Dec 03, 2020
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Headline, Industry News

TIFF seeks rich friends to make up $49M shortfall

Wanted: A devoted arts philanthropist who sees film as a serious art form and wants to make a transformative (i.e., $10 million or more) legacy gift to Bell Lightbox: the future home of the Toronto International Film Festival Group, now under construction at the corner of John St. and King St. W.

“It’s full steam ahead,” Piers Handling said yesterday, rejecting a headline in Playback, the Canadian film industry weekly paper, that described the capital campaign as “on hold.”

As Handling readily admits, the campaign reached a plateau of $147 million (or $49 million short of its $196 million target) six months ago.

But lately there have been no gifts significant enough to merit an announcement.

That’s why the TIFF board called for a review of the campaign.

As a result, the Toronto consulting firm Inspire, which specializes in arts philanthropy, was brought in to evaluate the situation.

Inspire’s advice: since most of the support so far has come from governments and corporate sponsors, it is time to go after private donors.

But there’s no slam-dunk way to achieve the desired result. Private donors must be courted and wooed for years. They have to be persuaded that a film complex can be a significant cultural force, as respectable as an art museum or an opera house.

Over the years, TIFF has had great success with attracting the support of governments and corporate sponsors. But wooing private philanthropists involves another skill set.

“No one wants us to fail,” says chief operating officer Michèle Maheux. “Everyone wants us to succeed.”

That’s why during the 2008 film festival, Handling and Maheux emphasized in many onstage introductions that TIFF is a charity organization. That’s why more than 400 potential donors were courted during the festival as potential Lightbox donors.

“We have two years, before the building opens, when we have to raise the final $49 million of our capital campaign,” Handling says.

Once a project is complete, it is hard to persuade anyone to make a major contribution to a capital campaign. And being saddled with the debt from a building campaign shortfall can have a devastating effect on an arts organization’s operations for years.

But doesn’t the current economic crisis make the fundraising task more difficult?

“We are encouraged by the words of Roger Martin (dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business),” Handling says.

In announcing a new capital campaign, Martin remarked that the evidence suggests there is no dropoff in philanthropic gifts during economic bad times.

Clearly TIFF hopes Martin is right.

“We’ve got two years to get this done,” says Handling, “and we are confident we can. After that, the game is over.”

Source: The Toronto Star

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Headline, Industry News

TIFF seeks rich friends to make up $49M shortfall

Wanted: A devoted arts philanthropist who sees film as a serious art form and wants to make a transformative (i.e., $10 million or more) legacy gift to Bell Lightbox: the future home of the Toronto International Film Festival Group, now under construction at the corner of John St. and King St. W.

“It’s full steam ahead,” Piers Handling said yesterday, rejecting a headline in Playback, the Canadian film industry weekly paper, that described the capital campaign as “on hold.”

As Handling readily admits, the campaign reached a plateau of $147 million (or $49 million short of its $196 million target) six months ago.

But lately there have been no gifts significant enough to merit an announcement.

That’s why the TIFF board called for a review of the campaign.

As a result, the Toronto consulting firm Inspire, which specializes in arts philanthropy, was brought in to evaluate the situation.

Inspire’s advice: since most of the support so far has come from governments and corporate sponsors, it is time to go after private donors.

But there’s no slam-dunk way to achieve the desired result. Private donors must be courted and wooed for years. They have to be persuaded that a film complex can be a significant cultural force, as respectable as an art museum or an opera house.

Over the years, TIFF has had great success with attracting the support of governments and corporate sponsors. But wooing private philanthropists involves another skill set.

“No one wants us to fail,” says chief operating officer Michèle Maheux. “Everyone wants us to succeed.”

That’s why during the 2008 film festival, Handling and Maheux emphasized in many onstage introductions that TIFF is a charity organization. That’s why more than 400 potential donors were courted during the festival as potential Lightbox donors.

“We have two years, before the building opens, when we have to raise the final $49 million of our capital campaign,” Handling says.

Once a project is complete, it is hard to persuade anyone to make a major contribution to a capital campaign. And being saddled with the debt from a building campaign shortfall can have a devastating effect on an arts organization’s operations for years.

But doesn’t the current economic crisis make the fundraising task more difficult?

“We are encouraged by the words of Roger Martin (dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business),” Handling says.

In announcing a new capital campaign, Martin remarked that the evidence suggests there is no dropoff in philanthropic gifts during economic bad times.

Clearly TIFF hopes Martin is right.

“We’ve got two years to get this done,” says Handling, “and we are confident we can. After that, the game is over.”

Source: The Toronto Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

TIFF seeks rich friends to make up $49M shortfall

Wanted: A devoted arts philanthropist who sees film as a serious art form and wants to make a transformative (i.e., $10 million or more) legacy gift to Bell Lightbox: the future home of the Toronto International Film Festival Group, now under construction at the corner of John St. and King St. W.

“It’s full steam ahead,” Piers Handling said yesterday, rejecting a headline in Playback, the Canadian film industry weekly paper, that described the capital campaign as “on hold.”

As Handling readily admits, the campaign reached a plateau of $147 million (or $49 million short of its $196 million target) six months ago.

But lately there have been no gifts significant enough to merit an announcement.

That’s why the TIFF board called for a review of the campaign.

As a result, the Toronto consulting firm Inspire, which specializes in arts philanthropy, was brought in to evaluate the situation.

Inspire’s advice: since most of the support so far has come from governments and corporate sponsors, it is time to go after private donors.

But there’s no slam-dunk way to achieve the desired result. Private donors must be courted and wooed for years. They have to be persuaded that a film complex can be a significant cultural force, as respectable as an art museum or an opera house.

Over the years, TIFF has had great success with attracting the support of governments and corporate sponsors. But wooing private philanthropists involves another skill set.

“No one wants us to fail,” says chief operating officer Michèle Maheux. “Everyone wants us to succeed.”

That’s why during the 2008 film festival, Handling and Maheux emphasized in many onstage introductions that TIFF is a charity organization. That’s why more than 400 potential donors were courted during the festival as potential Lightbox donors.

“We have two years, before the building opens, when we have to raise the final $49 million of our capital campaign,” Handling says.

Once a project is complete, it is hard to persuade anyone to make a major contribution to a capital campaign. And being saddled with the debt from a building campaign shortfall can have a devastating effect on an arts organization’s operations for years.

But doesn’t the current economic crisis make the fundraising task more difficult?

“We are encouraged by the words of Roger Martin (dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business),” Handling says.

In announcing a new capital campaign, Martin remarked that the evidence suggests there is no dropoff in philanthropic gifts during economic bad times.

Clearly TIFF hopes Martin is right.

“We’ve got two years to get this done,” says Handling, “and we are confident we can. After that, the game is over.”

Source: The Toronto Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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