Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is looking at significant growth this year as the nonprofit dance school continues to attract donors and students.
Contributions are projected to be up 18 percent in CPYB’s current fiscal year, which ends in August, said CEO Nicholas Ade.
“We have kids who are being raised in a classical ballet environment and being taught life lessons that go outside of their academic structure. I think that’s what our donors really respond to,” Ade said.
Many nonprofits started the year with fears that contributions would be down, given the recent federal tax overhaul that increased the standard deduction, potentially reducing the number of filers who itemize and use charitable contributions as tax breaks.
But CPYB’s donor pool has strengthened, Ade said.
“While the tax incentive is enticing, it isn’t the core reason why people give,” Ade said. “If anything, because of the relationships we’ve built, soliciting donors is easier.”
CPYB is also looking at significant enrollment growth since its expansion last year, which added 6,600 square feet to the organization’s main studio space on North Orange Street in Carlisle.
While CPYB’s largest programs take place in the summer, its fastest-growing classes are during the academic year. This school year, CPYB has 317 students enrolled — 92 more than last year, a growth of over 40 percent enabled by the added studio space.
Summer programs enroll roughly double the amount of students enrolled during the academic year.
“The summer is still our largest revenue generator, but the growth through the year is really adding a new dimension,” Ade said.
A study released in 2012 found that CPYB had a $5.7 million economic impact on the Carlisle region, a number that is certainly higher today given the group’s rapid growth, both in its own operating budget as well as the number of attendees CPYB programs bring in from outside the area.
“I think people are seeing growth, but they’re also seeing our ability to keep what got us here intact and not stray from our core mission,” Ade said.
Donation growth on both the individual and corporate side has been roughly even, Ade said. Reliable growth in the donor base has allowed CPYB to develop a roadmap for what it wants to add.
“We continue to look at how fast we can achieve our dreams, essentially, that list of things that we want to accomplish within the next three to five years. As we go along year to year, we start being able to prioritize what comes next,” Ade said.