Onto The Business Of Fundraising In Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Symphony Association (JSA) and the Jacksonville Symphony Players’ Association (JSPA) distributed a joint press release today announcing details for the Radiothon fundraising event scheduled this weekend…

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2008

Major Radio Event this Weekend to Raise Funds for New Jacksonville Symphony Projects

This weekend, from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, AM 1460’s Andy Johnson will host a 24 hour fundraising marathon to benefit the Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony Fund. That fund, which is a component fund of The Community Foundation, Inc., was established primarily to fund initiatives in the contract between the Musicians Union and the Symphony Association through identifying new symphony donors.

The projects this effort will fund include new educational concerts and an extra week of concerts following the regular symphony season. The event will feature live and recorded music by musicians and friends of the Jacksonville Symphony. Listeners will be able to call in to make pledges and talk on the air with AM 1460 manager and host of “Down to Business” talk show, Andy Johnson. The public may also access the station via internet, www.1460.us

Schedule updates will be posted at www.jsomusicians.org.

A live musical performance, free and open to the public, will kick things off from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday by members and friends of the Jacksonville Symphony at the Unitarian Church off of Arlington Expressway.

854-1460 is the number throughout the 24 hour event for calling in to talk on the air with radiothon host Andy Johnson. To make off air pledges, call 421-0704.

Donations are tax deductible, and all checks and credit card pledges will be directed to “The Community Foundation, Inc.”. Also, if writing a check, the memo line should read, “Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony Fund.” Checks should be mailed to the Musicians’ Association of Jacksonville, c/o JSPA, 2030 Schumacher Ave, Jacksonville, Florida 32207.

The Jacksonville Symphony Players’ Association will collect all such pledges and deliver to the Community Foundation, who will prepare and mail tax-deductible acknowledgements to donors.

More volunteers to receive pledge calls are still being sought.  If interested, contact event coordinator Andy Bruck.

Unitarian Church address is 7405 Arlington Expressway. UUCJ is located on the Arlington Expressway’s north service road, just east of Arlington Rd. and west of Townsend Blvd. — between Les Chateau Apts. and Agape Dentistry. (Only the sign is clearly visible from the street.)

AM 1460 studios are on the fourth floor of the Enterprise Building, which is located at the northwest corner of Belfort and J. Turner Butler Boulevard. The Building is directly across the street from, directly west of, St. Luke’s Hospital. There is a big sign on top of the building which says Enterprise Building.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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10 thoughts on “Onto The Business Of Fundraising In Jacksonville”

  1. I clicked on the link that sends me to the Radio Station that will be hosting the radio-thon on Sunday. Highlighted in red is “The Circus is Coming to Jacksonville!”

    A little web research (http://groups.google.com/group/misc.activism.progressive/browse_thread/thread/b1719c726f5a12fb) shows that this radio station, WZNZ (not to be confused with WZAZ in the same market), just had a major format shift last Monday (1/14) adopting what appears to be a local “progressive talk” format. The Wiki page for the station had listed it as a religious station that featured, amongst other, Dr. James Dobson.

    According to the latest Arbitron Ratings for Jacksonville, FL (#47 market in the US) (http://www.stationratings.com/ratings.asp) WZNZ did not register in the Fall 2007 Ratings period. Earlier research from a year ago (http://www.radiodailynews.com/5-10%20jacksonville.htm) shows that WZNZ, then called an “All-Sports Station” was the 20th most listened to station in the market, with an Average Quarter Hour Share of less than 1% of people using radio at that time. However, since that time that has been no measurable audience for that station (http://www.radiodailynews.com/arbs.htm) – search Jacksonville.

    Given these circumstances, it makes me wonder who, outside of an e-mail list alerting them to the radio fundraiser, will actually hear any of these special performances and pleas for the new fund for the “Friends” of the orchestra? I have to wonder how, without anyone from the players, administration (or the radio station) offering a “goal” or expected amount of pledges – for an event that has been put together and announced to the community with a little over 48 hours notice, just how “successful” this radio-thon will be?

    Further, I notice that the press release states that all pledges will be collected by the Players Association (and not the symphony) and processed through the Community Foundation (again – not the symphony). Since this blog has repeatedly stressed the importance of intelligent marketing of an orchestra’s “product” (mainly concerts) to the wide base of potential consumers, I will be very interested to see how the data that is raised is used to determine how many of these donors are presently orchestra subscribers/donors? To those donors that are not regular patrons, which party to this dispute and resolution will be entrusted with trying to maximize the donors potential in the future?

