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Lesson

Perfect Pitch

You’ve got a great idea for a project. You’ve used the toolkits and worked with members of our Creative Community to refine your design. Now it’s time to work on your pitch! How you describe your project and the value it creates in communities is very important. In this toolkit, we look at what makes a great pitch, pitfalls to avoid and how to adjust the pitch for different audiences.

Logic Models

Creative Community Tools National Arts Strategies has developed a set of lessons to help cultural…

Leadership

Creative Community Tools National Arts Strategies has developed a set of lessons to help cultural…

Design Thinking

Design thinking is an iterative process that helps you move from having a seed of an idea to a plan for experimenting on a small scale. Using design thinking, which is based in the scientific method, helps you question your assumptions and explore a wide range of possible solutions to the problem you are trying to solve.

Community

We think about community in two ways: the community your project serves and our community of Fellows. We want to strengthen your connection to both. The Luck Circle and Accountability activities will help you push through your own roadblocks and access new resources using the CCF community’s support. The Systems Mapping exercise helps you to view the community in which you work in a new light. All three lessons in this unit help deepen community bonds and allow for new opportunities to surface.

Flexibility & Sustainability

One of the ways to achieve mission and financial sustainability is to develop flexibility in the system. Flexibility allows an organization to be more adaptive and creative in a changing environment, and allows leadership to thoughtfully respond to these changes rather than react in ways that may damage the organization in the longer-term. Both revenue and expense provide opportunities for increasing flexibility. This discussion-based lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Peter Frumkin, Ph.D., will help your senior team examine and discuss your financial flexibility.

Measuring Effectiveness

Your organization deals with many challenges presented by internal and external accountability demands. You are always looking for ways to improve operations, to anticipate and be more responsive to competitive pressures, and to define meaningful performance goals that render your work concrete in stakeholders’ eyes. Creating a dashboard or scorecard can help. A dashboard can be an excellent tool for focusing board and CEO attention on what matters most. It can help overcome asymmetry between the precision of financial and mission measures. This lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Peter Frumkin, Ph.D., can be used to help you build a scorecard or dashboard for your organization.

Logic Models

A logic model is a set of claims about how an organization produces something of value. It allows us to define and explore the links between what we do and how our efforts affect others. A logic model tells an organization’s story and explains why a program or the organization exists. This lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Peter Frumkin, Ph.D., can be used by your team to create a logic model for any of your programs or services.

Program Portfolio Mix

Everything an organization does in terms of programs and service can be sorted by financial and social return. Some programs have a higher rate of financial return, but build less social capital towards mission and some are the opposite. Examining the program portfolio provides insights into what, if anything, needs to change. This lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Peter Frumkin, Ph.D., can be used to help your senior team analyze your organization’s program mix and may be especially helpful when considering new programming.

Empathy Map

This lesson, developed by NAS in partnership with Suzi Sosa, Co-Founder and CEO of Verb, will walk you through a process to help you understand the circumstances and needs of the client.