In Spring 2017, Circus Center ran BUILDING UP, a campaign to raise funds for needed building fixes and equipment purchases to create a new community series: $5 Fridays. This is a regular series of fun, low-barrier events where our greater community can try a variety of circus arts easily and see our students perform (especially on San Francisco's only flying trapeze)!


Together, we raised $25,846 for vital building repairs and improvements to start this new community event series. A thousand thank yous to all our $5 Friday founders! 


We launched the first official $5 Friday event on October 13th, 2017, to a sell-out crowd. Attendees enjoyed flying trapeze swings, an aerial arts intro, juggling and circus ground skills, Clown Conservatory entertainers, and a flying trapeze show by the Circus Center Flyers.


The next $5 Friday is scheduled for January 19, 2018 - see you there! 


Here’s how your contributions to BUILDING UP helped launch $5 Fridays and made Circus Center better for every student and $5 Friday visitor:


 Building Up Total Raised: $25,846 

  • $7385 - The new carpet-bonded foam mats for the Main Gym, replacing the old worn-out mats with new safe and stylish grey ones
  • $2845 - Dimmers and 1500 feet of lighting cable to install permanent performance lighting   in the Main Gym (see it in action at Winter of Love on Dec 9 and 10) to make all performances in the Main Gym cheaper and easier to produce
  • $260 - Repairs to the leak in the roof over the men’s restroom (stay dry!)
  • $4837 - New Crash pads, new foam inserts for other crash mats and a new trampoline throw mat, so you can land in safety
  • $720 - New flooring for the Student Lounge, making the space safer and more comfortable for all our students and visitors
  • $850 - Installation of donated brand-new security cameras to protect our students and $5 Friday visitors
  • $820 - New dressing compartments for the upstairs hallway, to make it easier to change
  • $215 - New pulling rope for the Flying Trapeze

Total: $17,932

Remaining: $7,914


We have a few more projects in the works to make your Circus Center experience even better: lobby improvements, adding electricity upstairs, hot water heaters in the sinks, new paint, expanded internet networks for teachers and students, and not to mention, a reserve fund for tackling future leaks as they arise this winter. Keep an eye on the blog and newsletter for updates!


 Thank you for all you make possible - and see you at $5 Friday in January


P.S. Did you give to BUILDING UP? Thank you! Did you get your swag yet (or you’re not sure)? Contact Sarah at sarah@circuscenter.org to arrange a pickup. 


Support Circus Center’s Annual Winter Giving Drive by donating here - all donations made this December will be matched up to $5000!


See the impact of SHOW LOVE, the Winter 2016 campaign, here. 


Here are some words on why Circus Center runs fundraising campaigns like SHOW LOVE and BUILDING UP.


 Circus Center’s mission is to spread the joy of circus through performance, training, and community outreach. Our total budget for this fiscal year (2018) is $1.75 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, like any non-profit, we run fundraising campaigns so we can better serve our community and pursue our mission. More specifically, we raise funds to keep producing the high-quality, accessible circus that you love. Fundraising helps us make major investments in our operation and to do what makes us a non-profit center for the circus arts - more than just another gym.

 Fundraising efforts, like our annual Winter Giving Drive, enable us to do important things that don’t cover their own costs, like community productions, outreach programs, and more. Fundraising for these programs ensures that the high-quality circus that we’re known for remains accessible to all. Your support is crucial to helping us maintain the quality and accessibility of the programs you love.

 When it comes to investments, we look at two kinds: new and deferred. For example, if we hadn’t run a capital campaign like 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 support gives 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.

 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.

 Support Circus Center’s Annual Winter Giving Drive by donating here - all donations made this December will be matched up to $5000!