The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes, is more commonly known as “philanthropy.” However, what makes philanthropy effective? The first factor is obvious: money. The second is integral to institutional longevity: consistency.

According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Fundraising Effectiveness Project, in 2014 the donor retention rate in the U.S. was a mere 43%. This means that over half of donors that donated to a charity did not renew their gift the next year. There is a lot of discourse that exists regarding the amount of gifts to institutions, but not enough that delves deep into the importance of gifts over time. Having a set group of dedicated supporters who contribute regularly provides nonprofits with financial stability and strong community backing.

Nineteen years ago, Ann Wasser Hohe and her husband, David, became members of the Allentown Art Museum. They have been giving of their time and money ever since. “You don’t need an arts background to be involved with the Museum,” says Ann, a retired school librarian. “You end up realizing that there is art in everything and, for me, it was a natural connection.”

Since 1999, the Hohe’s have contributed to Museum initiatives including membership and the annual gala. They are part of a group of committed, long-term donors that provide the Museum with the solid financial foundation required for sustainability.

Like most nonprofit organizations, the Allentown Art Museum relies heavily on the support of donors and friends to provide the resources needed to carry out integral community programming and activities. As we continue to lay the groundwork to execute our new strategic plan and vision, we need your help now more than ever. Ann and David are a few of the Museum’s many true philanthropists, and so are you. Please join us as we commit to making 2018 a stellar year for the Allentown Art Museum and the Greater Lehigh Valley.