Ojai Music Festival

Subscription Pricing by Blackbaud Helps Ojai Music Festival Better Serve Patrons, Save Time, and Increase Ticket Sales

Established in 1947 by music aficionado John Bauer, the Ojai Music Festival has fostered a healthy spirit of eclecticism in its adventurous programs, gaining a worldwide reputation for attracting artists who are given artistic freedom as they perform exceptional pieces of classical music. In its sixth decade, the Festival — under the leadership of Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris — continues this unparalleled musical legacy in which the creativity of the moment and the artists define each year's event.


In 2006, the Ojai Music Festival implemented a third-party online ticketing system. The organization needed to sell tickets online and move away from its traditional paper-only routine. But like many small arts organizations, the budget was extremely limited. The ticketing system did not provide the reporting and analysis the organization needed nor did it support what the organization was doing on the development side.

“With the old ticketing system there wasn’t a way to query and find out who are prospects really were,” said Christiana Thomas, Box Office Manager for Ojai Music Festival. “This made it much harder to find our targets and determine who we want to know. Plus, we were missing out on important development opportunities.”

Additionally, the ticketing system did not communicate with the organization’s donor management software, The Raiser’s Edge. To address this, the organization began a process of double data entry whereby information from the ticketing system was manually entered into its Raiser’s Edge database. This eventually became too heavy for the organization to handle. Having converted to The Raiser’s Edge in 2009, Ojai Music Festival had experienced the robustness and reporting functionality of the software.


Ojai had looked at The Patron Edge from Blackbaud years ago, but as a smaller organization the upfront cost of the software at the time was out of the organization’s budget. Now with Blackbaud’s subscription offering, Ojai is able to afford The Patron Edge.

“The subscription model was a game changer for us. It really made The Patron Edge a viable option,” Thomas said. “The Patron Edge is the only system that automates the things that we need. And just because we are smaller, doesn’t mean that we don’t need the same information as larger organizations. Before we just couldn’t afford it. Now, we can.”

Thomas and the Ojai Music Festival looked at other ticketing options before selecting the subscription-based version of The Patron Edge, but none could meet both the development and ticketing needs of the organization.

“Most companies are coming from a marketing perspective, with ticketing systems that also have some donor management capabilities,” Thomas mentioned. “Blackbaud gives equal weight to both. It isn’t a ticketing system with some donor management tacked on or a donor management application with some ticketing tacked on; it is truly both.”

Access to data is one of the key benefits the organization has experienced with Blackbaud. “The amount of time that we used to spend attaining and manipulating information, we now spend using the information,” Thomas said.


After installing The Raiser’s Edge in 2009, Ojai Music Festival saw donations increase 10 percent. Additionally, the number of lapsed attendees that have returned has quadrupled. Thomas attributes this partially to the use of The Raiser’s Edge and the ability to gather, collect, and report on vital information that was used to more effectively target donors and patrons. She anticipates a similar result with The Patron Edge. With the combination of The Raiser’s Edge and The Patron Edge, the organization will be able to gather even more data that will enable it to work smarter and better serve its patrons and donors.

“I am hoping to see about a 20 percent increase in ticket sales this year. That can be attributed to a number of things that we are doing, including the implementation of Patron Edge,” Thomas concluded.

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