Aurora Theatre raises more than $100,000 during $96,000 Challenge, May 23- August 28

Aurora Theatre raises more than $100,000 during $96,000 Challenge, May 23- August 28

Community comes together to support art programs and initiatives

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 — As the state’s second largest professional theater, Aurora Theatre kicked off its 2016-17 season by hosting the $96,000 Challenge, May 3 – August 28, in correlation with its opening production of In the Heights! Through individual donations, new grants and increased sponsorships, Aurora Theatre is proud to announce the challenge raised $106,000 for community arts support, exceeding its original goal by $10,000. These generous proceeds directly support the theater’s more than 650 programs on stage, in the classroom and throughout the community!

“Through the $96,000 Challenge, we were able to tell our community that anyone can be a philanthropist,” said Ann-Carol Pence, Co-Founder and Associate Producer. “It is not always about the ability to make a large gift, but rather we want to continually inspire our patrons to invest in the quality of life initiatives that strengthen our community at a level that is meaningful for each person."

In addition to the generous funds raised, one of the most important goals of the $96,000 Challenge was to inspire new donors to support Aurora Theatre’s tremendous contribution to the community through the arts. By the numbers, 60 percent of individual donors were new, making first-time gifts to the theatre. 69 percent of these individual donations were under $100, significantly increasing the base of donors giving at a low level. The $96,000 Challenge not only inspired community engagement in a very meaningful way, but it demonstrated how a community can come together and make a tremendous impact through a series of smaller gifts. The success of this fundraiser sets the stage for a new generation of patrons of the arts.

“It means the world to us that our community rallies around Aurora like this,” said Anthony Rodriguez, Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director. “We have received many messages from patrons about why they give, including one personal story from Matt Hyatt, CEO and Founder of Rocket IT, who exclaimed, 'you accomplished something that has eluded so many others. You brought a diverse group of people together and created empathy, enthusiasm and excitement around a dazzling display of talent. Wonderful! Keep doing that and you will create precious opportunities for new conversations, new relationships and new thinking!' Multiply this comment by a hundred and this means we are indeed changing our community. We really couldn’t ask for better patrons!”

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$96,000 Challenge