Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Changing the Game: U.S. Arts and Cultural Organizations Getting Creative Amid Funding Challenges

This article, found here, is a summary of a survey across 919 arts organizations in the United States done by the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) in 2014. 

The results, as with any survey, can be taken with a grain of salt and aren’t necessarily entirely conclusive. But they can lead you to believe, if done correctly, in certain trends or patterns of behavior.  Based around the discussion held in class of the “15 questions”, it seems that many nonprofit organizations specifically are questioning “How will you deliver the value for what you do?” and “How will you capture resources?”

It seems to point out, broadly, two things: That nonprofit arts organizations are realizing that their current models and dialogues for funding are falling short, and that a large percentage are now changing their means for engagement, collaboration and data collection. The actual list from the article, because I liked it so much (from


  • 59% are collecting data on audiences/ visitor preferences & behaviors
  • 53% are engaging audiences/ visitors through technology
  • 50% have added or expanded programs
  • 44% have collaborated with another organization to improve/increase programs/services
  • 21% have pursued an earned revenue venture
  • 18% have changed how they raise and spend money

The NFF will be holding a webinar to further discuss these intriguing results on September 25, if you’re interested. While the results may speak for themselves, if they do indeed point to a trend that we may pair with prior knowledge to believe may be true, arts organizations are now trying to deliver their value through a variety of these means. If partnerships and collaborations add more value or capture more resources, they could become a viable solution for that organization. The same can be said for any such thing on this list; technology to engage new audiences,  and expanding programming. As organizations seek more answers for how to capture resources in a new way, we should keep our eyes on the horizon and be seeking the next wave solutions. 




This entry was posted on September 10, 2014 by .
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