Case Studies

Building Fundraising Momentum With iWave for Tessitura


Tulsa Ballet, one of the top ballet companies in North America, performs the finest works in classical and contemporary dance for the Midwest, giving audiences a unique opportunity to view world-class ballet in the heartland of America. The Ballet is committed to preserving the tradition of classical ballet, promoting the appreciation of contemporary dance, creating works of superior and enduring quality, and educating through exceptional dance training, performances, and outreach programs.


For Development Manager Brian Parker, the greatest fundraising challenge facing Tulsa Ballet is maintaining momentum. “Our revenue model is heavily tied to contributed revenue over earned revenue – somewhat unique among ballet companies – so our fundraising effort can’t afford to fall behind once the campaign closes.” While five staff members are committed to fundraising, there is no dedicated research position, meaning the team must work together on essential duties like research, stewardship, and event planning.


Between major campaigns, Tulsa Ballet’s development team started using iWave’s data to gain further insight into the Ballet’s donor base and focus on cultivating annual gifts. Luckily, there is an integration between iWave and the Ballet’s donor management system, Tessitura. “I’ve been using iWave for Tessitura daily since January 2017, as I’ve been a beta tester of the consortium version of the code. I really like how easy it was to install and how straightforward it is to get iWave’s data into Tessitura.” The development team can now dive deeper into its constituents and score patrons based on Affinity, Capacity, and Propensity, and all without leaving Tessitura. “The more information and access we can have in our database, the better off we are at getting research done that is needed.”

The focus on annual giving couldn’t come at a better time. Tulsa Ballet completed a successful tour of Italy in the spring of 2016 and debuted a World Premiere story ballet—Dorothy and the Prince of Oz—as part of its 60th Anniversary Season in 2016/17. Thanks to the Development Team, Tulsa Ballet can continue its mission to promote performing arts as an indispensable cultural resource.


Tulsa Ballet


Tulsa, OK


Ballet, Contemporary Dance Arts and Culture

Key Challenge:

Maintain and build fundraising momentum in between campaigns.

Key Benefit:

With the new integration between iWave and Tessitura CRM, Tulsa Ballet can focus on cultivating more annual gifts between major fundraising campaigns

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"I really like how easy it was to install the integration and how straight forward it is to get iWave’s data into Tessitura."

Brian Parker

Development Manager
Tulsa Ballet

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