While all three donor groups will be affected by the crisis, I believe we will see the biggest impact on corporate giving. Foundations may reduce funding as their endowments shrink but many are increasing their spending rates to help during this crisis. Individuals are typically the most generous during downturns.
Michael Kaiser on-line discussion
Washington Post, 5/5/09
The Postman just knocked on my door four times. (Sorry, no door bell in this post for irony.) My book order came in. I’ve got Michael Kaiser’s THE ART OF THE TURNAROUND cracked open right now. The subtitle of the book explains it all — “Creating and Maintaining Health Arts Organizations.”
In the first 3 pages I see my experiences with cultural, non-profit, and arts organizations flashing before my eyes.
Here’s a deja vu quote:
“Rarely have I seen a new computer system produce a turnaround….”
Here’s the reality check quote:
“Someone must be selected to run the turnaround. This person must have a single unified vision for the organization, have the courage to make difficult decisions in the face of controversy, possess strong negotiating skills, respect all parties including artists, work incredibly hard and have an obsessive focus on solving the problem. This person must also understand marketing, fund-raising and financial management. It is a hard job description to meet but the job cannot be divided among many people.”
Whoa. Can anyone out there speak to that?
I wrote an earlier post about Kaiser’s new non-profit crisis hotline (online) to help struggling arts organizations through this current economic spiral.
Though his book was written in 2008 — before the Madoff ponzi scheme and the Wall Street meltdown — it does outline basic wisdom for keeping an organization and the people who run it healthy. Because in up and down times, it’s easy to fall back on the familiar bad habits…and then some.
The John F. Kennedy Center’s president, Michael Kaiser, has set up a new non-profit –an online arts crisis hotline –for arts organizations needing administrative counseling during the current economic downturn.
The Arts In Crisis initiative connects arts organizations with mentors, Kennedy Center experts, and arts administrators who will consult and advise struggling organizations via email, phone on fundraising, budgeting, marketing, technology, board building. And the site pledges:
Requests for assistance will be handled with respect and held in confidence.
Organizations can register here: http://www.artsincrisis.org
Read more in Jacqueline Trescott’s article on washingtonpost.com.
We are losing the entertainment and inspiration we need more than ever during this terribly scary time. As we try to rebuild America’s image abroad, we are losing our most potent goodwill ambassadors. As we reshape our economy, we are losing the organizations that teach our children to think creatively. And as we celebrate the diversity of our nation, we are losing the voices that have traditionally helped change society’s thinking.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts