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! :-)
I’ve given the Columbus Symphony Orchestra some tough love this week with regard to their online donation system. I sincerely hope they eventually make it easier on us donors and patrons. Their website just doesn’t yet reflect the sentiment of the people I’ve talked to (other patrons, musicians, staff, etc), who are all enthusiastic about making this work.
Earlier this week I had a question about whether or not a part of my donation to the CSO would end up being split between CSO / CAPA / Ticketmaster because it has to be made via that trio of websites. Fortunately, it all goes to the CSO. Here’s the response I received from an Email I sent on Monday. It helps explain Continue reading →
Yesterday I wrote about how people make donations to various charitable or arts organizations. Today, it’s all about the online donation process. Don’t know how that donation process should work? Here are two great examples that I tried when I couldn’t originally donate to the CSO.
In the span of five minutes, I made two quick $5 donations. Not much, I know, but it let me go through the motions and every little bit helps.
Mahler’s “Resurrection” – Mozart’s Requiem
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 – Beethoven’s 5th Symphony
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
All are wonderful pieces of music – classics, even – with any one of them being able to generate enough excitement (sometimes riotous) to make even the most stoic of people smile! They’re all filled with such emotion or better yet, with such passion, that they will immediately instill a love of classical music in even the newest of listeners.
OK – Rite of Spring may not be QUITE as immediate, but give it a chance. It’ll grow on you!
Now imagine a Friday night for the first-time concert-goer. He sits down and is absolutely blown away by an amazing symphonic and choral performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony “Resurrection”. He can’t believe how good it was and he walks out with a fair amount of incredulity at how much he liked it. The concert is over, so it’s about 1030 / 11 o’clock at night when he gets home. He thinks that since the symphony was so good, he’ll check out the schedule and perhaps go to another concert in the new year. Continue reading →