The Washington Center

Organization Name
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts
Mission Statement

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is the principal performing arts resource for the south Puget Sound region.

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with the city of Olympia serves as the artistic and cultural hub of south Puget Sound where hundreds of events are presented annually by dozens of local nonprofit organizations. The Center recently accepted the challenge of partnering with South Puget Sound Community College by managing their theater - The Minnaert Center – utilizing our existing staff and box office operations. The challenge was to seamlessly integrate the operations of four theaters in two buildings with respect to ticket sales, customer service, marketing, and management of volunteers.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)
Other: Windows Server 2003 and 2008, XP and 7

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Web and Windows Servers provide the stable foundation upon which everything is built. The Windows Server 2008 and Web Server 2003 uniformly link all administrative and theater computers and provide a stable platform for our web-based phone system. This allows for more efficient internal communications and allows The Center to more effectively respond to our patrons needs. The Windows SQL Server 2003 and Web Server 2003 insure our web based ticketing software runs smoothly and tickets are available for patrons to purchase 24 hours a day. Microsoft Office software is utilized for analyzing data, managing budgets, marketing, and fundraising and provides safe and secure email. Microsoft software helps The Center provide affordable and accessible theater to our community.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: The Servers, Windows 7 and XP offer an affordable solution and increased stability for The Center. Thanks to the Server software, computers and phones linking administrative offices and theaters run smoothly and allow staff at both locations the time needed to market events, manage volunteers and sell tickets. This stability insures our network remains reliable and responsive to our needs saving us time and money. Windows 7 and XP and expanded features of Microsoft Office enable The Center to easily analyze fundraising information, maximizing our efforts. The increased stability, user friendly programs and powerful features of these products makes The Center more efficient and effective at providing nonprofit arts organizations the opportunity to contribute culturally to our community.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: The Center presents more than 350 performing arts events annually to over 100,000 patrons; 30,000 being children, many of whom are experiencing theater for the first time. Capitalizing on the effectiveness and efficiency brought on by Microsoft software has strengthened our operations and our pool of nearly 300 volunteers is better utilized. Microsoft software proved vital in our partnership with South Puget Sound Community College and subsequent increase in patrons by 40,000. Microsoft Office improved our communication efforts and methods, saved us time and allowed us to be responsive to theatre goers. All of which has buoyed our donations resulting in a marked uptick over the past 36 months.

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