TRG Arts welcomes the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee’s Inquiry into Non-public funding of the arts. This submission is specifically in response to the call for International examples of innovative approaches to raising non-public funding of the arts.

The Results Group for the Arts (TRG Arts) is a data-driven consulting firm that teaches arts and cultural professionals a patron-based approach to increasing sustainable revenue through increasing earned and philanthropicincome.

Since its founding in 1995, TRG Arts has gained a reputation for transforming the business models of non-profit and commercial entertainment partners, initially in the US and Canada. TRG Arts is an industry pioneer in areas including dynamic pricing, audience loyalty development, database modelling, and the subscription model.

Recently, TRG Arts has expanded. In 2015, the TRG Arts Center for Results, a venue for arts and cultural professionals to learn best practices was opened in Colorado Springs. In 2017, TRG Arts established an office in London to support its rapidly growing portfolio in the UK and Europe. TRG Arts now has 40 team members working across North America and Europe, each skilled in teaching arts professionals — from the executive leader to the marketing and development departments to the box office — how to build deeper and stronger relationships with patrons and grow sustainable revenue.

TRG Arts’ signature loyalty counsel moves patrons from less loyal “Tryers” to deeply invested “Advocates.”TRG Arts’ core competency is building patron-centric loyalty programmes such as subscription and membership for arts organisations and museums. We believe that, in an era of declining government and foundation support, strong loyalty programmes will become the backbone of sustainable revenue for arts organisations. It will be crucial for organisations to grow their percentage of ‘patron-generated revenue’, e.g. that which comes from individuals in the form of ticket sales, memberships and donations.

TRG Arts believes traditional fundraising tactics must be taught within a context of growing loyal relationships with patrons. Major donors almost always begin their relationship to organisations by booking tickets. In a healthy organisation, the marketing team brings in new ticket buyers and members, and the fundraising team then leads those patrons through the traditional process of identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. TRG Arts’ loyalty counsel helps fundraising professionals identify which ticket bookers are “donor-ready” and which current donors are poised to upgrade, so that patrons receive the right solicitation considering their holistic, historical investment with the organisation.

Over more than twenty years TRG Arts has gathered a robust toolkit of best practices, which is constantly updated. We are obsessed by results and we view our clients as partners, championing the meaningful gains we make together.

We share much of our learning freely with the sector and our website is packed with relevant case studies. Our first client in the UK, the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, reported a 31.5% increase in Box Office revenue in their first season using TRG Arts techniques. We are delighted to have just embarked on our first long-term working relationship with a Welsh organisation, Theatr Clwyd who join our UK portfolio which now also includes Northern Stage, Sheffield Theatres, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

While we are driven by our beliefs in the transformative power of arts and culture and the value of effective Government subsidy to the arts, through our work we have seen that positive and profound change to the business model of arts organizations can lead to artistic innovation and the ability to better inspire entire communities.

TRG Arts would be delighted to share more detail on the way we work and to discuss what the impact of implementing some of our practices might have for audiences and arts organisations in Wales by giving a presentation to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee as part of this enquiry.