Here I am with my colleague and good friend Peter Criswell, our Executive Director, at 'Harmony', our prestigious annual fundraiser, which took place at 'Arts Affirmation' in New York City last week. We sang Pink's 'Raise your Glass' to toast NYCGMC's continued financial and artistic success and, because the theme was 'Black and Diamonds', we also sang 'Diamonds are Forever' with the warm and genuine Broadway powerhouse Carolee Carmello.
We currently raise around $50,000 annually for the organization at this one event, and all our top donors and wealthier members attend. As a Brit, I initially found the business (and it is a business) of 'making asks' very uncomfortable - necessary but in some ways the artistic equivalent of prostitution. But these days, I see donor cultivation as just a key part of the job. Without our 'friends', and they actually are genuinely friends in most cases, we can't keep our doors open. And it is good in a way that we have to argue our case as a non-profit, and justify the existence of our mission and our art to those who help us create it by funding it. If we lose relevance or the standard of our singing drops, the first way we will discover this is in our donations.
As we look to the future, and to the expansion of budgets to enable more and a wider range of activity to occur, our donors could not be more crucial. So heartfelt thanks to all our friends, for your continued support and encouragement in so many forms. Here's to an expanded and even more passionate and ambitious NYCGMC in years to come!