The Bushwick Starr is an up-and-coming 70-seat black box theater in Brooklyn. Full disclosure: I’m on their board and serve proudly.
Last year, the board was charged with raising money to refurbish the theater’s old uncomfortable chairs. We creatively called it the Chair Campaign — and all 10 of us hit the pavement to raise 70 donations of $250 each. Note: This is a hefty expense for a theater of this size and budget.
Each chair donor got his or her name on the back of the chair, which is all well and good, but definitely not remarkable. What was remarkable though is this. I invited all my “chair donors” to visit the theater on a specific night and the Artistic Director Noel Allain met us for wine before and then walked us over to the theater and gave us a primer on the show we were about to see.
All of my chair donors were wow-ed. For $250, they got an insider’s view of the theater that felt red carpet-worthy.
All seven of my donors continued to support the Starr this year — proving that remarkable stewardship does indeed drive retention. Way to go Bushwick Starr. I’m so proud of the way you treat your donors!