The Berkshire Theater Group
Supporting culture in the Berkshires with the power of collective impact
New England's Berkshires region has always been a hub for arts, theater and culture. As the economic crisis decreased the amount of philanthropic dollars and the tourism needed to support the arts, two of the regions prominent theater groups, The Berkshire Theatre Festival and The Colonial Theatre decided to merge in order to coninue serving the arts community. The newly constituted Berkshire Theatre needed support combining two vastly different infrastructures, particularly the IT systems that powered their marketing and ticketing operation bringing an audience to the theater.
The Berkshires Business Roundtable is a business association with representtatives from multiple regional corporations with shared goals to ensure a robust central community in the Berkshires. Pulling together the corporations from the Roundtable and the merging nonprofit organizations, Common Impact worked to define a pro bono project that would achieve the goals of each stakeholder and build a stronger combined organization to support the arts in the region.
A cross-company pro bono team created a single, effective unified technology platform. the on-the-ground exposure to these organzations inspired the Roundtable corporations to provide additional in-kind and philanthropic dollards to support its work. This collaborative work has:
- Increased revenue devoted to theater in the Berkshires by building an audience and donor base
- Allowed nonprofit employees to spend more time on mission-critical work
- Developed long lasting relationships between the corporations and non-profit organizations in the community that have a similar goal - to build a thriving arts and theater community in the Berkshires
"It was beautiful, collaborative and expansive...and we never could have done this, or conceived of doing this, on our own."