Synchronicity Theatre sets the stage for success
By Lisa Cremin, director, community advancement, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Since 1984, the Community Foundation has recognized standout nonprofit organizations with our Managing for Excellence award. Nonprofits who apply for this unique grant recognition participate in a detailed and rigorous review and site visit process that analyzes their operations, governance and programs. Awards are given to one smaller nonprofit with an annual operating budget under $2 million and a larger nonprofit with a budget over $2 million. The 2018 winner in the small nonprofit category is Synchronicity Theatre.
Synchronicity Theatre offers diverse programs that challenge the mind and build empathy through the creation of new theatrical work that empowers females. Founded in 1997, Synchronicity has a strong culture of planning, is forward-thinking and has become a critical component of Atlanta’s arts ecosystem. Their success is evident – Synchronicity’s theatrical productions have shown a 49 percent increase in individual ticket sales and an 81 percent increase in group sales since 2014.
Synchronicity maintains a balance between being adaptive while retaining the structures that have brought success. For example, they stage pajama-friendly shows that cater to families. And they have built a flexible work environment for employees that has been sustainable in periods of significant growth. Furthermore, Synchronicity makes their venue available to outside groups, providing a source of revenue while enhancing the theater as a gathering spot for different productions.
Managing for Excellence applicants are ranked against competitive criteria of more than 80 management characteristics and governance best practices to win the award. A Synchronicity staffer told me they had the grant award’s best practices criteria posted on a wall for several years before they applied for the grant, using the checklist as a road map for continual improvement.
As part of their recognition package, Synchronicity receives a $75,000 grant from the Community Foundation, consulting services from Managing for Excellence partner, Boston Consulting Group and participation in a nonprofit management class at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.