I have been reading several articles about arts organizations that are finishing in the black. They have these top 10 management directives in common:
1. Their budgets are not overly extravagant. They are making sure to cover costs and attempt to build a surplus.
2. They are investing in endowments. All of the articles that I have viewed state that the organization has an endowment and that they attempt to add to this endowment each year.
3. They fundraise constantly and use audience development techniques to convert single buyers and donors into frequent buyers and donors.
4. There is a team of people working together to promote their events, raise the money they need, and to build relationships in their community. They provide the energy to get this important work done!
5. They are using the 4 C’s of audience development. They connect with people, become a part of their communities, they collaborate, and they show they care about their audiences.
6. They have an outreach plan and programs. They get out of their boxes and share with their communities.
7. They have a strong volunteer program and work with volunteers to cut costs for what they need to get done.
8. They are frugal where they can be – they turn off the lights and don’t overspend on supplies.
9. There is a good relationship between artists and administration/boards.
10. They produce quality art for their potential and existing audiences.
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Audience Development Specialists
“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
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