    That’s the $64,000 question so to speak and at this point, only time will tell. Also, when I visited the http://www.1460.us link (with FireFox and IE) I did see the circus announcement but it was a very tiny portion of the page and was viable only after scrolling down past all of the header material. It was barely a minor component on the page. ~ Drew McManus

  2. Your comments regarding the Radiothon and FOJS are duly noted and fair observations. I have had some of the same questions myself. However, I will not be so quick to judge the Radiothon or sell FOJS short.

    The Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony are trying something that has never been done here before, which is more than can be said for JSA. You must contact JSA to ask why they are not receiving funds from FOJS. They were given the opportunity to collaborate. Contact FOJS for information on financial goals and plans.

    Ben Stein writes of using the “Bunkhouse Logic” of the American Cowboy in his book How Successful People Win. In a nutshell, the American Cowboy knows what his goal is; and through activity and inner mobility, he doesn’t let anyone or anything–not raging rivers or rattlesnakes–stop him from reaching it.

    FOJS is taking a plan used by the Baltimore Symphony and tailoring it to the needs of the Jacksonville Symphony. The musicians are counting on it and have returned to work. There will be challenges along the way and bumps in the road but the financial goal set for FOJS will be reached. We can either join them and help meet those goals or get out of their way.

  3. For those who may not be aware, the radiothon is being hosted by Andy Johnson who is a popular radio talk show host with a dedicated and loyal following.

    My hat is off to the Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony. They are stepping out and trying new things (in Jacksonville at least) in an effort to attract new people to support the Symphony. It matters not to me that the money is going to a special fund within the Community Fund, instead of to the Association.

    Quite frankly, with the admission by the Chairman of the Board and the Executive Director of the Symphony that their fundraising efforts have been flat, the Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony energy in supporting the symphony is a welcome change.

  4. I am a member of the Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony. I wanted to address a few points raised in the article and commentary.
    The Radiothon generously hosted by Andy Johnson at AM1460 is a fundraising event that was planned prior to the resolution of the contract negotiations. From the early weeks of the lockout, Andy has used his radio forum to advocate for the musicians. Originally, funds raised were to benefit the JSPA Health and Welfare Fund. Since the contract agreement was reached, however, the musicians chose to have the Radiothon funds go to The Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony(FOJS).
    FOJS was established in the last weeks of 2007 to support the musicians and survival of the orchestra, the immediate goal being to help resolve the impasse in negotiations. Through The Community Foundation in Jacksonville (www.jaxcf.org) we established a 501-c-3 fund so that we could begin to take donations to directly benefit the musicians once the impasse was resolved.
    Donations raised by FOJS will fund additional concert(s) (thereby extending the season) as well as new community education/outreach programs, all of which were specified and agreed to by JSPA and JSA as part of the new contract.
    Funds donated to the FOJS fund must be received through The Community Foundation. Pledges and donations from the Radiothon will be delivered in bulk to The Community Foundation.
    Regulations require that FOJS donations held at The Community Foundation must be given to a 501-c-3 organization. The JSA is such an organization and the JSA has agreed to accept the funds we raise and distribute them as defined in the contract.

    Contributions should be mailed to:

    Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony Fund
    The Community Foundation
    121 West Forsyth Street, Suite 900
    Jacksonville, Florida 32202

    Please feel free to contact us at fojs@comcast.net

    Thank you for your excellent articles!

    Edith Moore-Hubert
    Core Member
    Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony

    Many thanks for the additional info Edith, that’s one of the greatest aspects of blog comments: readers are a wonderful resource for on-the-scene information. ~ Drew McManus

  5. Now that the contract matter is settled, the JSA can no longer boast of sponsoring a Professional Symphony Orchestra in Jacksonville. Since the Players now have to hold their own fundraisers to make ends meet, the JSA must now accept the label of a semi-Professional Orchestra.
    The question is this. Does a semi-Professional Orchestra need to pay an Executive Director in the range of $160k a year?

  6. So, was there any tally or final announcement regarding the success of the radio-thon? Due to the notification of the event here (and the helpful link on the JSO Musicians page), I caught more hours of the event than I should have on Saturday and Sunday.

