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New things for the new year!

Happy New Year, all!

I’m pretty excited for this year for a number of reasons, but the thing that I am perhaps most thrilled about is that we are, with the assistance of our fantastic board of directors, undertaking an annual campaign for the very first time! An annual campaign is an important fundraising tool for most not-for-profits and has just been something to this point that we have not had the time or resources to commit to. The co-chairs of this year’s campaign are board vice-chair Elizabeth Fendrick and our newest board member Brendan McLaughlin (more on his arrival soon!)

As we (thankfully!) keep growing our capacity to do these sorts of things is growing along with our needs. These funds are going to allow us to reach more students with more regularity, they will allow us the opportunity to go after even more grants to pay our artists and to increase our production values, with these funds we will be able to develop more talent and more original work from this region, they will allow us to strengthen our ability to produce in BOTH the Shimberg and Jaeb Theaters.

I can’t quite spill the beans just yet, but producing in the Jaeb is another bit of exciting news that I have an update on, but you’ll have to wait just a bit on that …

How does this whole annual campaign thing work? In simplest terms, we’ve analyzed our budgets and concluded that in order for us to not only sustain our work but maintain our growth rate without punishing regular people by raising the cost of tickets, we need to be able to guarantee that we raise an additional $60,000 for the next few years. We currently get private donations from good folks like you, but we have no guarantees and we’ve not asked for any sort of commitment to this point. $60,000 may not sound like a lot to many folks who work closely with arts organizations, but it’s a significant sum for us to raise. HOWEVER, we’ve had a hero step up in the form of the Gobioff Foundation who have made an exceptionally generous offer to make a dollar-for-dollar match up to $30,000 for all gifts made to the annual campaign for the next three years.

And so this is our immediate goal and our immediate set of challenges. We do not want to leave anyone out of this campaign, and this is a situation where truly every dollar matters — because it DOUBLES if you are among those first $30,000 in gifts this year!

We hope that we can count on pledges from our community in the form of a 3-year commitment to this campaign, to take full advantage of the opportunity that the Gobioff Foundation is giving us with these matching funds. We also want to make this as easy as humanly possible and so are suggesting an automated monthly gift. This avoids a large deduction at one time for you while still guaranteeing our funding as well as the matching funds.

Example

Jane Smith wants to make a 3-year commitment to Jobsite as part of the annual campaign and get the matching funds to make her gift double. She takes a look at her situation and decides that she can easily do $25 a month and so pledges $300 a year to us to be automatically deducted in $25 installments once a month on a recurring day of her choice. Because she was among the early pledges her gift will be matched, making the overall value to us $600! Over the course of those three years, her gifts will be matched a total of $900!

You can still make a one-time gift annually instead of a smaller recurring payment, and you can of course just make a gift to the 2016 campaign without committing to future years. We urge you, however, to consider the three-year commitment to maximize this generous opportunity given by the Gobioff Foundation. What we need now are the pledges, and we can sort out the payment plan as we go.

Can we count on your support? If so, or even if you just want to talk about it or ask questions, please write me through this page or call me at my desk: 813.476.7378. We are offering benefits to donors by gift level, which you may learn more about here.

I’m ridiculously excited about our future right now, 2016 and beyond. I invite you all to be a part of it, in whatever way you can. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

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