4 New Year’s Resolutions for Arts & Cultural Organizations

Connection Cafe

And while many of us are busy making our personal New Year’s resolutions, we should also be thinking of how to be more successful , well-rounded cultural executives. Now is the ideal time to reflect on last year and set your course for the N ew Y ear and new decade. To help, here are some thought-starters from the Blackbaud Arts & Cultural team – along with a sneak-peek at what we have planned for 2020 so far. . . 2020 is here!

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#GivingTuesday: The Arts & Culture Way

Connection Cafe

Arts and Cultural organizations are capitalizing on this giving movement by creating a clear call-to-action attached to customized campaigns. Website : Your website should reflect your #GivingTuesday campaign, and your donation button should be highly visible. Don’t let it pass without acting and have fun building your Arts & Culture campaign.

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7 Ways for Arts & Cultural Organizations to Retain Members

Connection Cafe

Members are the catalyst of your arts or cultural organization. The level of the members’ engagement will reflect in your ability to listen and connect. Arts & Cultural Aquariums Donor Stewardship Gardens Museums performing arts sustaining members ZoosThey believe in your staff, your mission and support your goals. And while attracting new members is a never-ending process, retaining existing members is equally as important.

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Embracing a More Diverse Audience in Arts and Culture

Connection Cafe

Sara Woldt is an MBA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration with career interests in marketing and development. If arts and cultural nonprofits fail to cultivate more diverse audiences, they risk decreased attendance and bankruptcy. Become more involved in civic and cultural issues. Most importantly, these changes will ensure that arts and cultural organizations better serve their communities as they evolve in the future.

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Fill More Seats and Boost Engagement with These Arts Pricing Terms

Connection Cafe

It’s no secret that arts pricing is one of my favorite topics (See here. I do recognize, however, that arts pricing may not be at the top of everyone’s happy hour conversation starters. That’s why I love this blog post from TRG Arts , which pulls together arts pricing terms into one list with easy to understand definitions. While the blog post is targeted for performing arts organizations, many of them appeal to museums, zoos and aquariums as well.

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Creating the Right Culture at your Nonprofit

Connection Cafe

Culture is mission. Culture is process. Culture is everything. When I was a kid, culture had a very different meaning. To me, culture was about “being cultured.” It was about art, and class and learning things that tended to be highbrow. But today, culture is something much more mainstream. At your nonprofit, culture is at the heart of who you are. Your culture becomes something less than it could be.

Ocean Conservancy: The Art of Social Media Experimentation, Learning, and Reflection

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

In our book, The Networked Nonprofit , we devote an entire chapter to something we called "Learning Loops" which is a combination of tracking and monitoring in real time as a project unfolds, but also incorporates a process of reflection at the end of the project to the next experiment. . It is really hard to carve out time to take a step back and reflect on what has gone well, what hasn’t, and what to do next. As the leader, she is creating a culture of flexibility. .

A City and an Art Center Design the Future: Reflections on the Market Street Prototyping Festival

Museum 2.0

"The arts are future-making." I wrote this down when Deborah Cullinan said it at a meeting of arts leaders about a year ago. We were discussing the potential for cultural organizations to have significant impact across communities: on planning, health, education, and quality of life. Deborah''s vision for the arts leading the way to stronger future inspired me. But I couldn''t fully imagine how a museum or an arts center could embody it.

International Museum Day 2020: Tips To Engage Supporters

Connection Cafe

Monday, May 18th is International Museum Day , the mission of which is to raise awareness of the fact that, “museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”. It’s also the release date of our eBook co-authored with Cuseum , “ The Ultimate Guide to Surviving & Thriving As A Cultural Organization ,” which you can pre-download here.

Building a Culture of Experimentation

Museum 2.0

I’m starting to really appreciate the difference between being an individual agent and creating a culture of agency. And increasingly, what I’m trying to enable is a culture of experimentation. We often talk about “change” or “innovation” as the goal for our institutions, but I’d argue that building a culture of experimentation is more important than building a culture of change. What does a culture of experimentation look like?

Why (Almost) Every Nonprofit Should Be Using Google Ad Grants

Connection Cafe

If the user feels lost, angry, or frustrated—that’s a reflection on your brand. . Arts & Cultural Faith Communities Foundations Nonprofit Nonprofit Marketing digital advertising digital marketing for nonprofits Google ad grantsHow much would $10,000 a month in advertising change the game for your nonprofit? . No, really. What would happen if 100 Benjamin Franklins were pumped into your online presence every month? Would it be transformative for your organization?

