The Prairie Village JazzFest planning committee is sure to be singing a happier tune after receiving permission from the City Council last week to engage a professional to raise funds for the event, which is heading into its fourth year.
JazzFest organizer Jack Shearer initially approached the City Council in early January about securing a $10,000 loan to hire Pelofsky & Associates to help raise funds for the event, but was asked to provide more information before the council took a vote. The firm is led by Brenda Pelofsky, a former healthcare executive with deep ties in the Kansas City philanthropic community. A number of Councilors objected to the idea of bringing in a professional fundraiser without any guarantee of the amount of money they would receive, but Shearer convinced a majority of the councilors that Pelofsky’s fees were well in-line with industry standards.
The total 2012 budget for the event was just over $30,000. An outline submitted to the council for this year’s events shows a total budget of $97,000, with $75,000 of that raised by Pelofsky.
“Mostly we want to be able to have the money to spend on the best talent we can get,” Shearer told the council. Shearer also noted it was important to ensure the event generated enough revenue to have a reserve fund at the end of the year to help kick-start organizing efforts for 2014.