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Beyond Financials

How might we, as leaders in the cultural sector, be critical, formative drivers of building the vision for a new economy?

Financial Sustainability of Recycling and Upcycling

The question of how an organization financially sustains a plastic baling twine recycling program in a rural community has been nagging me. Facilitating up-cycle exhibits featuring this material helps to raise awareness, but it doesn’t begin to address the problem.

Research, Reports & Real People Talking About the Arts (Oh My!)

There’ve been many great responses to today’s posts and there are so many smart people…

The Under-Resourced Nonprofit Sector – Crisis or Chimera?

What we do truly mean when we say that we are under-resourced?

Saying What We Mean

Last January, at NAS’ Chief Executive Program convening The New Nature of Relevance, I listened…

Finance au naturel

A wise person* once observed that it isn’t until that the tide goes out that…

The New Nature of Money

Changes in the environment – economic, demographic and social – may challenge the health of…

Charities’ Zero-Sum Filing Game

The minimalist ratings of nonprofit organizations, using overhead and fundraising ratios, are deeply flawed. Are…

How should cultural organizations approach budgeting?

Michael Granof, a professor of accounting at the University of Texas at Austin, talks about the importance of relating dollars to objectives.

How should cultural organizations evaluate costs?

Michael Granof, a professor of accounting at the University of Texas at Austin, suggests that when making program decisions the only costs that really matter are those that will change as a result of the decision.

What are some common pitfalls to avoid when contracting out?

Michael Granof, a professor of accounting at the University of Texas at Austin, talks about the behavior of costs and the importance of clearly defining the activity to be outsourced.

What is a Logic Model?

Peter Frumkin, a Professor of Social Policy and Faculty Director of the Center for Social Impact Strategy, both at the University of Pennsylvania, explains the concept of logic models and how cultural organizations might use them.

How should cultural institutions approach the challenge of sustainability?

Peter Frumkin, a Professor of Social Policy and Faculty Director of the Center for Social Impact Strategy, both at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that arts and culture organizations must develop flexible financial models.

How does the need for flexibility impact programming decisions?

Peter Frumkin, a Professor of Social Policy and Faculty Director of the Center for Social Impact Strategy, both at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about classifying all the things you do in terms of the financial and social return.

How should arts and culture organizations look at measuring their effectiveness?

Peter Frumkin, a Professor of Social Policy and Faculty Director of the Center for Social Impact Strategy, both at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses the importance of measuring multiple dimensions of organizational performance.

Defining Values: A training for developing new opportunities for uncertain futures

In October 2011, three senior arts and education practitioners brought together 40 participants from 15 organizations in the UK to address practical and effective ways to strengthen the real value of the arts, thereby sustaining their varied revenue streams.

Bon Jovi and the Pay-What-You-Can Experiment

We recently announced a new pricing model for Business of Arts and Culture seminars in…

Finding Your Funding Model

Peter Kim, Gail Perreault and William Foster of the Bridgespan Group argue organizations often have a clearer vision of what their programs will be in five years than of the funding that will support them. They offer a road map for leaders seeking to develop appropriate funding models for their organizations.

Who Is Governing Whom? Senior Managers, Governance and the Structure of Generosity in Large U.S. Firms

Interesting new research from Christopher Marquis and Matthew Lee at Harvard Business School on key structural drivers of corporate philanthropy, including gender, CEO tenure, and board structure.

Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results

The two sides of strategy: collaboration and competition, covered in the book “Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results”

The price behind the choices we make

This piece from last week’s Marketplace is good food for thought given the increasing competition for audiences’ time and money.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

The arts aren’t under the microscope of evidence-based funding today, but this shift in the thinking around us is already starting to inform the thinking of the program officers and donors upon which we rely.

We Make Do: More Time Is Better, But Budget Is King

Given the challenges facing both those who have facilities and those who want access to facilities, are there opportunities for communities to work together to overcome these challenges?

Faith, Hope and Charities

An interesting article on the relationship of trust between charities and the public.

Has the existing nonprofit model outlived its usefulness?

Douglas McLennan, Editor of ArtsJournal, discusses the changing landscape for commercial and nonprofit arts and culture organizations.

A Social Competitiveness Index

A global discussion to define and track the things that make a society capable of social innovation.

The Four Horsemen of the Nonprofit Financial Apocalypse

In this article Clara Miller, President and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, identifies nonprofit best practices and assumptions which have amplified the impact of the economic downturn on many organizatio

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief: Public Charities, Giving and Volunteering, 2009

This brief highlights trends in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities, as well as key findings on private charitable contributions and volunteering, two vital resources to the nonprofit sector.

Happiness Around the World: The paradox of happy peasants and miserable millionaires

A friend in the banking world recently gave me this book, and as we consider why the arts are so essential to healthy societies it makes for interesting reading.

Nonprofit Reserves Workgroup

A great resource for board members and staff members to test knowledge and learn more about operating (sometimes called cash) reserves.

What one financial question should leaders keep in mind at all times?

Tracy S. Harris, Chief Financial Officer of The BondFactor Company and NAS board member, talks about the importance of leveraging resources.

What effect has the economy had on the overall capacity of the arts and culture field?

Tracy S. Harris, NAS board treasurer,  talks about the aftermath of the economic downturn.

What does economic recovery look like for the arts and culture field?

Tracy S. Harris, NAS board treasurer, talks about economic recovery for arts and culture organizations.

A Review of Endowment Giving Policy Options

A paper written by NAS President and CEO Russell Willis Taylor in 2006 for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation discusses the tradition, benefits, and necessity of endowment funds in the arts.

Financial Management Practices

We investigated financial management at leading arts organizations to understand how their practices could be used across the arts sector. With funding from The James Irvine Foundation, we developed a framework and publication.