Marrying Technology and the Art of Conversation

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Case Study: Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh


Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh (CMP) has a fascinating history dating back over 120 years.  Combining four dynamic and distinctive museums – Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center and The Andy Warhol Museum – which explore all kinds of worlds, engage diverse communities, and enlighten countless individuals, CMP is an essential cultural institution benefiting the regional economy, schools, school children, families and individuals throughout Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania and beyond.  Each year more than 1.3 million people visit one of CMP’s museums or participate in CMP programs.  Ultimately, the most precious benefit and the heart of what CMP stands for is the opportunity for anyone to step aside, learn something new, reflect, think, and then return to their daily activities refreshed, refocused and reengaged. 


Artsmarketing Services (AMS) first began speaking with CMP about membership telemarketing initiatives in 2011 at a time when CMP was already engaged in a long standing relationship with another vendor. CMP was experiencing stagnant or declining results and was disappointed and frustrated with the quality of the automation that vendor provided. In 2011 CMP and AMS began discussing options:

What would a seamless transition to AMS look like?

How would AMS deliver a reliable automation tool that provides real-time reporting and accurate accounting? 

How would AMS manage lead delivery and reporting for hundreds of individual lead segments each with their own monthly start and stop date? 

What campaign leadership and support should CMP expect from AMS?   

Without satisfactory answers to these types of questions, CMP was not going to be able to achieve the growth that they required in their Membership program without micro-managing the vendor engaged to deliver the services. Ultimately these conversations led CMP to confidently select AMS as a partner to conduct its Membership Telemarketing Campaign beginning in January 2014.


After examining the situation at CMP and understanding the needs of the organization moving forward, AMS developed a three-step initiative to kick-start the partnership and provide a foundation for the campaigns that lay ahead.  These included:

Step One:

To ensure a smooth and seamless transition and provide CMP with as many avenues of support as possible both prior to campaign start-up and once the campaign was in operation, AMS created the “CMP Cross Functional Team”, which consisted of AMS personnel in the Marketing, Operations, Data/IT and HR departments. This team worked collaboratively as a unit and with their CMP counter-parts in the period leading up to AMS assuming responsibility for the calling.

This ensured a smooth campaign launch and set-up the first year of calling for success.

Step Two:

AMS employed our unique story-based scripting methodology to develop conversation plans specific to each individual lead segment. Scripts were developed for current and lapsed member and donor leads which reflected individual history allowing callers to reference past experiences at CMP rather than simply the benefits of membership or a transactional call.

Step Three: 

ALCHEMY, the proprietary lead management and report software developed by AMS, was integrated into the phone room. Lead information including past history is distributed directly to the callers’ computers where they disposition call outcomes and enter orders live.  In addition to being a powerful tool that empowers the Campaign Manager to assign leads and ensure that the most cherished leads are distributed into the hands of the most skilled callers to maximize results, ALCHEMY also provides a suite of campaign reports detailing up-to-the-minute metrics and campaign outcomes.


Thanks to the “CMP Cross Functional Team” established by AMS several months prior to the start of the 2014 campaign, the launch was a seamless transition from the previous vendor.AMS was deliberately careful to ensure that open lines of communication existed with the client at all levels. Additionally, AMS sent extra staff to the client’s call center before and during the launch in order to provide additional support to the Campaign Manager.  In 2014 AMS was able to fully executing its strategy with no loss in momentum and provided CMP with enhanced results and electronic reporting. AMS provided the statistical analysis that CMP was looking for on all components of their telemarketing operations including membership, annual fund, additional gift and corporate fundraising. 

The 2014 campaign concluded with nearly $660,000 in revenue from more than 3,100 members and donors with an average of $212. 

For the 2015 campaign, AMS refined some of the scripting in an effort to increase both the total revenue and overall gift average. Utilizing a stronger and more tailored approach to members and a very similar lead segmentation strategy allowed for a 17% increase in performance year over year. 

The 2015 campaign produced almost $770,000 from nearly 3,500 members with an average gift of $221.

CMP has now partnered with AMS for 2018 – a fifth consecutive year.  The campaign is trending towards achieving continued growth coupled with consistent excellence in customer service. AMS expects to deliver consistent improved campaign results for CMP for many years to come.


Founded in 1895 the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh (CMP) is a collection of four creative, inspiring, thought-provoking places of exploration: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. CMP educates young people and attracts lifetime learners of all ages. CMP is the largest, most far-reaching cultural organization in the Pittsburgh region, known throughout the world for its vast art and scientific collections and its scientific research. CMP is community leader in educational outreach.  For more information about CMP please visit

Bonnie Summerfeldt