Giving Tuesday and three things you didn’t know about Development with Elizabeth Piercey, Director of Development
Wharton Arts has a new Director of Development: Elizabeth Piercey stepped into the position after three years as the organization’s grant writer, managing all grant proposals to foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Under Piercey’s stewardship, Wharton Arts has experienced significant advancement towards garnering support for its programs, including a 115% increase in grant revenue in her first year—highlights include major gifts for the Paterson Music Project’s tuition-free after-school programming from the National Endowment for the Arts and Impact 100 Garden State. This year Wharton Arts also received a Catalyst Fund Grant from the League of American Orchestras to support its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives.
Q: What are the main functions of the Development office?
A: The Development office is responsible for raising contributed income for the New Jersey Youth Symphony, Paterson Music Project, and Performing Arts School. Tuition and fees only covers 70% of the cost of classes, ensembles, concerts, and other programs. Therefore, we fundraise to make our programs possible. This year, our goal is to raise $1.163 million.
Q: Wow! That’s quite an impressive figure. To that end, what are the big events or projects happening in Development this year?
A: Our special events are a particularly important component to reaching our fundraising goal! These include:
- West Side Story in Paterson Gala Friday, March 6 at Westmount Country Club
- Playathon Sunday, March 29 at The Mills at Jersey Gardens
- Mother’s Day 5K Sunday, May 10 at Memorial Field in Berkeley Heights
Q: Is there anything new happening in Development that is a departure from previous years?
A: Our gala is going to be really exciting this year. The theme is “West Side Story in Paterson” in response to Steven Spielberg’s re-release of the classic film, which was filmed in Paterson—the home, of course, of our Paterson Music Project. In addition, the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Jamie Bernstein, the daughter of Leonard Bernstein who composed the music for West Side Story.
Q: And last but not least, Giving Tuesday is just around the corner! What does Wharton Arts hope to accomplish this year? (For those of you who may not know, Giving Tuesday is a global movement of charitable giving at the beginning of the holiday season. Celebrated every year on the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday is fueled by the power of social media and the hashtag #GivingTuesday.)
A: This year for Giving Tuesday we’re raising funds for Wharton Players, Paterson Music Project, and the New Jersey Youth Symphony Playathon. Look for our social media posts—we hope to raise $3,000!
To make a donation to the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts and its programs, CLICK HERE.
Elizabeth Piercey has been on the Development team of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts since 2016. She is an arts administrator with over ten years of experience in supporting fund development in non-profit arts and social service organizations. Piercey graduated from Drexel University with a master’s in Arts Administration.