Photo: Tom via Flickr
The Metropolitan Opera hauled in an incredible $182 million in donations for the fiscal year that ended in July–a number that breaks the previous donation record and is 50 per cent more than the amount the opera raised the year before, according to the New York Times.The number is particularly astonishing given the state of the economy.
So how did the windfall come about?
According to the NYT:
Mr. [Peter] Gelb [the met’s general manager] said that much of this success with donors can be credited to the work of the Met assistant manager in charge of fund-raising, Coralie S. Toevs, who is considered a master of wooing and strategising. The Met reported that the $182 million raised last year came from 49,100 donors, although Mr. Knott, the trustee, acknowledged that the bulk of the Met’s big gifts comes from a small number of donors.
“A lot of the very wealthiest can give year in and year out,” he said.
And Gelb has taken the tactical strategy of “spend, spend, spend” in order to put on shows that entice spectators.
Even so, the Met is in rough financial shape. The organisation–the most expensive performing arts program in the country–has withdrawn significant amounts from its endowment. And it still carries $41 million in debt, and faces declining ticket sales.
But the record donation figure could be one sign that the theatre is at least moving in the right direction.
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