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GCAC Presents: The In-Kindness of your Heart

 Julie Roth GCAC Presents: The In-Kindness of your Heart
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It’s no secret, non-profits need money. From religious organizations, to public service providers, to medical research societies, to arts groups, we are continuously convincing you to write a check. For a performing arts organization like ProMusica, it is not uncommon that 30% of the organization’s budget comes from revenue and the additional 70% from donations. Those who believe in a cause must be willing to put their money where their mouths are, or the cause will face extinction.

But the word “donation” has a definition that goes beyond the wallet. According to Webster, it simply means “a gift”, which can take infinite tangible and intangible forms. We all know that the value of a gift is in the eye of the beholder, showing that the significance of contributed time, items, or skills, may surpass what money can buy.

The ProMusica Chamber Orchestra performing at The Southern Theatre. Photo by Rick Buchanan Photography.

Throughout my time at ProMusica, working with “in-kind” donors is a rewarding aspect of my job. In-kind donors are simply those who provide a good or service at no cost to the organization. While we are immensely grateful for our financial sponsors, our in-kind partners bring a unique and enthusiastic dynamic to the donation process. They use creativity and resourcefulness to serve our unique needs. Whether it’s treetree branding providing all of the design work for our Spring Soirée fundraiser, Brainstorm Media lending video and live sound expertise for numerous events and projects, or Columbus Percussion bringing dozens of drums to our Youth & Family Day, each of these businesses adopt ProMusica’s mission and become part of our family.

Additional value is added through a reciprocation of giving that takes place through in-kind support. Working with limited funding, ProMusica is obviously quite relieved when an expected cost disappears. But additionally, the quality of the work and professionalism is increased, which allows our orchestra staff to learn from the experts and maintain high standards. In-kind donors, in exchange, are often given the opportunity to work outside the box and inside a creative industry, giving them freedom to grow and learn, as well.

While small businesses and individuals may struggle to financially support a non-profit group, in-kind donations are equally necessary, if not the lifeblood of many organizations. As a busy young professional, who is employed by a non-profit, I often feel as though I have nothing to contribute. I can’t afford a ticket to a fancy fundraising gala and the words “Annual Fund” scare me. This frustration can be countered by looking no further than my skills. What am I good at? What do I have to offer?

It could be something as simple as volunteering on a Saturday morning, or as complex as taking on an event-planning project for a local organization. In each case, my bank account is left untouched, but I’m still a giver. Local businesses can ask the same questions: What competency do we have in which a non-profit could benefit? If your workplace is not assisting in some form of hands-on non-profit support, then it’s left out of the synergy that’s created between for-profit and non-profit partners.

To end with a cliché, no donation is too small. Small businesses and individuals can significantly contribute to local causes, enhancing the livelihood and culture of our community. In-kind is sometimes the best kind of donation.

If you can afford that ticket to a fancy fundraising event, ProMusica would love to have you as our guest at our annual Spring Soirée Benefit & Concert, featuring Three Mo’ Tenors on Friday, May 11 at the Westin Columbus and the Southern Theatre. Proceed from patron packages, concert tickets, and raffle tickets support our education and artistic programs. Visit www.promusicacolumbus.org or call 614.464.066 for more information.

GCAC Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus – in partnership with the Columbus Arts Marketing Association, a professional development and networking association of arts marketers. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at the arts in Columbus.

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