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Engagement Strategies to Turn Nonprofit Board Members into Ambassadors for Your Cause

Connection Cafe

Board meeting frequency: The frequency of board meetings iss at the discretion of each organization and reflects the organization’s needs and bylaws. Nonprofit Management ambassadors Arts & Cultural Arts & Culture board members board of directors engagement strategies nonprofit board nonprofit board of directorsEngaged board members are instrumental advocates and ambassadors for your nonprofit organization.

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A Guide for Planning Your #GivingTuesdayNow Campaign in 5 Days

Connection Cafe

Update your website to reflect your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign. All digital communications should be in sync and reflect your current focus. Arts & Cultural Faith Communities Foundations Healthcare Higher Education K-12 Schools Nonprofit Nonprofit Fundraising Nonprofit Marketing #GivingTuesday #GivingTuesdayNow coronavirus COVID-19Now, more than ever, organizations need their communities to rally behind them.

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Dangerous/Ridiculous: Reflections on AAM

Museum 2.0

Our curator writes labels about licking the art. And I talked about some of the challenges of finding the right income and expense models for a museum that operates more like a community center than a traditional cultural institution. Merilee Mostov and the Columbus Museum of Art. Participatory art and co-creation on the rise. The conversation about community engagement at AAM has evolved, and this year, it had a distinctly social practice/art bent.

Reflections from Arts Leaders Workshop: Resilient Leaders from the Inside/Out

Beth Kanter

Earlier this month I was in Boston for the annual convention for Americans for the Arts where I facilitated a leadership development pre-conference workshop, “Impact without Burnout: Resilient Arts Leaders from the Inside/Out.” Participants took the “Columbia Leadership Styles” diagnostic created by Paul Ingram and Bruce Craven in 2013 that session leader Jeffrey Golde had customized for arts leaders. Reflection questions : “Why did this work?”.

Top Event Strategies for Major Donor Cultivation

Connection Cafe

They will not remember everything, but a pamphlet will allow them to reflect on the information presented. Arts & Cultural Nonprofit Fundraising arts and cultural Event Strategy events fundraising events fundraising ideas major donor Major Donor Cultivation nonprofit fundraisingAttaining donors is complex and requires a diverse set of strategies, so you shouldn’t expect to attract philanthropists with the same tactics you employ for lower-level donors.

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Connecting Your Organization to Deliver a Constituent-Driven Experience

Connection Cafe

If this has you reflecting on your experience, remember that there are tangible tips you can use to connect your organization. Arts & Cultural Companies Faith Communities Foundations Healthcare Higher Education K-12 Schools Nonprofit Nonprofit Management Social Good connected office; collaborationYear after year, professionals in the sector keep coming back to that dreaded word, “silos.”

How KidsQuest Converted Members into Loyal Donors

Connection Cafe

To that end, KidsQuest ensures its brand, from the website, to collateral, to the way their front line staff communicates with visitors, reflects its mission and its impact on the community in every way possible. Nonprofit Fundraising Arts & Cultural Arts & Culture donor retention Members Museums telefundingDoes telefunding sound like an old-fashioned fundraising approach to you?

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Rowboats and Magic Feathers: Reflections on 13 Years of Museum 2.0

Museum 2.0

Blogging is precious because it is an opportunity to reflect in writing. In 2015, as I was writing my second book, The Art of Relevance, my grip on that magic feather loosened. From 2015-2019, the blog continued to be my go-to tool for reflection and learning. is a place where we dream together about a more inclusive, vibrant, democratic cultural sphere. Woman reading a book on a beached rowboat, 1925. Image via State Library of Queensland (an institution I love).

The Fine Art of “Satisficing” for Nonprofits

Beth Kanter

Perfectionism is the enemy of learning and ultimately of getting improved impact. “We live in a culture of high quality and low risk tolerance and people want to be safe and not harmful. This is part of the culture change, getting around on the same page about the ship early and iterate approach. It takes patience and discipline to change a culture but it has many rewards. Is it part of your organization’s work culture or viewed as “slacking.?”

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What is the Current State of Grantseeking? Arts, Culture, & Humanities

Tech Soup Blog

Despite Challenges, Arts Organizations Remain Optimistic. And it gets particularly interesting when you start looking at the responses from arts, culture, and humanities groups. For example, 71% of total survey respondents feel that they will receive the same number or more awards in the coming year, whereas 77% of arts, culture, and humanities-focused organizations believe that they will receive the same or increased numbers of awards. (On

Creating A Culture of Continuous Improvement Based On Data

Beth Kanter

Moving Beyond a Culture of Compliance to a Culture of Continuous Improvement is a resource guide to help leadership, management, supervisory, and data-focused staff in Head Start and Early Head Start programs (1) understand how data, including data they already collect, can help them achieve their program goals; (2) learn techniques for fostering a culture of learning in their organization; and (3) increase their ability to identify and address gaps and continuously improve their programs.

