The leadership of the Sioux Empire Community Theatre (SECT) recently announced that we have accomplished an essential fundraising task. Between Nov. 2015 and March 2016 our theatre raised over $10,000 for an endowment challenge.
After an extensive application process, SECT was selected as one of three organizations by the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation for the Arts Endowment Challenge.
The Arts Endowment Challenge sets lofty goals for the organizations to meet. For us at SECT, this meant that we HAD to raise $10,000 by March 2, 2016. If we had failed to meet that goal, the challenge would have been over and the theatre would have had to reassess its fundraising methods and priorities.
Fortunately this was not the case, our theatre raised more than $10,000 by the end of February and completed this part of the challenge. An endowment for Sioux Empire Community Theatre has been established. But we’re not through the woods.
So, what is an endowment anyway? An endowment means that we will have a professionally managed fund that will incur interest and grow through the years. The fund can always be added to and a percentage can be drawn from it for board-designated projects or needs. The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation will manage this endowment.
The next step for SECT is both exciting and daunting. We must now raise an additional $90,000 by Dec. 31, 2018. When we accomplish this goal the Foundation will add an additional $33,000 to the endowment! This money will help to ensure the financial future of the organization for the theatre long-term.
This is truly exciting news for our vibrant community theatre. It speaks to how bold the organization’s vision is. But this is a daring endeavor to undertake and we’ll need all the help we can get out of the ‘community’ part of our name.
The $90,000 has to be raised in addition to the fundraising we already do to keep the theatre operational.
Operating a theatre of this size is very expensive. With seven major productions and two youth camps produced annually, costs add up quickly. Costs such as facility rentals (SECT rents their facilities from SMG, the company that manages the Orpheum for the City of Sioux Falls), performance rights, construction materials, insurance, marketing, stipends, and salaries are just a small sampling of operational costs. Ticket sales account for approximately 60% of the income with the rest coming from personal donations, corporate sponsorship and grants.
A special task force is being assembled to help with the extra fundraising effort over the next 34 months and counting, but if you want to help out now – here’s where to send your tax-deductible donation:
Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, (please put “SECT endowment fund” in the memo line) 200 N. Cherapa Place, Sioux Falls, SD 57103. Or you can make a credit card gift at http://www.sfacf.org. Note: SFACF is charged approximately 2.5% fees for credit card transactions made online.
We hope to see support continue to roll in. If any readers have further questions, please contact me at email@example.com.
– DJ STECKELBERG, Director of Development / Sioux Empire Community Theatre