It’s time for another update on the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Online donation process. It’s been about a month since my last $5 donation, so I made another to see what, if any, improvements have been made. I first have to say how I’m amused when I get my Email receipt that says,
“Thank you for your purchase! Below is a summary of your order.”
I’m amused because I didn’t actually purchase anything. I made a donation. There’s a difference, but Ticketmaster doesn’t yet know this.
Has it improved? No. Not at all.
Any fewer steps? No. It still requires about 15-20 steps (depending on whether or not you’ve already set up an account) as well as navigation through many screens in order to donate. (Click here for step-by-step work instructions)
Any changes? Yes, but just a few “clarifications” which only result in increasing the level of confusion in an already-convoluted process. How many accounts can I have? One at a time, but I need one for each organization I support? What? Huh?
Look. Is it worth your while to donate to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra? YES! Absolutely! I firmly believe this which is why I keep writing about this process – in the hopes that the folks there will see the light and make donating much more user-friendly. The symphony itself, the musicians – they really are that good! Best musical ensemble in town and they deserve our support.
Better yet, just buy a ticket and go. Hear for yourself how well they play. Concerts start up next month.
The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, or CAPA, has several organizations under its all-encompassing umbrella.
I’ve linked them all above in the hopes that you’ll take a few minutes to check some of them out because they’re all good and offer some great things!
As you can see above, there are a variety of options in this town for anyone who enjoys the arts: live classical music, jazz, theater productions for all ages in which you can either be on stage or just sit back and watch. Silent movies with a world-class talent at the organ and a variety of musical and entertaining acts at various theaters around town – the Ohio, Southern, Palace and Lincoln theatres. Seriously folks, we have a lot of great stuff to do in this city and I haven’t even started talking about sports!
Of these organizations, I’ve only ever seen Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Opera Columbus, but I’d love to check out the Jazz Arts Group and though my weird work hours unfortunately conflicted with a bunch of the CAPA movie nights this summer, I know I’ll eventually get to one. I’m not worried. CAPA’s not going anywhere!
4 out of 7 ain’t bad
As you all know I’m clearly unimpressed with the online donation process for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. I don’t hide this. I love the orchestra and I think Opera Columbus rocks. The online donation process however? Um…not so much. It kind of picks and chooses the organizations to which a donor – casual or otherwise – can actually donate. It’s very weird because they’re all part of the CAPA family, yet it’s as if there are definite favorites. I’m just not sure what constitutes being a favorite – or if I would want to be one!
For starters, if you’re making an online donation to one via Ticketmaster, you’re stuck there. You can’t even get back to the organization you started with unless you hit the back button a zillion times (about 15-20) or open a new tab and plug in the address again. This picture at the top of most every page within Ticketmaster, is misleading.
For those of you who are wondering, the above logos are included as part of one single picture, which is how I was able to include it above, so they only go to one link, which happens to be the CAPA website. I think it’s great to have the logos up there, but here are my suggestions:
- Make them seven individual pictures / logos / .jpgs with seven individual links to seven individual websites.
- Update it so it’s obvious we’re going to the CAPA website instead of leaving us disappointed when we end up at CAPA after clicking on the Lincoln Theatre.
A tad inconsistent
As stated above, the picture with all seven logos is misleading. Within the Ticketmaster donation process, we can only donate to CAPA, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, CATCO Theatre and the Lincoln Theatre. We are NOT able to donate to Opera Columbus, the Jazz Arts Group or the Columbus Children’s Theatre, yet their logos are included in the above picture, thus implying otherwise. So of the seven organizations, we can donate to four under Ticketmaster (assuming we have the stamina necessary to make it that far), we can donate to two via their own – far better and far more user-friendly – online donation options within their own sites and the last one doesn’t offer an online option at all (it’s “under construction”).
I again have some suggestions.
- Allow for donations to all seven arts organizations
OR (and this is my favorite)
- Dump Ticketmaster and model all your CAPA family organization online donation processes after the Opera Columbus model. Is it not included within Tickemaster because its online donation process is so much better? Opera Columbus has its own – ridiculously more user-friendly – online donation process. Click donate off the front page, click contribute online. Fill out the form, submit. Done. I mean, it’s so user-friendly that it’s almost along the lines of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra user-friendly.
The Jazz Arts Group has a similarly user-friendly online donation option within its own website as well. Why do some CAPA organizations have their own user-friendly online donation forms yet others are forced to suffer under Ticketmaster? And why so inconsistent? Do they not want to raise money online for all seven? Well 4 out of 7 ain’t bad, but it sure as heck ain’t good, either.
If they really did want to raise money, they’d instruct their webmasters to switch it over to the Opera Columbus model.
As for the Columbus Children’s Theatre, its donation page is “under construction,” so right now nothing is there to guide a potential donor.
And as for the Lincoln Theatre, you can make a donation to it from within Ticketmaster, but you can’t actually get TO Ticketmaster from its website. It just doesn’t have a link to it at all. So, to donate to the Lincoln Theatre, you have to enter the online donation portal via CAPA, CSO or CATCO and then choose Lincoln Theatre for your donation.