Preparing for the Season of Giving: Steps to Ready Your Year-End Appeal

Connection Cafe

Your website should reflect your current campaign(s), and your donation button or page must be highly visible. Check out these additional year-end resources: End of Year toolkit for Arts & Cultural organizations. Arts & Cultural Nonprofit Nonprofit Fundraising end of year end of year fundraising Season of Giving year end giving Year-End AppealYear-end is upon us , and you should start planning for your final appeal.

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What's More Inclusive: Food or Art? Introducing Abbott Square, Part 10

Museum 2.0

This is the tenth in a series of posts on the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History ( MAH )'s development of Abbott Square , a new creative community plaza in downtown Santa Cruz. Staff members wanted to protect the MAH’s focus on reflecting the diversity of our community. Success for us looks like MAH participants reflecting the age, ethnic, and economic diversity of our county. In some communities’ eyes , art is a bigger gentrification concern than food.

#40BetterHours: The Art of Single Tasking

Beth Kanter

” This week, the Poynter Institute Katie Hawkins-Gaar and Ren LaForme joined forces to host a series called #40 Better Hours , a project to improve newsroom culture by looking at things that cause stress like workflow and communication and teaching journalist skills to combat information overload, part of a technology wellness routine.

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6 Tips to Retain Volunteers

Connection Cafe

The level of your volunteers’ engagement reflects your ability to listen to their wants, needs and suggestions. . Nonprofit Management Arts & Cultural volunteer management Volunteer Program volunteersVolunteers are superheroes! They are your advocates, champions, ambassadors, and worker bees. They fill many roles in different capacities, bringing diverse skill sets as board members, committee leads, exhibit guides, ushers, admins, and more.

Mid-Year Appeals: Boost Fundraising in the Second Biggest Giving Month of the Year!

Connection Cafe

Your website should reflect your current campaign(s), and your donation button or page must be highly visible. Arts & Cultural Nonprofit Fundraising fundraising Mid-Year Appeal Mid-Year Fundraising nonprofit fundraisingJune is upon us, and it’s time to create your mid-year appeal! Organizations large and small should capitalize on this opportunity.

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The Fundraising Event Planning Checklist

Connection Cafe

The details of your event will reflect the characteristics, likes and dislikes of your target audience which, in turn, will increase attendance, engagement and return on your investment. Make sure your marketing efforts reflect the voice of the event and appeal to your invited guests. Ticket prices should reflect the style of the event and align with your target audience. Nonprofit Fundraising Arts & Cultural Fundraising Event Planning fundraising events

Are Cultural Organizations Built to Fail to Scale?

Museum 2.0

I can think of many extraordinary innovators in the nonprofit cultural sector--people and organizations creating brilliant programs, site-based experiences, and products. Why aren’t more cultural organizations franchising, scaling, and replicating like comparable businesses? Arts institutions have beat the innovation drum for decades now. Cultural organizations tend to have many programs, projects, audiences, and goals.

Donor Stewardship: Guiding Donors to The Next Level of Support

Connection Cafe

The commitment from the donor will reflect their stewardship level. There are no industry standards to help you determine donor levels—they will vary and reflect each organization’s unique donor base. The level of the donor’s engagement will be a reflection of your ability to listen to their wants, needs and suggestions. Nonprofit Fundraising Arts & Culture donor retention Donor Stewardship Donor Stewardship Plan Donor Stewardship Pyramid

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Executive management in hard times - Retrenchment, reflection, transition, recovery

ASU Lodestar Center

Arts and cultural, environmental and educational organizations are similarly challenged by the impact of new technologies on audience or constituent behavior and more accessible and affordable alternative forms of entertainment or expression, let alone evolving and changing tastes and values. Periods of retrenchment, then, if wisely leveraged, are opportunities for strategic reflection, restructuring, and mapping pathways to recovery or transformation.

Ethical Acts that Increase Donor Retention

Connection Cafe

These guidelines will help your organization increase donor trust and create a positive culture. Donor engagement reflects your ability to listen to their wants, needs and suggestions. Arts & Cultural Nonprofit Nonprofit FundraisingFor many fundraising professionals, the “ people give to people, not organizations ” concept is the foundation of their careers.

