Other Expenses”. This made it hard to capture any true expenses of the development offices devoted to their fundraising efforts.
Currently the organization works on a precise 60/40 split of unearned vs. earned income. This ratio has pretty much maintained for the past two fiscal years under Wendy’s development supervision. Within the next three years Wendy has noted that she would like to see this split shift to a 70/30 split of unearned vs. earned income. “It would be ideal to try to sell more seats,” she says, “but as we venture to adding more productions to the season, we will also have to increase our development efforts to supplement.”
Based on budgets provided to me by Wendy, I was able to break down the mix of donors to the organization ( appx. b). According to the provided budget Corporate Support comprises about 2% of annual giving, 60% comes from Foundations, 31% from Individual donations, 1% from the State, and 4% from the Municipal support.
Given its age, Red Bull Theater has a surprisingly wide array of marketing coverage from outside sources beyond their own marketing. Red Bull Theater has been reviewed on NBC Today’s website, Time Out New York, Curtain Up Reviews, as well as featured in the New York Times. Reviews from these organizations have included
SCALE . Red Bull Theater embraces the large cast sizes and epic ambition of the plays of Shakespeare’s era, and encourages contemporary playwrights to write in a similar vein. Our full productions average cast sizes of 16, with production values to match. With programs such as Revelation Readings and In the Raw, Red Bull Theater creates opportunities for writers of new plays and directors of great classics. OPPORTUNITY . Artists that work with Red Bull Theater find a creative home to hone and fully utilize their skills with heightened language and physically ambitious theater. A blending of emerging talent with established actors is characteristic of Red Bull Theater programming and creates informal mentoring relationships. DIVERSITY . Red Bull Theater is creating a new audience for classics and a new kind of accessible, inventive, classical work. From the rapid growth of its productions to include some of the most established Off Broadway actors to the highly credentialed speakers that populate its Bull Sessions. Audiences of all ages, veteran theatergoers and first-time audience members, comprise a truly unique multigenerational blend. ENGAGEMENT . Revelation Readings, In The Raw workshops, and Bull Session post-performance discussions each engage audience members and enrich their connection with the work of the company from varied angles. In particular, In The Raw actively breaks down the barrier between audience and artist. Throughout the workshop process, audience members are invited to open rehearsals and presentations with feedback sessions. ARTIST RETENTION. Red Bull Theater raised actor salaries by 30% last year, and will do so again next year. This season, the company is also signing new agreements with SDC, the Director’s and Choreographer’s union, as well as with Designers, all as part of Red Bull Theater’s ongoing effort to meet and exceed industry standard compensation for artists. Due to the large casts and epic scale of the plays we do, this is a great expense, yet it is an essential step towards becoming a mature Off Broadway institution. You can’t find this case for support anywhere!
The following is a list of donor programs currently offered by Red Bull Theater: E-Blast Campaigns- Two e-blast campaigns that I have been able to grab from the organization have included End of Tax Season Deduction , and Fill The Bull. The Tax Deduction e-blast campaign was designed to gather last minute donations before taxes were due. Fill the Bull was used as a way to show donors and potential donors how much money was left to be raised to meet development’s goals. Making online donations using Google Checkout is relatively easy but it left me wanting more. Donors may find themselves wanting to know more about what their money is going towards and how they can become more involved. Annual Gala- The Annual Gala is now going into its second year and was an initiative started by Wendy and the Board of Directors. The organization was fortunate for its 1 st Annual Gala when a board member donated his beautiful Brown Stone home to be used for the event. This board member also donated tables, decorations, and a wait staff. This meant that the gala came at a low cost to the organization. The event welcomed 50 guests, and yielded a net income of approximately $20,000. Now in its second year, the event will be hosted at an off site location that will hopefully attract 100 guests. Tables for this event cost $10,000, and individual tickets run for $500. The development committee of the organization coordinates this event. Bucket of Blood (Appendix C)- Held in October each year, this is designed to attract donors to help fund some of the special effects used in Red Bull Theater’s productions. Maybe this is because of my age, but I find this donor program to be insanely exciting in that it is something unique that I can afford to give to and it makes my donation feel valued in a distinctive way. The following information accompanies the campaign to let donors know what their money is going towards: “ Bloodworks, spurting wounds, and disfigurements underwritten by (your name here)” $25 buys a bucket of blood $50 buys a squib (exploding blood pack) $100 buys a severed limb $250 buys a disembodied head $500 buys the body that they came from $50,000 buys the whole horror show Annual Giving Fund (Appendix D and E)- One of the biggest things that Wendy has had to combat as the Development Director is the donor mentality of only giving to Red Bull’s productions each year. Under Wendy’s leadership the organization has been able to launch Annual Giving Fund called the Cuadrilla Club. This Annual Fund lets the donors pledge an annual giving level, a method for giving, as well as set a pace of giving that suits the donor. The critical piece missing from these donor levels is a complimentary piece that lets donors know what their money is directly funding. The following are the giving levels outlined by the annual fund:
Currently, Red Bull Theater does not operate from an overall organizational plan. The organization plans up to 1 year in advance, specifically targeted towards planning for its annual production. As I have mentioned several times throughout this report, Red Bull Theater is heading into its first strategic planning process that will allow for the creation of goals, objectives, and action plans specific to the organization as a whole that will align with the mission and vision of the organization.