    I have several hunches on what was achieved based on what I heard, but I see nothing on the JSO Musicians page and if there is a “Friends” website, I have not been able to find it.

    While I strongly suspect that Mr. Jackman is being “tongue-in-cheek” with his post above, it, if nothing else, shows that the Friends organization has a long way to go in educating the wider public in its mission and how it supports and differentiates itself from the fundraising efforts of the paid staff of the orchestra administration.

  7. Andy Johnson and the members of the JSO have put more effort into 24 hours than Hopper has in his entire tenure! He has over stayed his welcome and at 160,000/year has only become a giant leech. He has no vision and no ideas. He has no control over the board and has no leadership traits. He most likely would have been gone long ago, if he had not been preceded by and even worse executive director.

    I find it sad that volunteers had to go into Jacksonville to raise money for the musicians, when there are people making 6 figure salaries who know NOTHING about running an orchestra. The board in Jacksonville wanted change…well I think it’s time for some more change. Jacksonville needs leaders with vision, not old men who can’t raise money!

  8. I’ll ask one more time of our host, Mr. McManus, and those that have posted on this and other threads (Kevin Chase, Edith Moore-Hubert).

    What was the result of the radio-thon? How much money was pledged to aid the “Friends of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra” independent of pledges received during the lockout/work stoppage.

    Google searches provide no answers to this question. The JSO Musicians website contains no news on the home page or “In the Media”

    Another question I have: From accounts of the contract agreement that allowed performances to resume, it appears as though the Friends had expected to raise $150k per year to essentially pay for 2 weeks of work for the orchestra. What the news accounts did not get into is if the players are responsible for working the services if the FOJS have not successfully raised the full 100% of the $150k – or if services will be scaled to accommodate the actual amount that is to be paid.

    After many weeks of negative news and a microscope placed on the utterances of all the participants in this unfortunate situation, I am surprised that such an extraordinary event (24 hours on the radio) has brought zero followup anywhere. The newspapers may have thought the story was over at the time that performances resumed, but I would have thought that Adaptistration would continue to monitor and report the developments. Certainly Drew’s experience as a not-for-profit executive understands that there are so many “bites at the apple” when it comes to making a splash in the community and making mass quantities of people aware of your cause and purpose.

    None of this is to say or imply that there is also not interest in the ongoing fundraising and tickets sales of the JSO professional staff.

    The silence is deafening.

    I don’t know if the silence you’re talking about is deafening so much as normal. Typically, the immediate period of time following a very contentious work stoppage is filled with an uncomfortable working environment. As such, news – any sort of news – is slow and in dispensed in small portions. Neither side is interested in inadvertently aggravating any of the raw nerves floating around and in most cases, some silence is actually the healthiest course of action a group can follow. Perhaps that is one reason why there has been no word.

    I don’t believe the Friends group has any website as of yet and based on how it is structured (under the auspices of a philanthropic fund), I’m not certain if they are in a position to release details until everything has been properly audited. At the same time, one of the founding members of the Friends group did post a lengthy comment to a separate Adaptistration article on January 23rd which conveyed a sense that he was displeased with the respective article. In all fairness, that is nothing but speculation on my part and I haven’t contacted the Friends group asking about any official results and likely won’t simply because the amount of time needed to adequately cover recent events in Columbus doesn’t leave enough time left over in my very limited blogging schedule for detailed follow-up with the Friends group (and that goes for the JAX players and the JSA as well – I haven’t contacted either organization for follow-up details as of yet). If an official representative of the Friends group has information from the fundraising event to share, I’ll be happy to share it (as is provided for in Adaptistration’s About section) and I encourage them to post a comment at any time.

    As for the limited number of bites at the PR apple, that might have been an accurate way to summarize how things worked 10 years ago but given the proliferation of new media sources, pumping up a PR presence at any point in time is pretty easy to accomplish. As such, if the Friends group evolves to a point of creating an organized PR strategy, it won’t be too difficult for them to get attention.

    Finally, I have to hold judgment on any issue related to details of the contract until the new master agreement is made available. Typically, that happens after the musicians file their official settlement bulletin. In the end, I think it will take far more than a few weeks before the organization gets a grip on where it is and where it is headed. ~ Drew McManus

  9. The radio-thon did very well. Andy will always be known as someone who took a stand. There are plenty of “high ranking” people in Jax who went and hid under the bed for this. I’m sure the musicians will remember these people!

