I love live theater.

Supporting arts organizations is a joyful passion.

Communication is also a passion of mine. Clear, bold communication is what I teach.

Whether you realize it or not, your organization gives “live performances” every day: Board meetings, annual meetings, committee meetings, volunteer gatherings, donor gatherings, attendees at special events, OR you are an arts organization with patrons attending your events.

OFTEN we gather together groups of people and we forget to treat them like the insiders they are. When there is a gathering of supporters, especially passionate supporters, it’s important to give them some NEW information. Provide them an opportunity to feel your mission and share “insider” knowledge that inspires them to take action again.

That’s why I suggest you take a cue (pun intended) from live theater and create an outline for your team to follow whenever a group is gathered.

Borrow the live theater curtain message concept to update, engage, and inspire your supporters.

My definition of a CURTAIN MESSAGE
A short message at the beginning, intermission, or end of a performance, usually a short acknowledgment delivered in front of the closed main drape by the author, manager, actor, or board member.

The very best curtain message I’ve seen was delivered by a 13-year-old boy at the Children’s Theater. He was sweet, funny, and honest. He shared why membership was important to the theater and invited us to become members. . . AFTER he shared what he loved most about his experience in the current show.

When he finished is 3-4 minute message my then 7-year-old nephew leaned over to me and asked if we could become members. Stuart told me he wanted to make sure more kids enjoyed the theater as much he does.

Powerful message? Absolutely.

Curtain Message Framework
Use this for your next meeting, performance, or comments to donors or guests at your office. This message should last no longer than 4 minutes.

1. High energy welcome and thank you, noting your honor to be speaking.

2. Share the reason for your own support of the organization.

3. Briefly explain what is about to happen: name of meeting, discussion, live performance or ?

4. Without asking for money: Share your money story by stating what it takes to bring your work to the children, women, men and/or families who need you. You may also share a gap you are closing in a specific program.

e.g. “This year it will take $xxxxxx to give hope to more than xxxx children, men, women and/or families. This month we are focusing on supporting xxx children waiting to join our afterschool program where it takes about $17 a day to keep them safe and feed them a healthy snack. Without YOU that simply doesn’t happen.”

5. Remind your group or audience that they are important and matter.

e.g. Thank YOU for being here in support of each person who walks through our doors looking for the care/love/hope that each of often take for granted.

6. If appropriate, do your cellphone silence reminder and get on with the “show!”


Do you have a curtain message you want to run by Lori? Schedule your FREE 30-minute strategy session

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