Angels in the Wings is a new financial aid program for the New England Youth Theatre
With the deepening economic recession, it is becoming necessary for NEYT to find new sources of revenue for financial aid for students and their families who want to participate in our exciting programs, but do not have the financial capability to do so. To help meet that need, NEYT is pleased to announce a new and relatively painless way to give to the scholarship fund. We are calling it “Angels in the Wings” (the “wings” refer to the sides of the stage, not visible to the audience, where actors wait for their entrance cues).
A brief history of our financial aid policy: From the outset, we have never turned anybody away for lack of money. We have made various work exchange arrangements, or monthly payments to make programs more affordable. In addition, we decided early on to allocate 10% of the amount of paid tuitions for classes and productions into a financial aid fund. All of the proceeds of our concession sales go to this fund as well. Occasionally there have been specific donations toward financial aid, and two years ago the John Bliss Fund gave us a very generous donation toward our goals. All of this is very welcome, but we now need to do more. We want to reach out to more students and their families who might feel there is no way they can afford to become part of NEYT.
The financial aid committee has decided that asking many people to donate a relatively small amount per month, on a direct debit or credit-card payment, would be the easiest and most effective way to build up a sustainable fund. One hundred people donating $10 per month adds up to $12,000 per year. To put that into perspective, in 2008 we gave out roughly $10,000 in financial aid, from the usual sources outlined above. So this “Angels” fund would more than double the amount we would have to work with. Of course, we would hope this would be in addition to the generous amounts you give NEYT for our semi-annual Fall and Spring appeals.
The mechanics for doing this are simple. Your Angel gift can come directly from your bank account, in the same manner as an automatic bill payment. Forms and advice are available at the NEYT office. Or, you can give using your credit card by clicking on the “Donate” button, featured on each page of our website, www.neyt.org. Options for recurring donations on a monthly or quarterly basis are available.
Needless to say, you can donate more than $10, or less-- whatever you feel comfortable with. Every bit helps. Let us work together as an NEYT community, and help those less fortunate than ourselves to enjoy this incredible place we have created for the kids of the Brattleboro area. We will track donations, and report to everybody on a regular basis how we are doing . There will be an “Angel” page in the program book. And finally, rest assured that the financial aid committee works very diligently to make sure that those applying for aid are truly in need, and that we give them as much as we can, given the limited funds available. You can help make it possible for more kids to join in this amazing experience we call the New England Youth Theatre!
NEYT is a 501-c registered charity for tax deductible contributions. Please note that Angel program donations are tax deductible, whereas financial-aid donations for a named individual are not. You should always review with your tax accountant when planning your giving for charitable purposes.