One of the most important things that the Development of Red Bull Theater needs to do is build its case for support and utilize it in making appeals for funds from donors. I would recommend that the organization use their Significant Contributions to the Field , outlined in appendix a , as a case for support in any conversations with potential donors, as well as on any printed donor materials.
In visiting Red Bull Theater’s website, www.redbulltheater.com , I have concerns for the disbursement of donor information. There is a section on the website for donations guised in Join Us and then the visitor has to go into Contribute . One can also go into the About section and learn about donor levels in Supporters . This information needs to be condensed into one section. Centralizing a case for support, donor levels, and ways to make donations will allow Red Bull Theater to use the website more strategically for development.
From the budgets I have been provided by the organization, I would recommend establishing a more detailed development budget. From the current budget provided in Appendix B, it is hard to determine to development’s successes in relation to what is being spent on development materials and events. The budget provided is also production centric, which makes it hard to determine the successes of all the programs that Red Bull Theater offers. A more detailed and broken out budget will help in critically evaluating programming effectiveness. As an example, from the current budget it is impossible to determine the cost of the annual gala, and therefore making it difficult to determine the net income from the event. Not being able to determine the net income from a given donor event prevents the staff and board of directors from truly determining the event’s effectiveness.
The organization has identified that it needs to build and strengthen its individual donor base. The organization has done a great job at friend raising for the past year, but now its time to make the ask and turn these friends into annual givers that will make sustainable donations to the organization. The organization also needs to work on creating strong relationships with these donors to keep them invested in the future of the organization. Part of strengthening the individual donor base is shifting the donor’s perceptions of giving to the annual production and giving to Red Bull Theater as a whole. I recommend that organization identify where it wants to be in three years and share that with its donors so that they know what their money is going towards or identify other ways in which they can contribute to the organization. The organization should work closer with Ovation Tix to capture audience demographics. Gaining a stronger perspective on audience demographics will help development create a stronger, and more targeted cultivation plan for individual donors. Ovation Tix can help capture demographics of the organization’s audience, examine frequency of participation in Red Bull Theater’s events, and capture geographical information of ticket buyers. All of this information helps to not only target marketing efforts, but also be more strategic it in its development efforts.
As the organization heads into its first strategic planning process I would recommend that they focus on a comprehensive organizational plan. I have noticed that the amount of focus put on the annual production has lead to a lack of focus on other parts of the organization. Though the staff is small and working way past their individual capacities, creating a comprehensive plan for the organization as whole will allow everyone involved to see where there are shortfalls in programming choices of the organization and assess just how much growth is necessary to create a sustainable organization. Though the staff of Red Bull Theater is small, the organization should remember to not be afraid of holding each other accountable. The creation and implementation of critical evaluative processes will allow everyone, both staff and board, to be held accountable for shortfalls with in the organization. This evaluative process will also allow the organization to set up measurable targets in regards to the mission and vision of the organization in correlation with financial successes.
Red bull theatre ppt
Red Bull Theatre Company “Untapped Potential” Justin Taylor Scholl AA6060 Fundraising and Development Organizational Audit
Thank you! Jesse Berger- Artistic Director Wendy McClellan- Development Director
Overview. Mission & History Image & Case for Support Human Resources Financial Profile Donor Programs Planning & Evaluation Recommendations
History. 2003 “ The most exciting classical theater company in New York City” - Time Out New York “ New classical theater for the new century”
Mission. Red Bull Theater is dedicated to the presentation of vital and imaginative productions of heightened language plays and to the development of new plays written in a similar vein…. … .With a unique focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Red Bull Theater aspires to challenge the intellect and engage the imagination of today’s theatergoers through language based, resonantly provocative stagings of great classic stories.
Human Resources. Board of Directors Staff Volunteers <ul><li>$5,000 Give or Get Policy </li></ul>- 8 Members - Lack of Evaluation - 1 Full-Time Position - 3 Part-Time Positions - Capacity issues - 100% Buy-In - 100% Buy-In - 20 Members <ul><li>Lack of Time </li></ul>- 100% Buy-In