a broader base of support for artskc

May 24, 2016

Andrea Robinson, Development Director of ArtsKC, is particularly excited by the ways in which the arts build genuine, lasting relationships that have long-term impacts on the community. Driven by a love for these authentic partnerships, Andrea’s focus is on broadening the base of support for ArtsKC and ensuring a bright future for the arts throughout the Kansas City region.

Andrea has years of experience serving as a fundraiser and advocate for mission-based organizations in Kansas City and across the nation. Before coming to ArtsKC, Andrea worked on a diverse portfolio of development initiatives—her previous work was in organizations ranging from youth development to the environment and domestic violence to oral health. She is excited to make this foray into the arts after gaining experience in development and marketing at both businesses and nonprofits, including work for Smiles Change Lives, DataFile Technologies and Rose Brooks Center. Andrea received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.

Be wise about where you invest your energy. Decide which outcomes are most important to you and what kinds of resources you have at your disposal to achieve them. You can’t do every single thing. It’s your job as a development professional to decide what counts and move intelligently in that direction.


Set aside a few hours each week to thank people. Donors. Staff. Volunteers. Partners. Your spouse—divorce is expensive, thank you notes are cheap!

Take the appointment if you can. Even if you don’t know what will come of it. If you can’t take it, send someone else to take the appointment. If it’s not a fit, direct them to someone else who can help. Be a connector.

Be authentic. Talk like a human being. Connect with people in a real way and they will reciprocate.

Know when to say “no”. Accepting the 50,000 sq. ft. abandoned warehouse full of pigeon poop as a donation, is almost always a bad idea. If your prospect is asking too much of you, probably not a good fit.

Be flexible and accommodating when you can. Take the time to have a conversation with your sponsors/donors and find out what THEY are looking for in the relationship. You’ll be so much more successful and will prevent potential disasters.