How a Strategic Audience Journey Doubled the California Symphony’s Attendees & Quadrupled Donors

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Is it time to reimagine your donor pipeline? 

With a track record of doubling crowds and quadrupling donors for the California Symphony, Aubrey Bergauer has been likened to the Steve Jobs of classical music.

In her tenure from 2014-2019 as Executive Director, she walked into the role during a state of financial crisis and alarming churn rates. Why were 80% of first-time donors not renewing and 90% of first-time buyers not coming back to see another show? There had to be a better way.

My conversation with Aubrey is a MASTERCLASS in change management. We cover how she created a systematic customer journey for the symphony (without over-soliciting), including her secrets to turning first-time attendees into lifelong patrons. Plus, we talk through her tech stack and how data was her most persuasive partner in piloting new fundraising ventures.

Aubrey’s vision doesn’t rest on data alone–it’s about creating an all-encompassing experience for every symphony-goer. From UX overhauls to copy changes on their website, she details the subtle, yet powerful shifts in the user experience that helped increase their ticket sales by 20%. 

Let’s hear how she made it all happen!


Resources & Links

Connect with Aubrey on LinkedIn and through her website. You can also check out her new book Run It Like a Business: Strategies for Arts Organizations to Increase Audiences, Remain Relevant, and Multiply Money – Without Losing the Art.

Want to make Missions to Movements even better? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @positivequation so I can connect with you.

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