Last spring, we ran The New Net and Equipment Campaign, a fundraiser that started out as a $10,000 campaign to replace, install, and maintain our flying trapeze net. Thanks to a tremendous outpouring of support from you, our community, we ended up raising almost $26,000 - $16,000 over our original goal! - to support your equipment needs and the maintenance of our historic building.
As we announced in our October newsletter, your contributions have had a tremendous impact on Circus Center. Here’s a further breakdown of what donations to the New Net and Equipment Campaign have accomplished since the campaign ended in May:
Total raised during New Net & Equipment Campaign: $25,923
$2,800 - Purchasing and shipping the New Flying Trapeze Net - installed in September.
$2,500 - Net installation + maintenance for two years
$1,603 - Specialized tape and gauze for trapeze bar, replacement of eye bolts for travelling lines, flying gloves, and chalk
$1,500 - Gym deep clean & equipment room reorganization in September
$2,000 - Slightly used grey rolling mats in Theater, installed in September
$2,375 - 3 new toilets in both restrooms, installed in September
$1,953 - 13 pairs of new custom-made stilts, purchased in December
$390 - 1 new aerial hoop & taping, purchased in October
$200 - New lighting in lobby, installed in December
$3,586 - various small purchases like bands, shoes, rope and rope covers, velcro for mats, and building contortion platforms
$3,000 - Rigging maintenance and minor facility repairs
Remaining: $4,016 in reserve for upcoming equipment and maintenance needs.
**APRIL 2017 Update: SEE THE FINAL IMPACT OF THE NET CAMPAIGN HERE.
WHY RAISE MONEY?
Circus Center’s mission is to spread the joy of circus through performance, training, and community outreach. Our total budget for this fiscal year is over $1.4 million dollars. That includes instructors, administration, and staff for the dozens of classes a week we offer, professional-track and recreational youth programs, the professional training program Clown Conservatory, a production season with 12+ shows a year, our adaptive circus outreach program, and maintenance and repair costs for our building and equipment.
Most of the revenue to cover these costs – about 85%, in fact – comes from tuition for classes, group events, and summer camps. So why bother raising money at all? The basic answer is, we run fundraising campaigns so we can better serve our community and pursue our mission. More specifically, we raise funds to make major investments in our operation, and in order to do the things that make us more than another gym, but a non-profit center for the circus arts.
When it comes to investments, we look at two kinds: new and deferred. If we hadn’t run the New Net and Equipment campaign, we still would have replaced the flying trapeze net. After all, it was time for it to be replaced. But without your support, we might not have been able to do everything else for months, maybe years, while we saved up: upgrade all the toilets, or purchase new stilts, or replace the lights in the lobby, or make other vital purchases and repairs. What’s more, our facility is almost 100 years old, and has had many of its maintenance and repair needs deferred over the years. Your phenomenal outpouring of support from the New Net & Equipment Campaign gave us the freedom and flexibility to begin to catch up on 20 years of much-needed repairs, purchase more equipment, and fix more things, faster, to give you a better circus training experience.
Other fundraising efforts, like our current campaign and our recent major donor work, enable us to do important things that don’t cover their own costs, like our community productions, outreach programs, and more. In this way, we’re much like any other non-profit out there. Our current campaign, SHOW LOVE, supports our community production fund. The costs of putting on community shows, like the Winter and Spring Showcases, is not covered by class tuition or by ticket sales. With your support, together we’ll create 5+ original circus shows next year, starring our talented community: professional-track youth, Clown Conservatory trainees, and advanced adult students. Sharing the magic of live circus, and creating valuable opportunities for our talented community to perform and share their art with their community, is a vital part of our mission.
With your donations, partnership, and advocacy, we can bring the same professional quality shows, training, and outreach to the community we have loved and served for over 30 years. Thank you for your support, past and present, and for being part of the Circus Center family.