Arts Funding Information
In his book ‘The Art of the Turnaround” Michael M. Kaiser talks in his 10 rules about Marketing and making cuts.
He believes that “you cannot save your way to health”. He notes that most arts organisations already do far more with less than their for-profit peers. Budget cuts might be advisable but where one cuts is crucial
“Organisations focused simply on reducing costs will continue to get smaller and smaller and will never create the economic engine that is required for long-term stability and growth”
It is his experience that while cutting unnecessary costs is a part of any turnaround that too many arts organisations focus on marketing projects that are identified with earned revenue, ie the Box Office. Too few spend any effort on Institutional marketing: the image that gets people excited about supporting the company. This in turn supports ‘contributed income’, ie donations and sponsorship.
Fund-raising must focus on the larger donor, but don’t aim too high. While small contributions are always appreciated, they are not usually sufficient to make a dent in the deficit.
He outlines an interesting technique in this area: the ‘Challenge Grant’. This is where there is a grant available for a modest amount, but only when the organisation matches it from other sources.
I like his mantra of Good Art, Well Marketed as it brings us back to why we are here in the first place.
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