5 Ways to Become a Master Collaborator

Whether you’re the Managing Director of a performing arts center, the CEO of a national museum, or just working in the box office at a regional theatre, your ability to collaborate on projects is an important factor in the success of your arts organization. Collaboration is key in instilling a sense of camaraderie in your staff while also ensuring that everyone on your team can have a voice when discussing anything from marketing strategies to fundraising initiatives.

But collaborating is more than just sitting down and having a brainstorm with other departments. To truly become a master collaborator, you must identify and lean on all of the resources you have at your disposal! Our team of experts have some useful tips to keep in mind when refining how your team works together, even when they’re unable to connect in-person.

Utilize CRM Tools
If your organization uses a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, identify any built-in features made specifically for collaboration. This type of direct communication within the CRM system can be extremely helpful in streamlining tasks like customer support, donor relations, and routine patron account maintenance. With PatronManager being built on the Salesforce platform, users can utilize Chatter. This social media-like communication tool allows you to speak directly to other staff within the system, opening a direct line of dialogue around a specific record or transaction.

Join the Video Revolution
You most likely are already using video conferencing applications like Zoom or Google Meet to stay in contact with your colleagues outside of the office, but have you considered how they can better support collaboration? Programs like Zoom make it easy to jump into small group breakout rooms during team meetings to refine individual ideas that you can then present to the rest of the group without having to join multiple meetings. And with these programs’ chat functionality, not only can everyone’s questions be seen, but even the quietest voices on your team can finally be heard!

Host a Virtual Community Event
Don’t forget to make your audiences part of the collaborative process! Connect online with your patrons and donors by holding virtual events like digital town halls where you can talk face-to-face with attendees from all across your community, from wherever they are in the world. Bringing in community ideas will spark a sense of ownership for your audiences, helping create a loyal fanbase for your arts organization.

Reach Out to the Client Community
If you are a PatronManager user, you should take advantage of our Client Community, a resource where you can interact and collaborate with other arts managers across the country. It’s a great way to keep in close contact with other organizations that run on PatronManager to trade tips, tricks, and other methods for getting the most out of your system. If you aren’t a PatronManager user, identify other online communities like your local arts council or a national service organization like Theatre Communication Group to collaborate with other arts professionals to discover and share best practices.

Always Maintain Trust
One of the biggest keys for collaborating, especially when managing a team, is to trust your staff. Allow them to guide your group discussions, implement strategies that have been developed out of brainstorming sessions, or generally take more of a leadership role when working together. You build a stronger, more confident team when everyone can feel ownership over your arts organization’s initiatives.

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