Impact on the Arts - Part II

| by Katie Weeks

I am excited to join the Armstrong McGuire team and have the opportunity to serve a diverse group of nonprofits.  As we get to know each other, there are two things I really appreciate having: CONTEXT and ACTIONS.

So let’s dig deeper into how the arts sector can prepare for life after the NEA.

CONTEXT:

The NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS (NEA) was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to strengthen the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.

Last year in North Carolina, the NEA provided $632,987 to 29 arts and community organizations along with a $957,300 to the North Carolina Arts Council.

While no organization is completely reliant on the NEA for ongoing annual funding, having support at a national level and the recognition THAT THE ARTS MATTER will be missed if the budget passes without funding the NEA.

ACTIONS:

With so many uncertainties, how can the arts sector prepare for life after the NEA?  Here are three areas to start a conversation on how ANY organization can be mindful and plan for the many unknowns of the funding environment:

1)    Share your Mission:  WHO are you impacting? HOW have the people you serve been changed by your organization?  What channels can you use to make sure your advocates and donors know your impact?

2)    Find the right people:  Do you have the right people on your team? Is your Board reflective of the people who care about your mission and have influence? Are they engaged to the fullest?

3)    Have a plan: Is your fund development program diverse?  Are you allocating the appropriate amount of time to each area of opportunity?  Are you preparing for the future by establishing a planned giving program? If not, what needs to be adjusted?  

Each of your organizations do something that changes the world for the better. The arts use movement, music, theatre and visual arts to explore and question the world around us.  The arts allow us to come up with alternatives and see the world in new ways.  And, that is what I am passionate about. I am excited to start asking the right questions to help your organization find its way through these uncertain times.

I want to learn more about you and your organization.  Reach out and let’s find time for coffee…first cup is on me.

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