Recently while reading a Washington Post article on the financial struggles of historic houses in Virginia, I thought about the Rockettes performance that I saw in New York over the holidays. I was amazed at the show which, of course, featured the incredible precision movements of the dancers and their dazzling costumes. Additionally, we had 3D glasses allowing us to join Santa on his ride through the theater, saw pyrotechnic displays, and enjoyed an act where the Rockettes were pieces in a computer game. Having not been to a show for decades, I clearly saw how the Rockettes had adapted the show to engage a younger, wired audience while at the same time continuing to kick! There were many multi-generational familes in the hall.
Historic houses and many other types of organizations are struggling to straddle the on-site vs virtual divide -- trying to implement their mission with both new technologies and traditional methods in order to capture more than one generation of user and/or donor. It is clear that there is not one path for all nonprofits but providing blended services seems to be one method that is working. Adequate funding (which the Rockettes clearly had) also is vital.
To learn more about nonprofit sustainability, check out our free class Nonprofit Sustainability: Building Blocks to Organizational Success, which is available as a live class and webinar, a recorded webinar and in Spanish.
You can also enter the term sustainability in the search box on Grantspace.org and it will lead you to additional print and online resources.
If your organization has come up with successful ways to engage your audiences on multiple platforms, please let us know!