100-Percent Board Giving

Connection Cafe

Frequency of board meetings is at the discretion of each organization and reflects the organization’s needs and bylaws. Arts & Cultural Nonprofit Management board of directors fundraising nonprofit board nonprofit managementBoard members are your organization’s advocates, ambassadors and vital volunteers. It’s imperative that your board understands that their participation level sets the tone for community impact.

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Reflections from Independent Sector and Blackbaud Conferences

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

There are people or even organizational cultures comfortable with using the existing tools and are slow to change, while early adopters and agile cultures keep learning and moving. The first half of the workshop focused on the “Becoming A Networked Nonprofit&# and we took a deep dive into social culture, transparency, and simplicity. The second half of the workshop looks at social media strategy and tactics.

8 Creative Fundraising Ideas to Advance Your Mission

Connection Cafe

As your plan develops, reflect on your donors’ likes and dislikes, utilize feedback from your members and asses your presence in the community. Arts & Cultural Nonprofit Nonprofit Fundraising Nonprofit Marketing fundraising ideas fundraising tips peer to peerFundraising for your cause is exciting, challenging and should be unique to your mission.

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The Three Major Components of a Successful Annual Giving Campaign

Connection Cafe

Your website should reflect your current campaign, and your donation button or page must be highly visible. Nonprofit Fundraising annual fund annual giving Arts & Cultural donor retention fundraising appeals fundraising events stewardshipAmericans are generous and enjoy the sense of being a part of a worthy cause achieved by charitable giving. In 2015, America set a record for charitable giving, beating the previous record by four percent.

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Lead or Follow: Arts Administrators Hash it Out

Museum 2.0

Last week, Douglas McLellan of artsJournal ran a multi-vocal forum on the relationship between arts organizations and audiences, asking: In this age of self expression and information overload, do our artists and arts organizations need to lead more or learn to follow their communities more? Sixteen arts administrators, journalists, and researchers weighed in on the question over a series of posts.

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The Public Argument About Arts Support as Seen through the Lens of the Detroit Institute of Arts

Museum 2.0

Earlier this month, the Detroit Institute of Arts was "saved" by a voter-approved property tax (called a "millage") in its three surrounding counties. I'm not going to comment on the reasons for the millage or its merits from an arts management perspective--please check out Diane Ragsdale's excellent post for a round-up of commentary and some hard-hitting opinions about the big picture. Your cultural outlet is art galleries and symphonies.

Telling the story in a new way: Should arts leaders use impact evaluation?

ASU Lodestar Center

To borrow from the song: “Art is a many splendored thing.” Art is also very subjective. Again borrowing: “One man’s trash is another man’s art.” So, what is the value of art? Recently, I attended a conference on arts education. At the plenary panel discussion, a woman from the audience, an arts teacher, asked, plaintively, “Why do we have to justify the arts in school? We, in the arts, must tell our story in a new way. Cultural Trends Vol.

Is Wikipedia Loves Art Getting "Better"?

Museum 2.0

Wikipedia Loves Art, Take One The first version of Wikipedia Loves Art first took place in February 2009. The Wikimedians asked if the museum would coordinate a project in which people could photograph artworks in cultural institutions to illustrate Wikipedia articles. Museums used these thematic lists to develop scavenger hunt lists to distribute to participants so that they might find art objects to illustrate Wikipedia topics like "Roman architecture" or "mask."

3 Lessons from Museums Advocacy Day

Connection Cafe

Former US Representative Jim Moran (VA-08), a 24-year veteran of Congress who has received an award for Congressional Leadership in the Arts, spoke at length about approaching both sides of the aisle and the overall climate in Washington. It was a great day, and as I reflect on it now, I feel the need to synthesize a few broader lessons I took from the experience. Advocacy Arts & Cultural museums advocacy Universal Charitable Giving Act

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ASTC Recap: Questions, Colors, and Reflective Research

Museum 2.0

Jane Werner, director of the fabulous Pittsburgh Children's Museum, talked about the Charm Bracelet project , a local collaboration among arts organizations that is both incredibly ambitious (with a goal to transform the troubled North Side neighborhood into a cultural and educational jewel of the city) and wonderful distributed (they make microgrants for small projects that make a difference in the neighborhood).

Trainer’s Notebook: The Art of Good Openings and Closings

Beth Kanter

I’ve just returned from an amazing trip of facilitating workshops, discussions and master classes as well as a keynoting a conference on “ Measuring the Networked Nonprofit ” in Australia and New Zealand. It made me very happy to be teaching non-stop for almost two weeks. I’m always learning as I help others learn. Here’s a couple of reflections from my “trainer’s notebook.” Sunrise on Sacred Maori Land outside of Auckland, NZ.