By: Ashley Spurlock

Claire and I at the TARC lounge during our first year on the campaign trail.

Welcome to my first ever blog post! I’m Ashley Spurlock and some of you may already know me as the Director of Workplace Giving at the Fund for the Arts and you may have even seen around your workplace throughout this past year. What you might not know is that I started at the Fund for the Arts more than five years ago as the Director of First Impressions which is a fancy way of saying the Front Desk Receptionist which is a fancy way of saying the person who answers the phones. At the time I was thrilled to just be working in the arts, answering all of your arts questions was my ticket (pun intended) into the world of arts administration. A world I had been trying to get into ever since I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Arts Administration. Just as my parents were beginning to wonder exactly what an “Arts Administrator” was, I got an internship here at the Fund.

Since then I’ve learned everything there is to know about how the Fund for the Arts operates and I now manage our largest sector of the campaign, Workplace Giving. That means I oversee all 200 plus workplace campaigns each year. A fiscal year in the Fund for the Arts runs from July to June. This means that June 30th is our equivalent to New Year’s Eve. Although we don’t stay up until midnight celebrating with champagne, we are working late to get all those pledge cards in the door! And just like New Year’s, July and August is our time of reflection and analysis.

I should start off by saying that Statistical Analysis isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Have you seen that postcard on Facebook about math word problems? Yeah, that would be me….

Fellow Fund teammate Amber Sexton put together an impressive 60 page summary of the numbers for us to analyze last week, and through that presentation of nearly 100 charts and graphs, those numbers begin to paint a beautiful picture.

When Amber shows us $8.1 million raised, $3.6 million of which came from the employee campaign sector, I see how hard the Fund for the Arts staff, the board, and countless volunteers work to get every single dollar in the door. How hard did they work? Nearly 5,000 donors every year give between $52-$103. That’s a whole lot of ArtsCARDs! The average gift to the Fund for the Arts is $155, which explains all of those umbrellas you see downtown when it rains.

And here is the team today! That’s me in the middle.

When I see that nearly 20,000 employees give to the Fund for the Arts each year it tells me that we have a community invested in the arts. More than 12,000 of those employees from Humana, Brown-Forman, Yum!, JCPS, Norton, Jewish Hospital, LG&E, ACL & JeffBoat, PNC and Fifth Third Banks give more than $2 million alone. That means that our Top 10 campaigns represent more than 60% of the employee campaign in donors and dollars.

While some may look at these numbers and begin complex math equations to analyze each trend. I look at these numbers and see community. I look at these numbers and see you. It’s these numbers that get me excited to take on another campaign season.

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