Who would ever know or think to do that?
Does this seem a bit – odd – to you?
If you’re new to these posts and it seems a little weird to you – don’t worry. It is weird. I have no idea why any organization would want to force donors – especially casual, one or two-time donors who, for a fleeting moment might want to give away their money – to endure such a pathetically awful online donation process when they could just easily fix it by modeling one of their own organizations – something they already have at their own disposal! With everything one must endure to donate to the CSO, CATCO, CAPA and the Lincoln theatre, those casual donors would never make it to the point where they’d plug in their card info. They’d never make it as far as is necessary to actually “make their purchase,” i.e. make their donation because no one has that kind of patience (except crazy bloggers doing research).
Why is CAPA so uninterested in raising money from everyone but the richest of potential donors? Same goes for the Symphony, CATCO and Lincoln Theatre? If they wanted to raise money, they’d all have online donation forms that look just like Opera Columbus or ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.
Still skeptical? Well, do you have 3 minutes? Grab your wallet and visit Opera Columbus to make a $5 (or more – your choice) donation to them. It’s a great organization and like all arts organizations, could use your support to keep their performers on stage (and in the orchestra pit!). While you’re at it, buy a ticket. Madama Butterfly is coming up pretty soon. The Pirates of Penzance is next spring and those are just two of their upcoming performances.
Remember what I was saying earlier about our having a lot of great stuff to do in our town? Go back and start clicking on those websites I linked up there. You’ll see for yourself I wasn’t kidding!
This weekend was the 2013 Annual Columbus Arts Festival where folks from all over central Ohio had the opportunity to journey downtown to enjoy a day of wandering amongst beautiful art of all kinds from artists around the region and country. In addition to 270+ artists’ hawking their wares all along the Scioto Mile downtown, festival attendees were also treated to some great food and live music and storytelling all day long on three different stages interspersed throughout the festival.
This weekend and along with other local arts organizations, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO) had a great presence next to CATCO and CAPA. Musicians (and other assorted volunteers) were out in full force talking to everyone who stopped by – or even walked by! We had a great time talking to everyone about the pops season that starts next week and the upcoming Classical Music series which is going to be absolutely incredible (slightly biased opinion admitted) in 2013-2014. Seriously – it’s like Candy Land for classical music lovers!
People we talked to were very excited about the upcoming performances of Beethoven’s 5th, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 and one person stopped dead in her tracks when I told her about Mozart’s Requiem. ”They’re performing his requiem? Really? WHEN?!” I loved her enthusiasm! And by the way, it’ll be performed April 11-12 along with Four Last Songs by Strauss.
We all wore name tags which included a picture of the instrument we play (or in my case, played – past tense!) I was always pretty amused when people would ask me if I played clarinet for the Symphony. HA! ”Oh heck no! The Symphony is GOOD! They don’t want me to play. I just stay back and watch from the balcony. You should join me!” Whenever they’d ask that, I’d also refer them to the real musicians, such as Betsy – Bassonist or Jude – Harpist or Adam who plays the French Horn (pictured above with his wife, Kat). I discovered that he and I have a shared appreciation of the theme music to several Star Trek movies (including the two recent releases) which employ French Horns for the main melody. Gorgeous! I also learned that he played in a concert down in Cincinnati that showcased music from various Star Trek movies. I’m guessing that was his version of musical Candy Land!
I’ve never been to a Picnic With the Pops performance with the CSO before so it was interesting talking to people about it based on zero experience. That’s OK – learning a lot along the way, I muddled through and could talk at least about upcoming performances like the Pointer Sisters this weekend to kick off the series (Chaka Khan had medical issues and had to cancel), Kansas and Natalie Merchant on July 6 and 13th, respectively. A lot of us also talked about a group I’d never heard of before, called Pink Martini, which is performing on June 22. No one could really describe their music, except to say that they were extremely good and quite entertaining. One couple I spoke to said that NPR’s Ari Shapiro occasionally performs with them which they liked because they think he’s cute. Had to laugh at that one!
I did talk to a couple who just moved to Columbus from Portland, OR, which is apparently Pink Martini’s hometown. This couple, who was kind enough to fill out one of my Arts surveys, told me that Pink Martini was indeed a terrific group that not only plays an eclectic mix of music, but that also sings in a variety of languages. As a linguist, hearing this totally piqued my curiosity. Now I have to check them out!
As you can see, it was a beautiful day in downtown Columbus, Ohio yesterday. While my feet were completely sore after standing on hard pavement for 4 hours and then walking the festival with my mom for another hour and a half – even stopping by the water color-filled booth of my friend’s aunt, Wanda Zuchowski-Schick, – I must say that the day was a good one.
Downtown Columbus has so much going for it in terms of night life, festivals, live music performances of all kinds, shops, you name it. I hope that more and more people will continue to take advantage of it as the summer progresses. We’ve got a great city here, folks. Come on over and check it out!