    I believe it was expected that the friends would probably not make the expected goal this year because of the late start. The two extra weeks only happen if the friends raise the money. Managment can go on doing what they do best…sitting on their hands and not have to worry.

    ….and I must ask Mr. Nonymous why he doesn’t seem smart enough to ask the right people this info. You aren’t going to find it on a google search, and we have already seen that the newspaper is of no real use. It would only take but a few seconds to see the email of the contact person on the musicians website. Maybe you should take the ear plugs out! Live music is here to stay!! Thanks again to Mr. Johnson!!!

    Thanks for the info, however, let me stress that veiled implications (such as the tone of A. Nonymous) and the sort of angry responses in this comment are representative of my previous remarks that sometimes the best thing to do is simply chill out a bit and think before hitting the “submit” button.

    I encourage all readers to submit comments that agree, disagree, challenge, question, support, etc. anything I publish or that another reader submits as a comment. It is the interactive nature of blogs that make the medium useful. However, it is best to remain civil at all times. I think the questions presented around this topic are all valid but answers may not be forthcoming simply due to how they were presented. Please visit The Blogger’s Guide to Comment Etiquette by Daria Black for an entirely useful list of suggestions regarding proper comment etiquette: http://webernetarchitect.com/the-bloggers-guide-to-comment-etiquette/

    In the meantime, please refrain from presenting any details of JAX’s new master agreement unless you are an attributable source capable of referencing a verifiable resource. In fact, if the new master agreement is available, please let me know and I’ll submit a request for a copy.

    From this point forward, I will have to reject comments on this topic that contain unverifiable information. I abhor the concept of censorship so if you publish a comment with a false email address please know that I have no way to request that you resubmit your comment and points/questions that would otherwise be valid would be lost. Know that I do not distribute/publish email addresses without written permission from the owner and they are kept private unless the owner wishes to make their email address known directly in their comment. ~ Drew McManus

  10. I apologize if there are any misunderstandings, here.

    I had thought from the article published by the Florida Time Union (http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/012008/lif_238004283.shtml) that included your quotes, Drew, that the establishment of the Friends and the opportunities and responsibilities that this organization was willing to undertake represented a significant departure from “business as usual” in this industry.

    The very points that you (Drew) raised in the article about another stakeholder seem to me an extraordinary development, especially in seeing how essentially two fundraising organizations for the same institution, will co-exist. While the final arrangement will reveal quite a bit, the process for arriving at that conclusion and the specific reasons that proposals were accepted or rejected would be a fascinating tool from which many of us could learn a thing or two. If there is anyway that this blog can be a conduit for such information (the theories involved, not so much the specific applications to Jacksonville), I for one would be an appreciative reader.

    A note to “Informed”. Thanks for your suggestion – however, the JSO Musicians website contains no contact information beyond that of a webmaster and a contact for something called an “Audience Association” (I am sorry I don’t know what that is). I am glad to know that the radio-thon “did very well” but in the final analysis I would have preferred to see a number and let me (and others) form opinions as to the degree of success. I wound up listening to quite a bit of it online and the methods used (in the medium of radio) were somewhat unusual in their departure from a traditional way of prompting a radio listener to take action. (such as in a public broadcasting membership campaign) Your second paragraph was most informative and I thank you for sharing that information.

    I don’t think having a volunteer group engaged in independent fundraising activities is anything particularly new, most orchestras have volunteer auxiliary groups who have considerable success with fundraisers. In the case of the Friends group in Jacksonville it is unusual to see a group come into existence as the direct result of a labor stoppage. As for the coordination between fundraising activities and responsibilities, only time will tell. Certainly, no one in any of the stakeholder groups has any definitive idea as to how these relationships will evolve. I don’t know if the JSA has had much experience with auxiliary fundraising groups but if not, then the relationships will probably take a little longer to work out.

    Finally, for better or for worse, I sincerely doubt that the discussions which took place behind closed doors during negotiations and during the formation of the Friends group will ever be made entirely transparent. The value of examining it is, at best, marginal. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing but I know I won’t lose sleep over it. Instead, I think it’s part of an end result of a faulty system of governance which led to such a destructive negotiation. As such, studying those root causes and how orchestras elsewhere can avoid it would be a course of action I would support. ~ Drew McManus

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