The Maryland Science Center

The Maryland Science Center Uses Blackbaud’s Integrated Ticketing Solution to Understand Their Visitors and Increase Revenue

The Maryland Academy of Sciences is Maryland's oldest scientific institution and one of the oldest such institutions in the entire nation. At its inception in 1797, the Academy was an amateur scientific society — members met to discuss papers on astronomy, botany, zoology, and other subjects then known as the "natural sciences." Rembrandt and Raphael Peale, sons of painter and scientist Charles Wilson Peale, were among the distinguished early members. Today, as it has been in the past, the Maryland Science Center continues to focus on remaining a vital community resource and economic development engine now and in the future.

Challenge

  • The Maryland Science Center was using a ticketing system with limited functionality; attempting to get meaningful information out of the system was tedious and time-consuming. In fact, the system could not easily produce a simple monthly attendance report.
  • The Center was having trouble capturing patron information and wanted to improve their data management capabilities so they could truly understand their supporters to cultivate their relationships effectively.
  • In addition to dealing with reporting frustrations, staff members at the Center could not process transactions quickly and easily during the ticketing point-of-sale process, which often caused long lines to form during peak times.
  • The Center knew that if they wanted to grow and better serve the mission, they needed to improve their website. The organization wanted to establish a strong, well-branded Internet presence and use the web to engage supporters.
  • Staff members at the Center also wanted to allow constituents to buy tickets online, and they wanted members to be able to log in and automatically receive their discounts.

Solution

  • The Maryland Science Center was already successfully using The Raiser’s Edge for constituent relationship management. Staff members believed it was one of the most powerful tools available to them.
  • For that reason, the Center placed a high priority on finding a system that offered integration with The Raiser’s Edge when they began considering a new ticketing solution.
  • After doing some research, staff members realized that Blackbaud’s ticketing solution, The Patron Edge, in addition to The Patron Edge Online, would be the perfect fit.

Results

  • After implementing The Patron Edge and The Patron Edge Online, the Center’s membership base has grown from 6,000 family memberships to more than 7,000.
  • With their previous system, the Center was losing the transaction fees for online ticket purchases to their ticketing vendor. But with The Patron Edge Online, all of the transaction fees go back to the Center. Because of this, the Center has recouped the money they spent on The Patron Edge and The Patron Edge Online in less than six months.
  • The Center has since hosted a blockbuster traveling exhibit, and in seven months, they had 100,000 additional patrons come through their doors than they normally see in a year. They attribute this improvement to the fact that constituents could buy tickets online.

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