Automations Your Arts Organization Should Consider

James Walker

Chief Technology Officer

James brings a wealth of knowledge in software development, business intelligence, project management and nonprofit leadership, as well as extensive experience in ticketing, marketing, advancement and digital media.
September 14, 2023

Today’s arts organizations are utilizing numerous technological tools to conduct their daily business. It’s not uncommon for arts organization to leverage ticketing systems, fundraising CRM’s, POS systems, marketing automation systems, online forms, and numerous communication applications to cultivate and nurture patron experiences and engagement. That’s a lot of data in a lot of places that a lot of people need access to! This leads to manual, redundant processes of moving data from one place to the next, leaving the whole organization thinking, “There’s got to be a better way to do this.” Well, there is: enter Business Process Automation (BPA).  

The goal of Business Process Automation is to provide a seamless connection between multiple business applications systems, fulfilling a business task with minimal employee interaction. Using Workato, an industry-leading integration and automation platform in the cloud, we’ve designed custom automations, called “recipes,” to support workflows that are unique to cultural nonprofits. BPA adoption allows for maximized efficiency that can help to reduce expenses, boost staff morale, and free up time to focus on mission. That’s a win-win, in our book.  

If you’re new to BPA or need a refresher, check out our introductory blog or webinar recording. 


Some of Our Top Automations for Arts Organizations 

We tapped into personal experience and input from JCA clients for our inaugural automation development. We’ve worn many hats at all levels of cultural institutions — from leading departments to working in box offices to running databases. Many processes across our industry have remained  the same without efficiency-focused improvements. Without further ado, we’re excited to share some of our top automations developed for arts organizations designed to solve these pain points. 


A. Book Comps in Tessitura via Teams/Slack

If you’ve worked in the arts, we feel confident that you’ve experienced the challenge of complimentary tickets. These requests come from members across the whole organization. Even with a centralized submission form, it can be overwhelming to manage. A box office member must manually input those requests into Tessitura in a timely manner so the reservations can be communicated with patrons. 

This automation removes the time consuming, manual transfer process by permitting the requestor to input the comp directly into Tessitura using Teams or Slack chat. Now, all the Box Office staff needs to do is seat the comp ticket. This automation gives the requestor peace of mind that the ticket is accounted for and the Box Office has control over seating selections.   

Use Cases:  

  • Artistic staff use Microsoft Teams chat as a self-serve to book personal comp requests that are automatically imported into Tessitura.  
  • Development staff use Microsoft Teams to book donor comp requests that are automatically imported into Tessitura, with notes on special seating requirements. 


B. Create a Customer Service Issue (CSI) in Tessitura with Microsoft Teams 

With the evolution of the workplace, it is hard to say where your team may be on a given day, making communication that much more important. Many organizations are relying heavily on applications like Microsoft Teams to stay connected, whether with members of their leadership team, or an outsourced call center.  

This automation allows organizations to take a powerful Tessitura functionality like CSIs and expand it across the organization to non-Tessitura users. People at any access level, can create a CSI without ever needing to set up a Tessitura account.  

Use Cases:  

  • Staff Members want to assign box office or donor follow-ups while on-the-go from their mobile device. 
  • Third-party vendors or Call Centers do not have access to Tessitura, so this enables them to assign follow ups for staff members.


C. Create a Customer Plan Step in Tessitura from an Outlook Calendar Appointment   

With donors, the smallest detail is critical to the development of the relationship. It’s important that your whole team stays informed about important donor details and meetings. Unfortunately, it can be tedious to remember to log every interaction in Tessitura. 

This automation reduces dual manual entry by syncing an Outlook Calendar appointment to a constituent plan in Tessitura. Now a staff member can meet with a donor knowing that the meeting information was automatically added to their prospects’ account and is ready to access by their team. 

Use Cases:  

  • A Director of Development is scheduling an appointment with a donor prospect and wants to add that meeting as a plan step in the constituent’s account. 
  • A Donor Manager needs to review upcoming meetings with major-gifts prospects that includes previous gift history.  


D. Create Shopify orders from Tessitura Merchandise Sales 

To create a rounded experience for audience members, non-event products have become par for the course—parking, merchandise, drink tickets, and more. These benefits are often housed in different applications with external partners, making bookkeeping and management a nightmare. The following automation is a foundational example of how BPA can help connect an external system to Tessitura. 

This automation converts purchases at the time of sale in Tessitura into Shopify orders, including all information needed to complete processing and fulfillment. This can also be used for other places where orders are placed for your organization and the data can flow from Shopify to Tessitura as well.  

Use Case:  

  • Shopify is used for all merchandise tracking and fulfillment at the organization. When a purchase for a T-shirt is made in Tessitura, the inventory is adjusted, and the customer’s relevant shipping and payment information is automatically updated in Shopify. 


Watch our webinar Using Business Process Automation to Save Time and Money, to see demos of our favorite Automations. 


Join the Business Process Automation Pioneers 

BPA has limitless possibilities. All our current automations can be customized to your organization’s needs. We are excited to keep expanding our BPA services and would love the opportunity to develop unique automations for your organization.  

Contact us about how we can help you automate your business processes or set us a BPA demo. 

Let’s Talk!