Donating to the Joffrey Ballet

Donations are sorely needed at this time due to the current economic state of our nation. In 2009, over $470,000 in scholarships were provided to students. This year they will require more than $750,000 to keep current students in the program. Imagine those talented students dropping out simply due to financial hardship. It's in our hands, or more accurately in our bank accounts, to make a difference. And all donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

They also have the opportunity to expand the school to the fifth floor of the building, which would cost an extra $15,000 in rent per month (they currently already spend $30,000 per month on rent), plus $75,000 for remodeling.

Because of these two separate but equally important needs, they have set up two distinct funds for you to donate to. The scholarships fund and the facilities fund.

There are many different ways to make a financial contribution to Joffrey Ballet Chicago. You can donate by phone (312-386-8979), by mail (Development Department, 10 East Randolph Street, Chicago IL 60601), or by fax (fax this form to 312-739-0119). However, our favorite way to donate is online. You can do that here.

In addition to choosing your method of donation, you'll need to determine at which level you'd like to give. It will cost you between $75 and $999 per year to donate at the Dancer's Life level, which gives you priority ticket handling, discounts, invites to private receptions, access to dress rehearsals, and the ability to visit the home studios.

Joining the Joffrey Ballet School Family will cost you between $500 and $1500 yearly, and that affords you the same benefits as the Dancer's Life level, plus insights into quarterly meetings to improve the programs.

If you'd like to join the Inner Circle, it will cost $1000 to $9999 yearly, which affords you the same benefits as the Family level, plus an active role on the steering committee.

Finally we are left with the Executive Council level, which costs $10,000 or more, and gives you the utmost access to both the artistic and business side of things. This is the premium level for those who have both the financial ability and the wherewithal to make a direct difference in the future of Chicago's arts.

Donating to Ballet Chicago

Ballet Chicago is also in need of your financial consideration, with students hungry for financial aid in these difficult economic times. There are several different areas in which to donate, including the Dowd Scholarship, The Next Step Fund, the Daniel Blitstein Scholarship Fund, and more. We'll detail them below so that you can make an educated choice, or perhaps even donate to them all if your financial circumstances allow!

The Philip and Marsha Dowd Merit Scholarship Fund is dedicated to talented students as well as guest and teacher commitments. Typically the Dowds issue a contribution challenge, setting a specific amount (for the 2009-2010 season it was $45,000) that they will match, dollar for dollar, until that specified level of contribution is reached. You can donate online, by phone via Bob Bondlow at 312-251-8838, or via PayPal (does not require a PayPal account) here.

The Next Step Fund was created to help ensure that Ballet Chicago is able to move into their new location at 17 N State Street. Your contributions to this fund will pay for a new studio, barres, and mirrors, as well as all the repair and moving costs, plus any costs associated with acquisition and setup. For your donation you'll also have your name listed on the website as well as on the performance programs. When the goal of $25,000 is reached, all donors will have their names emblazoned on a special wall in the reception lobby. You can donate online via PayPal, American Express Giving Express Online, or Guidestar.

The Daniel Blitstein Scholarship Fund is a memorial fund established in the name of a talented fifteen year old who dreamed of becoming the world's first dancing marine biologist. He was a student at Ballet Chicago, and knowing that he was dying and would not be able to fulfill his life's wish, he established this scholarship so that other young male dancers like himself could fulfill their dream of dancing professionally. For this particular fund, you must donate by mail (Ballet Chicago, The Daniel Blitstein Scholarship Fund, 17 N State Street, Suite 1900, Chicago IL 60602). For more information before you make your donation, you may contact Bob Bondlow at 312-251-8838.

You may also simply choose to become a Friend of Ballet Chicago. This helps to cover operating expenses, since their earned income only covers a portion of the costs. These donations must be sent by mail (Ballet Chicago, Attn: Development Dept., 17 N State Street, Suite 1900, Chicago IL 60602), and may be in the form of cash, checks, credit cards, or gifts of stock. Again for more information you can call Bob Bondlow at 312-251-8838.

Some employers will match your gift, so be sure to check with yours to see if they have an established program for this. Doubling your donation without burdening your own wallet equals two times the generosity with half the effort!

Finally, there are Nutcracker Gifts, which you can find out about right here. No matter which method of donation you choose, it's certain that Ballet Chicago will put your dollars to great use. If you're a supporter of the arts, it's impossible to imagine a better organization to put your financial resources behind!

>> NEXT PAGE: Ballet Resources & Information in Chicago